Immigration Corner | Documents required for a British passport
Dear Mr Bassie,
When making an application for a British passport, what photographs and documents should be sent with the appli-cation or taken to the interview, if you are required to attend one? Any advice would greatly assist.
Please be aware that persons must send original documents. Photocopies are not accepted. Official copies of certificates, for example, birth certificates, are accepted.
Certified copies are only accepted if they are a certified translation of documents that are not in English or Welsh. Laminated documents are only accepted if that is the only format the documents are issued in.
Applications must include two identical photos. Persons must get someone to sign ('countersign') the applicants' form and one of the photos.
Persons who were born or adopted in the United Kingdom before January 1, 1983, must send their full birth certificate or adoption certificate. If born on or after January 1, 1983, they must send their full birth certificate or adoption certificate and either their mother's or father's full United Kingdom birth certificate, their mother's or father's Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation, a British passport belonging to one of their parents that was valid when they were born, or a British passport number for either parent.
If unable to do so, the applicant must provide evidence of one of their parents' immigration status in the United Kingdom at the time of their birth, for example, a foreign passport belonging to one of their parents that was valid at the time of birth.
If persons send documents relating to their father, they must also send their parents' marriage certificate.
If persons were born outside of the United Kingdom, they should send both their naturalisation or registration certificate, and the passport that was used to go into the United Kingdom or oreign passport that the applicant was included on.
If a person is a citizen of a British overseas territory and was born before January 1, 1983, that person should send all of the following belonging to him/her:
- Birth certificate,
- Current passport,
- The passport used to go into the United Kingdom or the foreign passport in which he or she was included.
If he or she was born before January 1, 1983, and the father was born in the United Kingdom, all of the following must be sent:
- Full birth certifi-cate showing parents' details,
- Father's birth certificate,
- Parents' marriage certificate,
- The passport used to enter the United Kingdom or the foreign passport that the person was included on.
Persons who were born on or after January 1, 1983, should send all of the following:
- Their full birth certificate showing their parents' details,
- The passport used to enter the United Kingdom or any foreign passport in which they were included,
Evidence of one parent's British nationality, for example their UK birth or adoption, naturalisation or registration certificate.
If these documents relate to the father, persons must include the marriage certificate showing marriage to the mother. Just to be complete, if circumstances are different, persons are advised to read the guidance booklet. Please note that supporting documents will be sent back by normal post. Persons can pay an extra £5 to get them by secure delivery - this service can be chosen on the application.
After applying, persons may be asked to attend an interview to confirm their identity. They will get a letter from HM Passport Office asking them to phone for an appointment at a passport interview office. Persons can choose the office to go to but may not get the exact time or date requested. The passport interview offices are for interviews only - and applicants should not expect to receive a passport there and then. HM Passport Office may be able to arrange an interview closer to you if you live in a remote area. Ask when you phone. A person may not need an interview if he or she was born on or before September 2, 1929. The letter will state if an interview is not needed.
The interview will take about 30 minutes, and persons will be asked questions about themselves to make sure they are who they claim to be. The application will be processed after the interview, and any personal information used in the interview will be destroyed shortly after the passport is issued, if successful.
- 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:firstname.lastname@example.org.