British Passport

Applying for your first British passport is an exciting step.  A passport is a final step in the immigration process to being a British national, showing your valid status and permitting international travel.

If you have any questions regarding obtaining a new British passport, you can contact our expert team of immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process. You can call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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    What is the eligibility for a British passport?

    A British passport is an official travel document that will permit holders to enter and leave the UK free from any immigration controls. British passports can be used as proof of identity for accessing benefits and services and the right to work, study and live permanently in the UK.

    To be considered for a passport application, you must first be a British citizen.

    For your first British passport, you have to be aged 16 or over (or will be in 3 weeks) and you’ve never had a UK passport before.

    If you are not a British citizen then you must apply for citizenship before you apply for a passport. Once you have satisfied all the requirements for British Citizenship and gotten your certificate of Naturalization or British citizenship registration status at your citizenship ceremony, you can apply for a British passport.

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    What is the application process for your first UK passport?

    For your first British passport, you can apply for it in a number of ways.

    1. Online application. Online passport applications are easy and £9.50 cheaper than other methods. The online way is well set out and easy to follow.
    2. Post office via paper form. You will need to attend your local post office alongside the required documents and fees. The Post office will send your documents via their secure passport service to Her Majesty Passport Office via special delivery.
    3. Post – which outgoing via the post office. You can send your passport application along with all the required documents to the UK Visas and Immigration. It will be important to send your passport application with the correct postage.
    4. By appointment – there is an option for an appointment that offers a 1-day premium or 1-week fast track.

    If you are applying for a British passport from outside of the UK, the process is done online, though this will vary depending on the country you are applying from.

    If you are from a country that permits an online passport application, you’ll need to do an online digital passport picture, passport application, evidence documents, pay the required fee, then you are able to track your application progress online.

    Depending on your individual situation, you may be asked to attend an interview to confirm your passport application. If you are, you should book your appointment at your local Her majesty’s Passport Office.

    The interview takes approximately 30 minutes and is currently taking place in person at her majesty’s passport office and online via video.

    If the interview is successful, your case will be finalized, but you will still have to wait for your passport to be delivered to you.  Your new passport will be delivered by courier or recorded delivery.

    What are the documents required for a British passport?

    For the application process to be successful, it is important to note that the passport application requires certain documents that need to be in English, so if your paperwork is not in English, you’ll have to get it translated. It is important that they are the original documents and photocopied versions are not acceptable.

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

    • Your birth certificate or adoption certificate (only applicable if you were born in the UK before January 1983)
    • Evidence of a parents details and immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
    • Your certificate or naturalization or registration (only applicable if you were born outside the UK)
    • Passport application supporting documents
    • Someone who can confirm your identity (if relevant). This is someone who can confirm your identity and must know you for at least two years and can confirm that your passport application information is accurate. They must be someone who holds UK citizenship, currently living in the UK, is a professional, not a family member, not in a relationship, not living with you, not working at the home office.

    You are required to submit original documents, and they will be returned from the passport office upon the application being completed.

    You will be asked to provide a valid UK address where your documents and passport will be returned to you.

    How much does getting your first UK passport cost?

    There are fees associated with getting a passport from the HM passport office. The cost of your British passport will depend on the type of application and from where you are submitting your form.

    If you are making your British passport application from inside the UK, the fees will be:

    For online applications: £75.50

    For paper applications: £85

    Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, paper applications are taking longer than online applications.

    How long does a new passport take to get?

    For a new adult passport (applicants 16+) the wait times vary and you should really give it 10 weeks. You should not make travel arrangements without your new valid passport.

    The wait times are:

    • To apply for a first adult passport takes approximately 5 weeks
    • To renew a passport takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To replace a damaged passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To replace a lost or stolen passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To change your personal details, it takes approximately 4 weeks

    For a new child passport (applicants under 16) the wait times vary and you should really give it 10 weeks. You should not make travel arrangements without your new valid passport.

    The wait times are:

    • To apply for a first passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To renew a passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To replace a damaged passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To replace a lost or stolen passport, it takes approximately 4 weeks
    • To change your personal details, it takes approximately 4 weeks

    How can I get a first child passport for my children?

    For children under 16, a carer with parental responsibility for children must apply for the passport on their behalf.

    The children’s passport application needs to give both parents’ details when you apply. If you cannot provide the other parent’s details, you need to explain the reason.

    Per UK immigration rules, the child passport costs £49 for online applications and £58.50 for paper form applications from the Post Office. A child passport is valid for 5 years.

    Similar to adult passports, the application can be done either online or by post.

    The documents you need to for a child British passport application are:

    • 2 passport approved photos of your child
    • The child’s birth certificate or adoption certificate (which confirm the person with parental responsibility on it)
    • Evidence of the child’s British nationality – like a British registration certificate, parent’s passport details or parent’s birth certificates, etc.
    • Any passports from a different country belonging to the child
    • Any relevant court orders pertaining to custody
    spouse visa
    a hand holding a british passport

    What circumstances are UK passports denied or rejected?

    Depending on your individual circumstances, there are situations when it may be refused.

    • If Her Majesty’s passport office cannot verify the details on an application, they can refuse to issue a passport
    • If an applicant person is being investigated for citizenship deprivation purposes
    • Incomplete application or Inaccurate information
    • Unsettled application fees
    •  Investigations that the applicant intends to use the passport for terrorism-related or serious, organized criminal activities

    Having a British passport application refused can be frustrating. As such you should ensure you meet the following criteria:

    • You can provide accurate proof of your identity
    • You are eligible for a British passport based on your citizenship status
    • There are no other reasons why your passport should be refused

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Attending an interview for your application will depend on your individual circumstance.

                If you are required to have an interview, you’ll be invited and the interview is around 30 minutes.

                It is very important not to book any travel until after you have received your British passport.

                Since it is your first adult British passport, the application process may take longer than normal. Her Majesty’s Passport Office will have to complete many 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.

                For people 16 years or older, passports are valid for 10 years. Under 16, a passport is valid for 5 years.

                It depends where you are going. Many countries require that a passport has at least 6 months beyond the competition of the vacation or travel.

                If your passport expires sooner than that, you must apply to renew your passport.