Applying for your passport

Now that you are officially a British citizen, you can apply for a British passport

Applying for a new passport used to be a relatively simple matter. However, the increase in passport fraud and identity theft has meant that there are more checks to process new applications. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) have introduced interviews for all first-time applicants for a British passport. The interview is to verify your identity by getting you to confirm details about your background and past history.

The IPS recommend that you allow 6 weeks for your passport application to be processed.  This means you should not book an travel until you have attended the interview and received your passport.

Details about booking an interview will be sent to you after your application has been received by HM Passport Office. The interview should take 30 minutes and is free of charge. HM Passport Office recommend that you allow six weeks to obtain a passport, and not to book any travel arrangements until the new passport is received.

Passport application forms

You can get an application form for a British passport using the following methods:

  • Collect a form from selected Post Office® branches
  • Fill in the online application form request to receive a form in the post
  • Call the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000
  • Go online and submit your details using the online application form on the IPS website

If you fill in your form online you get the benefit of interactive help while completing your form. It’s also much easier to correct mistakes. Once you’ve finished submitting your details online, the form is printed and sent to you. All you need to do then is attach your supporting documents and submit your application.

Before sending your application, make sure your photographs comply with biometric regulations. There are strict guidelines for photographs and it is recommended that you visit an experienced passport photo retailer to have your photograph taken.

There are several different ways that you can submit your passport application. These have different turnaround times and fees. Full details of these fees will be included with your application form. Look out for the ‘Check and Send’ service that is available at selected Post Office® branches throughout the UK. This is very popular – almost half of all people making a UK Passport application use this service. Your application is checked for errors and given priority treatment by the Identity and Passport Service. The service is available for a small fee and includes the postage costs for your application.

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