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Applying for a British Passport

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 13 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Applying For A British Passport

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is the Home Office department which issues passports to British citizens in the UK. British citizens abroad who wish to apply for a passport should contact their local embassy or consulate or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Applying for an Adult UK Passport

Anyone applying for their first adult British passport is likely to have to attend an interview before their passport is issued and the whole process may take considerably longer than for a passport renewal. Applicants are advised not to make any firm travel arrangements before they receive their passport and to allow six weeks between the date of the application and the date on which they wish to travel.

Applicants who are renewing a passport or replacing an existing child’s passport with an adult one may make their application before the existing passport expires. Up to 9 months’ unexpired validity from the old passport may be credited to the new one.

UK Children’s Passports

The rules on children and passports have recently changed. Previously children could be included on a parent’s passport. However, now any child up to the age of 16 not already on a parent’s passport must have their own. A child passport usually lasts for five years and the holder may continue to use it after they have reached the age of 16 and until the passport expires.

The Application Form for UK Passports

The application form for UK passports can be collected from selected Post Offices or ordered online from the IPS website or via their telephone advice line. UK residents may also apply online through the website. However, forms cannot be downloaded because home printing equipment does not produce documents of a high enough resolution to be read by the IPS scanning equipment. In addition there would be a greater risk of fraudulent applications if the whole process could be carried out online.

The application form comes with detailed instructions which should be followed carefully. The form should be completed in black ballpoint pen. Any sections which are not relevant to the applicant should simply be left blank.

The application form will also have to be countersigned by a British or Irish passport holder over the age of 18 who has a recognised profession or is otherwise of good standing. This person must have known the applicant for at least two years but must not be related to them or live at the same address. This person will also have to sign the applicant’s photograph and confirm that it is a true likeness. The IPS website has a complete list of those who may countersign passport applications.

Passport Interviews

Almost all applicants aged 16 and over for a first British adult passport will now have to attend a passport interview. Interviews have been introduced to verify the identity of the applicant and to reduce the level of passport related fraud.

All applicants who have to attend a UK passport interview will be sent a letter, after their application form has been processed, asking them to contact the IPS to arrange an interview. Interviews take about 30 minutes and are held at one of 68 interview offices located around the UK. Applicants will be asked to verify personal information which would only be known by the individual applying for the UK passport.

Fees and Waiting Times

Some Post Offices offer a “Check & Send” service. For an additional fee they will go through passport applications, ensure all the necessary documents are included and send the application to the Identity and Passport Service. Applications for renewal passports sent in via this service should be processed within about two weeks. However, the waiting time for first passports is still about six weeks.

The fee for a first British adult passport is currently £72. The same fee applies to standard applications for renewals, amendments or replacements of existing passports. A fast track one-week service is also available for £97. A premium same-day service for renewals or amendments only is available for £114. The fast track and premium services are only available by appointment at a passport office counter and are not available to UK citizens applying for a first adult passport.

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[Add a Comment]
 I was born in London before 1983. Both my parents are late and were Nigerian citizens. My father however was a diplomat as at the time.  Besides birth, I had not visited the United Kingdom and would like to travel to my birthplace and spend sometime.  kindly guide me on the steps to take. BR, BO
bp - 13-Aug-17 @ 4:12 AM
My son was born in Poland and has lived there ever since. I'm a British citizen from birth and live here can I apply for him a passport with just a standard passport form he is under 16.
Liamsmith - 10-Aug-17 @ 12:33 AM
My mum gave birth to me in London in the year 1993. I have the British birth certificate but she wasn't able to register me as a british citizen. I now have a Ghanaian passport but living in Italy. Can I come to the U.K. to fight for my British passport?
Daxood - 8-Aug-17 @ 7:49 PM
I am a dual Kenyan/British Citizen and my child (8) is waiting for his British passport (application made). Can I travel with him while we are waiting and what does he get stamped in his Kenyan passport? I'm a single parent and we have the same surname.
LK - 3-Aug-17 @ 10:14 AM
What should we do? My partner was born and living here (30 years) but has a passport of his nationality. His mother has the rights to remain and work etc in the UK. Can he simply just apply for a British passport. Also am I eligible for a British passport. I was born outside of the EU to parents who eventually settled in the UK many moons ago. My parent also has an indefinite leave to remain and work etc. After my parents settled in this country they eventually sorted my papers to come join them, I too have an indefinite leave to remain. We also have a daughter born in this country will she be eligible? Doing the life in the UK test is a little silly for us seeing as we have done our schooling in this country. We are both passport holders of our mother land. Are we eligible for a British passport? Do we need naturalisation? etc... I'm so baffled. We don't want to apply for a British passport for it to be refused as it's non refundable.
Gia - 2-Aug-17 @ 11:08 PM
Jane - Your Question:
I married with an Englishman, now I with he lived in Australia for 6 years. He is Australia citizen and British citizen. so can I apply British passport ?

Our Response:
The fact you are married to a British citizen does not entitle you to British citizenship. You would have to be living in the UK with your husband for a minimum period of five years in order to be able to apply.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-17 @ 3:40 PM
alia - Your Question:
My mum has lived over in the united kingdom for 27/28 years and is also married to a british citizen all my mothers children including me are also british citizen can my mum still apply for a british passport? she has an english qualification which she has received from her english classes

Our Response:
Your mum can see more via the gov.uk link here for further information.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-17 @ 2:03 PM
Didi21 - Your Question:
Hi. I have a daughter that is 6years old and live with me in africa and was born here. I had disagreement with his father that is british and its only now that he décide to take responsabily of recognising my daughter. I need to know what documents need to be provided for my daughter to become a british citizen by her dad. please give me all the informations I need to know in that case. I am not a british citizen I have just stayed some time in the uk. I was not married with the father when my daughter was born and am still not. I hope to hear from you soonMy sincerly

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which should help further.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:10 AM
@Jane only British citizens can apply for a British passport. Spouses of British citizens can apply for British citizenship after living in the UK legally with their spouse for at least 3 years and after they obtain settled status in the UK after 5 years of residence in the UK.
TJ. - 27-Jul-17 @ 7:05 AM
@Alia only British citizens can apply for British passports. Your mother should first apply to naturalise as a British citizen if she has already obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residency in the UK.
TJ. - 27-Jul-17 @ 7:00 AM
@Didi21 if your child was born before July 2006 then she is not a British citizen because you are not married to the father. If your child was born after July 2006 she is only a British citizen if the father is indicated on the birth certificate. You may still be able to register the child as a British citizen if certain requirements are met. Required documents can be found on govuk website.
TJ. - 27-Jul-17 @ 6:56 AM
@Fatoom if your father is a British citizen born in the UK or if he was naturalised as a British citizen before you were born then you are eligible for a British passport.
TJ. - 27-Jul-17 @ 6:38 AM
I married with an Englishman, now I with he lived in Australia for 6 years. He is Australia citizen and British citizen. so can I apply British passport ?
Jane - 26-Jul-17 @ 3:08 PM
my mum has lived over in the united kingdom for 27/28 years and is also married to a british citizen all my mothers children including me are also british citizen can my mum still apply for a british passport? she has an english qualification which she has received from her english classes
alia - 26-Jul-17 @ 1:34 AM
Hi . i have a daughter that is 6years old and live with me in africa and was born here . i had disagreement with his father that is british and its only now that he décide to take responsabily of recognising my daughter. I need to know what documents need to be provided for my daughter to become a british citizen by her dad . please give me all the informations i need to know in that case . i am not a british citizen i have just stayed some time in the uk . i was not married with the father when my daughter was born and am still not. I hope to hear from you soon My sincerly
Didi21 - 25-Jul-17 @ 2:28 PM
Im 18 year olds who lives in uae but my father lives in the uk with a british passport. Will i be able to get a british passport through my father?
Fatoom - 17-Jul-17 @ 2:48 PM
@Vix you are not a British citizen and cannot apply for a British passport if neither of your parents was a British citizen at the time of your birth. You may be able to register or naturalize as a British citizen depending on your situation.
TJ. - 11-Jul-17 @ 3:51 PM
Vix - Your Question:
Hey I was born here and my mum is here for 21 years and id like to know if I can have a british passport because I heard I cant because my mum dont have one

Our Response:
You can check whether you can claim British Citizenship via the gov.uk link here .
AboutImmigration - 11-Jul-17 @ 2:09 PM
Hey i was born here and my mum is here for 21 years and id like to know if i can have a british passport because i heard i cant because my mum dont have one
Vix - 11-Jul-17 @ 9:33 AM
Lukas - Your Question:
I've been living in England nearly 4 years I've started school in Year 8 and finished my all GCSEs and looking for a apprenticeship, and I was wondering if I could get a British passport? I'm 16 and I will be 17 next year

Our Response:
You would still have to get residency through your parents until you are over 18, when you may be able to apply yourself, depending upon your situation, please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 7-Jul-17 @ 12:28 PM
I've been living in England nearly 4 years I've started school in Year 8 and finished my all GCSEs and looking for a apprenticeship, and I was wondering if I could get a British passport? I'm 16 and I will be 17 next year
Lukas - 6-Jul-17 @ 6:45 PM
I am Canadian and going through the UK Citizenship process right now along with my EU husband and son. Once we all have British Citizenship, must we get UK passports or can we still travel on our Canadian and EU passports within the EU? We want to eventually get UK passports but would need to travel shortly after we anticipate our citizenship coming through and likely won't have the 6 weeks required for the passport process. Thanks!
PM - 6-Jul-17 @ 12:29 PM
Julia - Your Question:
Hi,I have a Portuguese passport and I was wondering what I have to do to get a British passport.I come to England nearly 27 years ago and I have been paying tax for the last 25 years. I have a permanent residency.I have two children9 age 23 years and 16 year) they both have dual nationality, Portuguese and British.Many ThanksJulia

Our Response:
You can only apply for a British passport if you are classed as a British citizen, in order to become a British citizen please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 4-Jul-17 @ 10:45 AM
Hi, I have a Portuguese passport and I was wondering what I have to do to get a British passport. I come to England nearly 27 years ago and I have been paying tax for the last 25 years. I have a permanent residency. I have two children9 age 23 years and 16 year) they both have dual nationality, Portuguese and British. Many Thanks Julia
Julia - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:33 PM
@Trapper technically you are allowed to travel to the UK as a Canadian. However if the border authorities discover that you are entitled to British citizenship you could run into trouble as it is not permitted for a British citizen to apply for leave to remain in the UK. It is advisable that you obtain a British passport if you intend to travel to the UK.
TJ. - 20-Jun-17 @ 7:20 AM
Do you need a British passport when travelling from Canada if you have dual nationality or will my Canadian passport be enough?
Trapper - 19-Jun-17 @ 3:47 PM
is it possible for my parents too obtain a passport for my 4 yr old son saying that they have lost his passport which i have and is in date and validthiers been a family dispute which is going through the courts at this present time ive found out today that my mother and father have obtained a passport by lying and not even consulting me first me and my ex partner both have parental rights i went too go see my son yesterday and was informed that they have taking my son abroad so faulsifying passport documents and not even have the decensey too tell me is this illegal thankyou demi
demi courts - 16-Jun-17 @ 1:36 PM
is it possible for my parents too obtain a passport for my 4 yr old son saying that they have lost his passport which i have and is in date and validthiers been a family dispute which is going through the courts at this present time ive found out today that my mother and father have obtained a passport by lying and not even consulting me first me and my ex partner both have parental rights i went too go see my son yesterday and was informed that they have taking my son abroad so faulsifying passport documents and not even have the decensey too tell me is this illegal thankyou demi
demi courts - 16-Jun-17 @ 7:03 AM
@urszula if any of the names that you used on your Polish passport are any different from the names on your naturalization certificate or any other identification then your Polish passport must be renewed to reflect the name you are currently using.
TJ. - 13-Jun-17 @ 7:01 AM
Hi, Can you help please... Im Polish. I just got my naturalization certificate and wanted to apply for British passport. I sent my old Polish passport (expired anyway). They told me that I need to renew my Polish passport otherwise no British passport. Even when I told them i do not want o renew it because i dont have to because i use my Polish ID card and I can provide it if they want. They still said no new Polish passport no British passport. I do not understand why that is because I still can proof my present surname with my Polish ID card , English driving licence and many more. Why they dont accept other proofs of id??? Thank you for help.
urszula - 12-Jun-17 @ 2:44 PM
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