British Passport Application

Our team has extensive experience of preparing successful first British passport applications. We are experts in immigration and nationality matters and can advise and assist you at every stage of your passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office (“HMPO”).

Having worked with the Home Office, we understand how carefully they will assess every application and if they deem that you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or if any of the requirements regarding the process or documentation have not been met, the application can be refused.  Our team will work diligently to ensure that your applications are successful.

British Passport Application

How can I apply for a British passport?

After becoming a British citizen, either by registration or naturalisation, you can apply for a British passport. For many people, obtaining a British passport marks the end of a long immigration process. It will allow you to leave and enter the UK freely and can be used as an identification document. It also provides proof of nationality, which can be used as evidence of your right to live, work and study in the UK.

However, a British passport is not automatically issued to you after you obtain British Nationality – it must still be applied for.

How does the British passport application process work?

The process varies depending on where you are applying from. If you are applying from within the UK, you can submit your application:

  • Online;
  • By post directly to UK Visas and Immigration;
  • Via the Post Office Check & Send Service; or
  • By appointment (specific conditions apply).

If you are applying for a British passport from abroad, the application process will vary depending on the country from which you are making your application. Our diligent team provides country-specific advice in relation to applications made from abroad on a case-by-case basis.

What documents are required?

In addition to submitting the application form, the following documentation will also be necessary:

  • Your certificate of naturalisation or registration;
  • Two identical recent photographs, which must meet specific criteria; and
  • All current, uncancelled identity documents held.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be required to submit other documents, including:

  • The passport you used to travel to the UK;
  • Any other uncancelled passports held in your name;
  • Your birth or adoption certificate; and
  • Evidence of your parents’ immigration status.

You will also need to assign a counter-signatory. This is someone, chosen by you, who will confirm your identity and the factual matters you have stated on your application. The chosen person must be someone who has known you personally for at least two years, and be a member of (or retired from) a set list of HMPO recognised profession.

How long will it take?

Processing times can vary considerably. As an approximate guide, we would recommend leaving at least 10 weeks for your application to be processed.

HMPO reserves the right to interview any applicant applying for their first British passport, and it is possible that you will be required to attend a passport interview with the Identity and Passport Service.

There is an expedited service available for first Child British passports, who may choose to apply via HMPO’s one-week Fast Track service. However, this service is subject to HMPO appointment availability, and HMPO does not guarantee the one-week timeframe.

Will I be given a British passport?

Only British nationals will be granted British passports. However, having British nationality does not guarantee that you will be granted a British passport. You may not be given a British passport if:

  • A court has ordered that you may not be granted a British passport;
  • You are on bail under conditions that prevent you from leaving the UK;
  • You are suspected of a serious crime and a warrant has been issued for your arrest; or
  • You have been brought back to the UK at the government’s expense and you have not repaid what you owe.

If your application has been refused for one or more of these reasons, or due to an error or omission on your application form, this will not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a British passport in the future. Our experienced team regularly successfully advises clients in relation to a refused British passport application.

For more information about us and our British Citizenship and Naturalisation services, please contact a member of the team who can answer any questions and guide you through the process.


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I am currently abroad and due to have a baby in the next couple of months. What would happen if I am unable to return to the UK because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my child is born outside the UK? Will I be able to apply for my baby’s British passport from abroad. I currently hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status in the UK.

Unfortunately not. If the child is born in the UK…

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Unfortunately not. If the child is born in the UK and you have ILR status in the UK, the child is a British citizen. If the child is born outside the UK and you have ILR status in the UK, the child is not British (unless the child’s other parent is a British Citizen otherwise than by descent). You can apply for a visa to bring your child with you when you return to the UK, but it will not have an automatic right to British citizenship at birth.

My son was born in Uganda. His father is a naturalised British citizen. Is it possible to obtain a British passport for my son based on his father’s British nationality?

Your son may have a claim to British citizenship and…

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Your son may have a claim to British citizenship and be able to apply for a British passport, provided he was born after his father obtained British citizenship himself.

Because your son’s father obtained British citizenship by way of naturaliation, he is considered a British  ‘otherwise than by descent’ and is therefore able to automatically pass his citizenship to his children, regardless of where the child is born.

My husband and I are EU nationals and our child was born in the UK. We have obtained Settled Status in the UK but only after our child was born. Is our child eligible for British citizenship?

As your child was born in the UK, and you…

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As your child was born in the UK, and you subsequently obtained Settled Status, your child may be registered as a British citizen at any time prior to their 18th birthday.

Once the Home Office have registered your child as a British citizen, an application can be made for your child’s first British passport.


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