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British passport application process

British Passport Application Process

Applying for a British Passport is the last step of your UK citizenship journey. You can use this document to prove your status as a British national.

Call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help & assistance with your passport application. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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What is the British Passport application process?

You can submit your British Passport application process once you have become a British citizen. This document will let you prove your status as a UK national, either after registration or naturalisation.

A passport is a travel document that will allow you to enter and leave the country free from immigration controls. It can also be used as proof of identity for accessing benefits and services and also represents proof of right to work, study and live permanently in the UK.

Our team of immigration lawyers can help you submit your form or apply for a British Passport for your children.

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How to apply for a British Passport?

You can request your passport via one of the following methods:

  • Online. This is the cheapest and easiest way to apply since the application wizard will guide you through each step of the process.
  • Post Office Check & Send Service. Your local Post Office will take care of checking your bundle of documents, and they will send it to HM Passport Office by Special Delivery. You will be charged an additional fee for this service.
  • Post. You can directly send your application, along with your supporting documents, to the UKVI. You must not forget to attach the correct postage to your envelope.
  • By appointment. The 1-day Premium and 1-week Fast Track services are only available upon appointment.

If you are applying from abroad, you must follow a different procedure. The process you will have to go through will depend on the particular rules of the country you are applying from.

Important information about your passport application

To avoid any delay in your application, it is essential to fill in each part of your form correctly. When completing your documents, you should keep in mind the following:

  • The name on your passport should match the name that appears on your documentation.
  • If you have changed your name, you must use your new name on your application.
  • You must list all your maiden or previous names.
  • You must enter details of any previous UK passport that you have held.
  • To apply for an adult passport, you must be aged 16 or over (or will be in three weeks from the date of your request).
  • An adult passport is valid for 10 years.
  • If you hold a child passport, you can use it until it expires even if you are over 18.

What documents do I need to apply for a UK Passport?

When submitting your application, you must ensure that you send only your original documents. Photocopies are not accepted, but you can get an official copy of the evidence that you are not able to gather.

The following are the documents required to apply for your first British passport:

  • Your birth or adoption certificate (if you were born in the UK before January 1983)
  • Evidence of one of your parents’ immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
  • Your certificate or naturalization or registration, if you were born abroad
  • Your supporting documents
  • Someone who can confirm your identity (if you are applying with a paper form)

If your documents are not in English or Welsh, you must also provide a certified translation.

Do I need a countersignatory?

A counter-signatory is someone of your choice who can confirm your identity. Their role is to confirm that they have known you personally for at least two years and that, to the best of their knowledge, the information you have provided in your application is correct.

Your counter-signatory must:

  • Be a UK or Irish citizenship, and currently living in the UK
  • Be a professional person or be recognised as “a person of good standing in their community”
  • Not be related to you by birth or marriage, nor in a personal relationship with you
  • Not be living at your address
  • Not be working for the Home Office

You will not need a countersignatory if you are applying online or from abroad.

What are the UK Passport fees?

The cost of your British passport will vary depending on the type of application you are making, and from where you are submitting your form.

If you are applying from the UK, you will be charged as follows:

  • Online applications: £75.50
  • Paper applications: £85

Will my supporting documents be returned?

All your documentation will be returned separately from your passport once your application is completed. If you wish, you can pay an additional charge for a secure delivery, that will let you track your package. You will be responsible for providing a valid UK address where your documents and passport will be delivered.

Any personal information used or provided during your interview will be destroyed after your passport is issued.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In order to be able to apply for a British passport, you must have been granted naturalised status. You will need your Certificate of Naturalisation to apply for your passport if you are not British by birth or descent.

Your passport will be valid for ten years but can be withdrawn or suspended at any time. You may not be able to get a new passport, or your existing passport may be taken from you, if any of the following apply:

  • You are a suspect in a serious crime and there is a warrant for your arrest
  • A court order prevents you from having a UK passport, or places restrictions on your travel
  • You have been brought back to the UK at the government’s expense and have not repaid what you owe
  • There is a European Union or United Nations order that restricts your travel

More on the Naturalisation application process 

Yes – as long as your child is a British Citizen, they will be eligible to hold a British passport. Once issued, a child passport lasts for five years.
When applying for a child passport, the parent or guardian must sign the form and act as the official applicantBoth parents’ details must be given when the application is made. If you cannot provide the details of one of the parents, you must include a letter to say why this is. This letter could be necessary if, for example, you are the only parent named on the birth certificate, or you adopted the child as a single parent.
If your child is not a British Citizen, our expert immigration lawyers can advise you on the UK immigration rules and your child’s eligibility. We can discuss the documentation and forms required to make a British passport application with you as part of our Advice Package. 

Before you apply for your British passport, you will need to gather some essential documents for your first British passport. As a naturalised citizen, you will need your Naturalisation Certificate and the passport that you used to come to the UK as a foreign national. You cannot send photocopies and only original travel documents will be accepted.

In addition to your original travel documents, you will also need to send two identical photos which will need to be countersigned by a person of good standing in the community. If you are applying from within the UK, the counter-signatory will need to live in the UK and hold a British passport.

They will be required to sign your application and photograph to confirm that they have known you for more than two years, that the photo is a likeness of you and that, as far as they are aware, the information you have provided is correct.

They need to write the following statement on the back of one photo: “I certify that this is a true likeness of [title and full name of adult or child who is getting the passport].” They may be contacted by HM Passport Office to confirm the information and this can delay the process if they are unreachable for any reason.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be summoned for an interview to confirm your passport application. This must be booked at your local HM Office.

The interview will take about 30 minutes. If it is successful, your case will be finalised, but you will still have to wait for your passport to be delivered to you.

As this will be your first adult British passport, the application process may take a little longer. Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) will need to carry out more checks on your British passport application to ensure you are entitled to it.

When you apply for a British passport, allow at least six weeks for your passport application to be processed. You have to send your existing travel documents with your application. So it is important not to book any travel until after you have received your British passport.

At IAS, we understand the importance a passport can have on your freedom and peace of mind.

Our immigration lawyers can assist you through each stage of the application process.

One of our lawyers will assist you by:

  • checking your documents to ensure that they are sufficient for your application;
  • liaising with the Home Office during the application process;
  • writing a Letter of Representation to support your application; and
  • completing each part of your British passport application form to the highest standard.

Contact us on 0333 363 8577 or use our online contact form for more information on your British passport application.