Applying for a British Passport
Holding a British passport grants you the freedom to enter and exit the UK free of immigration controls, with no need to apply for a visa in order to re-enter.
The UK passport is a coveted travel document as it grants access to many countries across the globe, allowing you to travel freely throughout a number of destinations without being subject to standard visa requirements.
You should, however, check before travelling to see whether you must first apply for a visa to enter and/or travel to the particular country you wish to visit.
Applying for a British passport is typically the final step of the British citizenship journey; it serves to prove your status as a British national.
Your passport will similarly allow you to access benefits and services within the UK and serves as proof of identity. It also represents that you have the right to work, live and study permanently in the UK.
The application process for a British passport must only begin after you have acquired British citizenship – you will not qualify for a passport prior to naturalising as a citizen of the UK.
We offer a range of comprehensive packages which aim to support you throughout every step of your journey to British citizenship.
We therefore provide practical assistance with the completion of your British passport application form and can help you to submit a passport application on the behalf of your children.
For more information on our services, contact our client care team on 0121 667 6530.
How do I apply for a British passport?
You can apply for your first British passport either online, via the Post Office Check & Send Service, via post, or by appointment.
Applying online: To apply online – which is both the cheapest and easiest method – you must simply follow the application wizard which provides a step-by-step guide
Applying via the Post Office: The ‘Check & Send Service’ can check over your documents and post it to HM Passport Office by Special Delivery. Alternatively, you can post your own documents directly to UKVI.
Applying by appointment: Upon appointment, you can make use of the 1-day Premium and Fast Track service.
For those applying outside the UK, you will be required to follow the application process as outlined by the rules within the country you are applying from.
What documents are required within my application?
Something you must note before submitting your passport application is that you must not send photocopies of your documents; only the original documents will be accepted by the government.
To apply for your first UK passport, you must submit the following original paperwork within your application:
- Your birth/adoption certificate
- Evidence of at least one of your parents’ immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
- Your certificate for naturalisation or, if you were born abroad, your certificate of registration
- All relevant supporting documents
- A signature from someone who can verify your identity (this only applies to those who are applying with a paper form)
Your documents must be translated if they are not already in English/Welsh.
How long is the application process?
For those submitting their first passport application, you may have to wait slightly longer than usual for this to be processed as further checks will have to be undertaken by HMPO (Her Majesty’s Passport Office). You should allow at least six weeks for your passport application to be processed.
However, there are certainly some actions you can take to ensure you avoid delays wherever possible. These include:
- Making sure that the name on your passport matches the name which appears on your documentation (if your name has changed, you must use your new name within your application)
- List all of your maiden/previous names
- Provide details of any previous UK passports you have held
Finally, make sure you are old enough to apply for an adult passport. You must be aged 16 or over (or will be turning 16 in three weeks from the date of your request).
What will happen at my passport interview?
If you’re 16 years or older and in the process of applying for your first UK passport, anticipate an imperative interview with the Identity & Passport Service (IPS).
The primary objective of this passport interview is to avoid the risk of identity fraud. During this session, applicants are tasked with responding to inquiries about your personal details as a means of authenticating your identity.
This comprehensive interview generally lasts for a duration of 30 minutes, ensuring a meticulous and thorough evaluation.
Can I apply for a British passport for my child?
If your child is a UK national, you are able to apply for a passport on their behalf. Child passports last for five years.
As the parent/guardian of the child, you must sign the form and act as the official applicant.
The details of both the child’s parents must be provided – if you cannot provide these details, you must outline the reasons why within a letter.
This may be the case if you are the only parent on the child’s birth certificate or if you adopted the child as a single parent.
Our OISC-accredited immigration lawyers in Birmingham can provide tailored legal advice and practical assistance if you need help with your child’s citizenship status and/or passport application. Contact us today on 0121 667 6530.
Last modified on November 24th, 2023 at 11:55 am
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It costs £82.50 to apply for a new passport online. If you are submitting paperwork as opposed to submitting your application online, the cost increases to £93.
For a child passport, this costs £53.50, or for postal applications, £64.
To fast track an application for a 1 week processing time, this will cost an additional £142 on top of your passport application fee.
For professional assistance with any immigration matter, contact us on 0121 667 6530.
Passport renewal in the UK should be relatively straightforward. If your British passport has expired, is lost or has been stolen, it is essential that you renew it as soon as possible.
You will need to submit a digital photo of yourself, as you must in your first passport application. This must be a new photo even if you believe that your appearance has not changed since receiving any previous British passports.
Renewing a passport costs £75.50 online or £85 if you submit your application via paperwork.
You are only required to have an individual confirm your identity (a counter-signatory) if you are applying neither online nor from abroad.
For example, if you are applying via submitting paperwork by post, you must have an individual sign within your application to verify that they have known you personally for at least two years and that the information you have provided within your application is accurate and truthful.
This person must:
- Be a UK or Irish citizen who currently lives in the UK
- Be a professional person or be recognised as ‘a person of good standing in their community’
- Have no relation to you by birth or marriage, nor be in a personal relationship with you
- Not live at your address
- Not work for the Home Office
For professional help and guidance with your British citizenship or passport applications, contact our immigration specialists in Birmingham on 0121 667 6530.