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Applying for a British Passport

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 20 Mar 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]
Hi I'm 15 and I have been living in the UK for 7 years. My parents don't have a red passport even though they can apply for it but they don't want to however I really want a British passport but I heard that the parents have to have the red passport for you to have it or you have to be 18 or over to apply for it. I also read online that the rules on child passport has recently changed so now 16 and over do not need parental consent to apply for passport. Does this also mean, 16 year olds can apply for British passport without their parents having to have red passport ?
DiDi - 20-Mar-17 @ 7:19 PM
I have a french passport and would like a British passport as well.my partner is British and we did our civil partnership in 2008. Can I apply for it and do I still have to past the test ?.thank you.
Fab - 20-Mar-17 @ 6:16 PM
Dalidoli - Your Question:
Hi I am Armenian and I never been in UK. I live in armenia. Can I aplply for UK passport online without living there ?

Our Response:
You cannot apply for, or be issued with a UK passport unless you are a UK citizen. You would have to apply for a visa if you wished to visit or work in the UK, please see link here .
AboutImmigration - 20-Mar-17 @ 12:50 PM
Hi I am Armenian and I never been in UK. I live in armenia. Can I aplply for UK passport online without living there ?
Dalidoli - 19-Mar-17 @ 2:54 PM
Red - Your Question:
Hi, I am lithuanian I live in uk 7 years my partner 9 year lithuanian too, we got son 13 month what documents we need to apply for son for english passport? He born in uk. Thank you

Our Response:
Unless either of you have British citizenship, or permanent residence then you would not be able to register your child as a British citizen. If you do have permanent residence, then please see link here.
AboutImmigration - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:28 PM
Hi, i am lithuanian i live in uk 7 years my partner 9 year lithuanian too, we got son 13 month what documents we need to apply for son for english passport? He born in uk. Thank you
Red - 16-Mar-17 @ 9:23 PM
hi My wife is from UK and I am from Pakistan we are in the UK living together. I have my remain to stay indefinite leave to remain. I am studying in college Esol Level 2. Can I apply for a British passport without doing the life in UK test? I don't want to change my citizenship? What is the reason doing the UK life test? thank you
maz - 27-Feb-17 @ 7:37 PM
Hello, I'm brazilian, and I have Indefinite leave to remain as i've lived here most of my life, My son who is 9, was born here, but until now omly has a brazilian passport, is he entitled to have a British passport? Born and raised here, and With me having ILR? Thank You. Laila
Laila - 24-Feb-17 @ 1:44 PM
ALL OF YOU EUROPEAN LEGAL IN UK TO GET BRITISH PASSPORT HAS TO DO THE LIFE IN UK TEST ...PASS ... THAN DO THE PROCEDUREAPPLY FOR YOUR NATURALIZATION TEST THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE CHANCETO GET YOUR BRITISH PASSPORT BUT MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALL DOCUMENTS ALSO PAID 5 YEARS TAX AND NATIONAL INSURANCE . WHAT I TRY TO SAY MAKE SURE YOU ARE LEGAL TO DO THE APPLICATION . YOU ARE REGISTER AT YOUR LOCAL GP, MAKE SURE YOU HAD STUDY AT YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS THINGS LIKE THAT POOF THAT YOU ARE LEGAL TO DO IT SO . FIX ADDRESS FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS EVERYTHING IS CORRECT AND NO PROBLEMS WITH THE LAW ALL THE WAY . GOOD LUCK
TRYTOHELP - 18-Feb-17 @ 8:59 AM
Hi i was born in 26.10.75 i have been in the uk for 26 years i have a greek passport and i would like to replace it to a British password can anyone direct me please thanks .
Sever - 15-Feb-17 @ 10:09 AM
Yolanda - Your Question:
Hi, I have 2 queries:- I was born in UK in May 1971 but my background is Spanish and I hold a Spanish passport but have been living in UK for over 20 years now. Am I entitled to apply for the British passport? if so, what do I need to do?- My son who was born in Spain in June 1989 but has grown up in UK since the age of 3yr old (1992) he also hold a Spanish passport. Since he is not under age anymore is he still entitled to apply for his British passport through me as a British born mum?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 13-Feb-17 @ 1:59 PM
Hi, I have 2 queries: - I was born in UK in May 1971 but my background is Spanish and I hold a Spanish passport but have been living in UK for over 20 years now. Am I entitled to apply for the British passport? if so, what do I need to do? - My son who was born in Spain in June 1989 but has grown up in UK since the age of 3yr old (1992) he also hold a Spanish passport. Since he is not under age anymore is he still entitled to apply for his British passport through me as a British born mum?
Yolanda - 12-Feb-17 @ 1:31 PM
Ejaz - Your Question:
Hi I came in uk 2007 from France then I start living here and I apply for resident card also and it's expire I didn't apply again I get married with British man so now I want to apply for British passport so what I have to do ? Is that possible I can live here with French passport or it's must to change and what about new rule for other citizens?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which may help you further.
AboutImmigration - 7-Feb-17 @ 12:34 PM
Hi i came in uk 2007 from France then I start living here and I apply for resident card also and it's expire I didn't apply again I get married with British man so now I want to apply for British passport so what i have to do ? Is that possible i can live here with French passport or it's must to change and what about new rule for other citizens?
Ejaz - 6-Feb-17 @ 8:34 PM
Add - Your Question:
I came to uk in 2008 on in Indian passport and in 2012 I got my Portuguese nationality now I want to apply for UK permanent residency what documents do I require

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:01 PM
I came to uk in 2008 on in Indian passport and in 2012 i got my Portuguese nationalitynow I want to apply for UK permanent residency what documents do I require
Add - 30-Jan-17 @ 10:07 PM
Cindy - Your Question:
My mother has been living in the uk for the past 60 years and would like to apply for a british passport. If she entitled to do so and if so what is the procedure. All her children are british by birth.

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here - which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 30-Jan-17 @ 12:01 PM
Aisha - Your Question:
Hi, I have been living in the uk since age 2 with my aunty who is not of British born. I have schooled only in the uk from nursery right to university. I begin living independently at age 17 and am estranged from my parents who live somewhere in Nigeria. I have my indefinite leave to remain. I would like to know what steps I need to take to get my British passport?? Please someone advice me.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 30-Jan-17 @ 11:27 AM
My mother has been living in the uk for the past 60 years and would like to apply for a british passport.If she entitled to do so and if so what is the procedure.All her children are british by birth.
Cindy - 29-Jan-17 @ 7:11 PM
Hi, I have been living in the uk since age 2 with my aunty who is not of British born. I have schooled only in the uk from nursery right to university. I begin living independently at age 17 and am estranged from my parents who live somewhere in Nigeria. I have my indefinite leave to remain. I would like to know what steps I need to take to get my British passport?? Please someone advice me.
Aisha - 29-Jan-17 @ 4:06 PM
APB - Your Question:
I am contacting to find out the likelihood of my Son obtaining a British Passport.A bit of background:I and his father (since separated) were born in Hungary. Our Son was born September '02 in Toronto, Canada, where we lived for 4 years. We moved back to Hungary just prior to his 2nd birthday. He has since held a Hungarian ID Card. We now reside in UK, and have since 2007. Both I and his father have acquired British Citizenship. His Hungarian ID Card has always allowed him to travel from the UK to Hungary and back again without any issues. However, it is Expired. He also holds a Canadian Passport, having been born there, but that has been met with talk of "restrictions" on arrival in airports in the UK. With that in mind I am now enquiring about this and would appreciate any response. I have already contacted the Passport Office and they were most unhelpful, as too were the Citizens Advice Bureau. I have also done the online test on the gov.uk website and that was inconclusive.

Our Response:
If both of you as parents are British citizens, then you can apply for your son to become a British citizen. Please see gov.uk link here . All the information you need to find out will be contained in the MN1 form here.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jan-17 @ 11:25 AM
I am contacting to find out the likelihood of my Son obtaining a British Passport. A bit of background: I and his father (since separated) were born in Hungary. Our Son was born September '02 in Toronto, Canada, where we lived for 4 years. We moved back to Hungary just prior to his 2nd birthday. He has since held a Hungarian ID Card. We now reside in UK, and have since 2007. Both I and his father have acquired British Citizenship. His Hungarian ID Card has always allowed him to travel from the UK to Hungary and back again without any issues. However, it is Expired. He also holds a Canadian Passport, having been born there, but that has been met with talk of "restrictions" on arrival in airports in the UK. With that in mind I am now enquiring about this and would appreciate any response. I have already contacted the Passport Office and they were most unhelpful, as too were the Citizens Advice Bureau. I have also done the online test on the gov.uk website and that was inconclusive.
APB - 26-Jan-17 @ 3:38 PM
Hello, I carry both a German passport and USA passport. Will I have to give one of these passports up in order to apply for a British Passport? I have lived in the UK for 8 years with my English partner, we are not married. I tried to look for this info on your GOV website, but I've not been successful finding it. Thank you
Monika - 8-Jan-17 @ 6:23 PM
Hello i have being living in the uk for 12 years my daughter came to england at age 3 and she is 14 at the moment can i apply for a British passport ... her portuguese I.D card expired long time ago and seems i cant find a way to get an way to get through the portuguese council in london
Andreia Samuel - 30-Dec-16 @ 8:34 PM
Hey my daughters german passport is expired which we recently found out. Can I apply for her to get a British passport with her expired german one to avoid double costs as we meant to do it but now I don't know how as her passport is expired since over one year nearly two
Madi - 30-Dec-16 @ 9:29 AM
Hello I have been living in uk since 2012 and I'm 17 years old, I want to apply british passport so i would like to ask do i need to be in Uk for atleast 5 years to be eligible even though my guardian is british citizen.
aylinsuper - 24-Dec-16 @ 3:01 PM
Hi i am an indian woman and going to marry a British citizen. what i need to do so that i can move with him to uk
shreshtha - 23-Dec-16 @ 9:33 AM
Maribel - Your Question:
I am Spanish, married to British Born Citizen since 1989 and unfortunately a widow for the last 6 years. I have lived in UK for 19 yrs, since December 1997. As an EU passport holder (Spain), Would I qualify for a British passport without having to go through the nationalisation tests etc?

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will tell you what your options are. I hope this helps.
AboutImmigration - 5-Dec-16 @ 10:57 AM
I am Spanish, married to British Born Citizen since 1989 and unfortunately a widow for the last 6 years. I have lived in UK for 19 yrs, since December 1997. As an EU passport holder (Spain),Would I qualify for a British passport without having to go through the nationalisation tests etc?
Maribel - 4-Dec-16 @ 10:44 AM
i have a unmaried partner for 10 years now i have girl friend living together during any holiday out my country morocco and we do have alls papers about ours love relationship , but we not marrieddo i can apply for my scotish passport with unmarried partner i have many offers job there but i need to know what i can do .
joe - 21-Nov-16 @ 8:21 PM
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