Mon | Oct 22, 2018

Immigration Corner | How do I get a British passport?

Published:Tuesday | October 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am an adult who will be visiting the United Kingdom and I would like to apply for my first British passport. Could you please advise me how to go about doing this?

- MV

Dear MV,

Persons applying for their first adult passport must have British nationality to be eligible for a British passport. Persons can apply for a first adult passport if they are aged 16 years or over, or will be within three weeks, and never held a United Kingdom child passport. Persons can use their child passport until it expires, even if they are over 18 years of age. Please note that persons can follow the process for getting a first adult passport if the previous passports held were either an old black or blue passport.

It should be noted that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom, or United Kingdom nationals living in the European Union, while the United Kingdom remains in the European Union.

If the applicant is in the United Kingdom he/she can: fill in their information online then print and post the form, photographs and documents to the address on the form. An applicant cannot use the Passport Check and Send service if the form is filled in online but should get a paper form from a post office that offers the Passport Check and Send service; contact the Passport Advice Line and get a form posted to him/her.

The contact for the Passport Adviceline Online enquiry form is:

Telephone: 0300 222 0000

Textphone: 0300 222 0222

Text Relay: 18001 0300 222 0000

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 5:30 p.m.

It can take around six weeks to get the first United Kingdom adult passport, but some applications may take longer. When filling in the paper form the applicant should fill in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9. The applicant's counter signatory needs to fill in section 10 and certify the photograph. Please be aware that there is more help in the booklet that comes with the form.

With online applications persons should post their form, photographs and documents to the address on the declaration form; applicants cannot use the Passport Check and Send service.

With paper applications persons can either: post their form, photos and documents using the pre-printed envelope that comes with the form or take their form, photos and documents to the post office if they want to use the Passport Check and Send service.

After making the application, persons can track their passport applications. HM Passport Office will make contact if they need to interview the applicant to confirm the identity .

- 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).