How to Apply for a British Passport

Once you become a British citizen, through registration or naturalisation, you may be eligible to apply for a British passport, which will allow you increased freedom in the UK and grant you visa-free access to many countries worldwide.

Total Law is an experienced immigration advice firm that can help you with any of your immigration queries. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375, or contact us online, to speak to an expert immigration lawyer, whether to ask about your route to British citizenship or how to apply for a British passport.

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    Overview of a British Passport

    A UK passport is an identity document issued by the UK government to British citizens for the primary purpose of travel.

    However, not only does holding a British passport allow you to travel freely across UK borders without immigration restrictions, it is also one of the most powerful passports in the world.

    Holding a British passport will allow you to travel to nearly 150 countries without a visa, and many others with a visa.

    Aside from the travel benefits of being a UK passport holder, it is very useful and will grant you the same privileges of a British person.

    Holding a UK passport will allow you to live, work, study, claim public funds, access education, and prove your residency in the UK with this official document.

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    When Can I Apply for a British Passport?

    You can only apply for a British passport if you are a British Citizen; citizenship gives you the right to live and work permanently in the UK without restrictions.

    People with a British parent may automatically be eligible for British citizenship, but otherwise, Egyptian nationals will have to gain citizenship through another route.

    If you’re over 18 years old, after registration or naturalisation, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony within three months of successfully applying to become a British citizen. Following which, you will be given your certificate of British citizenship.

    Once you have been granted British citizenship, you can apply for a passport, which can be used to prove that you are a UK national.

    If you have any queries about the different routes to citizenship, contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 for expert and personalised advice on your circumstances.

    What Do I Need to Apply for a British Passport?

    Several documents need to be submitted as part of your passport application, and any missing documents can cause delays in your passport being issued or even result in your passport application being rejected. When submitting your documents, they must be the original versions and not photocopies (although official copies may be accepted for any missing originals).

    For your first British passport, you must submit:

    • Two recent identical passport photos meeting the strict photo requirements
    • Your certificate of naturalisation or registration
    • Your original travel documents
    • The details of someone, a countersignatory, who can confirm your identity (not applicable for online applications)
    • Evidence of a parent’s immigration status or citizenship if you were born after January 1983

    When filling in your application form, it is essential that you complete it correctly. In particular, you should make sure your name is correct and consistent across all documents, that you use your new name (if you have changed it) and include any maiden or previous names, and finally, include the details of any previous passports you have held.

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      How to Apply for a British Passport?

      The standard passport application process is to apply online through the Home Office website, gov.uk. This is the most cost-effective way to apply for a passport, and the online application form will guide you through the process.

      For an additional fee, you can apply using a paper form from a Post Office and send it, alongside your supporting documents, directly to UKVI.

      The Post Office also offers a ‘Check and Send Service’ where they will check your application and supporting documents and post them to the HM Passport Office by Special Delivery.

      It is also possible to apply by appointment; this is the only manner you can apply for the 1-day premium and 1-week fast track services.

      When applying online, the gov.uk website will lead you through an online process where you will upload your passport photos or submit the passport photo code you were provided if you used a photo shop or booth.

      The photo will go through a basic technical check to assess if it meets the requirements.

      Following this, you will submit all your personal information on the online form, pay for your passport fee, and supply the details and email address of someone who can confirm your identity.

      Once your identity has been confirmed, you will receive an email asking you to send all your supporting documents.

      Who Can Confirm My Identity?

      If you are applying using a paper form, you will need someone to countersign your application to confirm your identity. Not everyone can confirm your identity for your passport application and they must meet some criteria.

      The person must be an adult living in the UK who is a UK passport holder. You must have known them for at least two years and they must be a friend, neighbour, or colleague but not a family member, partner, immigration employee or doctor.

      The most challenging requirement to meet is their profession. The person confirming your identity must be from a recognised profession listed on the gov.uk website, for example:

      • Accountant
      • Lawyer
      • Dentist
      • Engineer
      • Social worker

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        Fees and Processing Time

        The Home Office website explains that you will usually receive your passport three weeks after you submit your passport application. This time may be extended to up to six weeks if it is your first passport, they need further information to process your passport application, or need to interview you.

        In cases where you need a passport urgently, they offer a premium or a one-week fast-track service; however, this is only available through appointment.

        A standard adult passport costs £82.50.

        How Do I Renew My Passport?

        Your British passport will be valid for ten years. As you approach the ten-year mark, you will need to renew it before you travel, as many countries will not allow you to enter the country if your passport is due to expire within the next three months.

        Each country has different restrictions so you will need to check before you travel.

        You can renew your passport online or by post, and you will need to submit your old passport, any valid passports you have from another country, and a new digital passport photo.

        The online passport renewal fee is £82.50, and the postal application is £93.00.

        If you lose your passport before it expires, you will have to follow a different process to apply for a new passport.

        Can My Application Be Refused?

        In some cases, it is possible that your passport application can be refused, regardless of your status as a British citizen. Some of the reasons for a refusal can include:

        • The HM Passport Office are unable to verify the details you provided on your application
        • Your application was not completed fully, correctly or accurately
        • You have not paid your application fee
        • You are being investigated for citizenship deprivation purposes
        • You are suspected of using your passport for organised criminal activities or terrorism-related activities

        You can minimise the chance of your application being rejected by providing proof of your identity, checking you are definitely eligible based on your citizenship status, and completing your application correctly.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Receiving your British citizenship status can be an exciting time and relieving to know you will be able to travel and live freely in the UK. Applying for a British passport will grant you increased freedom and provide evidence of your citizenship; however, it can be expensive to apply and be rejected based on an incorrectly completed application form.

        Total Law are reliable and affordable immigration lawyers with considerable experience helping people with their immigration, citizenship, and passport applications. We are invested lawyers who will support you with any of your queries or applications and ensure you complete your applications as best as possible and increase your chances of a positive decision.

        Our services include:

        • Checking your application and supporting documents
        • Liaising with the HM Passport Office
        • Completing your application form on your behalf

        Contact us today on 0333 305 9375 or online for immediate advice on your personal situation.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes. Once your documents have been processed, your supporting documents will be returned by post to the address you provide.

                  Yes, although your child must also be a British citizen. When applying for a child’s passport, the parent or guardian must sign the form and both the parents’ personal details must be provided; you must include a letter explaining if you are unable to provide both parents’ details.

                  A child’s passport is only valid for five years instead of ten.

                  When you receive your British citizenship, you will have to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will receive your confirmation certificate. During the ceremony, you will have to make an oath of allegiance or affirmation that says you will respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK.

                  Some people who have parents who are British citizens are automatically eligible for citizenship, although this depends on where and when you were born and your parents’ situation. Typically, if you were born in the UK and one of your parents is either settled or a British citizen, you will automatically be British.

                  If you were born outside the UK between certain dates and one of your parents was a British citizen, you may also be eligible; however, there are different rules depending on your birth date and whether your mother or your father was the British citizen.

                  If you are over 16 years old, you may need to attend an interview, which helps HM Passport Office to confirm your identity and validity of your passport application. This step aims to reduce identity fraud and prevents people from using your identity, although it does increase the processing time of your passport application.

                  If you need to attend an interview, you will receive a letter explaining how to make an appointment, provide options of where your interview can be held, and detail what documents you will need to bring.