Tue | Feb 20, 2018

Immigration Corner | Looking for a quick solution

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Clipart graphic Worried

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am British and I am living in Jamaica. I plan to be in the United Kingdom for a short visit and I would like to renew my passport while I am there. Is there a quick way to do this?

- BG

Dear BG,

Persons are able to get a passport using the one-day premium service or one-week fast-track service if one is needed urgently and if in the United Kingdom. Persons cannot use either service if they are outside of the United Kingdom. While there, persons will need to book an appointment at a passport customer service centre. They may look up the address of the centre nearest to where they are staying. It is advisable to use the normal service if the application is not urgent.

With respect to the one-day premium service, persons are able to utilise this service if they can provide a completed application form, two photographs, and all supporting documents. Details of the supporting documents are in the booklet that comes with the paper form. Someone else can take these documents to the appointment on their behalf as long as they are in the United Kingdom at the time.




If successful, persons can usually collect it four hours after their appointment. If someone is collecting the passport, they will need to take their ID, for example, passport, driver's license, or a utility bill that is less than three months old; a signed and dated letter from the applicant naming them and giving them permission to collect the passport; and the application receipt received when the cashier accepted the application.

Also, the one-week fast-track service will ensure that the passport is sent to their home address within one week of the appointment, excluding bank holidays, if a completed application form, two photos, and all other supporting documents are provided. Please remember that someone may need to be at the address given to sign for it.

If a person has already applied for a passport, he/she may be able to upgrade an existing passport application in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, a call to the 'Passport Adviceline' should be made to find out whether it is possible to upgrade. Persons do not need to book an appointment online to do this.

In order to use the fast-track method, a person should get a paper application form from a post office as the application cannot be made online. Next, the person should book an appointment online and pay the non-refundable passport fee and fill in the application form and gather all documents before the appointment. The fee will not be refunded if the appointment is missed or cancelled, or if the completed form, photographs, and documents are not taken.

Please be aware that if a person does not go to the appointment, he/she will not get a refund. Persons can use the link in their email confirmation to change the appointment if the booking is more than two days away.

If the one-day premium or one-week fast-track service is desired, it is usually quicker to book the appointment online. The claim form gives details of exceptional circumstances in which persons can get a refund. This should be sent to the passport customer service centre where the appointment took place and be addressed it to the customer service manager.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace; a Supreme Court-appointed mediator; a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; a chartered arbitrator; and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com