There are a number of requirements and procedures to be aware of when applying for a British passport. You may be applying for your first British passport or renewing your current passport that is nearing its expiry date. It could be that you are applying from overseas or from within the UK.
In this blog, we provide 3 Top Tips when applying for a British passport.
1. Be aware of differing processing times
The processing times for a British passport application will depend on whether it is your first application and where you are applying from.
As part of your application, you may need to send your original passports to the processing centre, which could mean that you are restricted from travelling whilst you wait for a decision.
It is therefore very important to know the processing time for your application so that you can plan accordingly.
Applying for a first British passport from the UK – Standard processing times are up to 10 weeks, subject to delays. For adults, there is no priority service available, however, a priority service can be purchased for children, reducing the processing time to 1 week, subject to delays.
Applying for a first British passport from overseas – Standard processing times can take 12 to 14 weeks, subject to delays, and there is no priority service available.
Renewing your first British passport from the UK – Standard processing times are up to 10 weeks, subject to delays, however, a priority service is usually available. If you are able to purchase the priority service, you may be able to receive your new passport on the same day, or up to 7 working days later, subject to delays.
Renewing your first British passport from overseas – Standard processing times could take between 3 to 6 weeks, subject to delays.
2. Your photograph must meet the strict HM Passport Office requirements
As part of your application, you will need to submit a passport size photograph of yourself. The photograph must meet the strict HM Passport Office requirements, which include ensuring that you are looking straight at the camera, have a plain expression and that the photograph is taken against a plain light-coloured background. Additionally, the lighting must meet the requirements and there should be no shadows in the photograph.
You can find more details using this link: https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports
Failure to meet HM Passport Office’s photograph requirements can lead to a delay in the processing of your application.
3. Check your countersignatory’s email address
As part of the application, you may need to provide details of a countersignatory who is willing to verify your identity.
You will need to provide your countersignatory’s email address, which the Home Office will use to contact your countersignatory.
If there is an error in the email address, this could cause delays to the application. As such, it is worthwhile double-checking that their details are correct before submission!
The requirements and procedures for British passport applications vary depending on whether you are applying for your first passport, or renewing it, and where you are applying from. Therefore, it is crucial to know what is required and what to expect for your particular application to avoid potential issues and delays.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.