Sun | Nov 17, 2019

Immigration Corner | British passport renewal process

Published:Tuesday | April 16, 2019 | 12:23 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr. Bassie,

I am a British passport holder and I would like to know what is the procedure to renew my passport?

Thanks in advance.

HS

Dear HS,

Please note that it costs £75.50 to renew or replace a British passport if the application is made online, or £85 if the applicant fills out a paper form.

An applicant must be aged 16 years or older, or turning 16 within the next three weeks if he/she is applying for an adult passport. Please note that there is a different process to get a passport for a child.

If an applicant is in the United Kingdom, he/she can renew their passport if it is expired or will expire soon, including if the applicant currently has a child passport. The applicant is also able to replace the passport if it has been lost, stolen or damaged and to change the details on the passport.

It should be noted that there are different ways to renew or replace a British passport if outside the United Kingdom.

Application Time

It should take three weeks to get the passport and the applicant can use a different service if he/she needs it urgently. The application can take longer if more information is needed on the application and if it has not been filled in correctly.

Persons should not book travel until they have a valid passport - doing so is at their own risk. Please remember that a new passport will not have the same number as the old one. Persons can track their passport application immediately if they apply online or after three weeks if the application is made by post.

Obtaining the new passport

The new passport will be sent by courier or Royal Mail. The passport authorities will either post it through the letterbox; hand it to the applicant if he/she is at home; leave a card or post a letter saying how the person can get it. Please note that it will not say the package is your passport.

If a passport is expired, the applicant must renew it before he/she can travel. Please note that a person can renew a passport at any time, but time left on the old passport will not be added to the new one. Please note that persons must replace their passport if it has been lost, stolen or damaged rather than renew it

Renewal

When renewing using a paper application form, persons can get such form by either going to a post office that has a Check and Send service or by calling the Passport Adviceline and the cost for this is £85.

Photos

If persons use the new online passport renewal service, they will need someone to take a photo of them using a digital camera or smartphone.

If persons use the existing online service, send in the application by post they will need two identical new photos of themselves. Please note that the application can be delayed if persons do not follow the rules about passport photos.

Counter signatories

If the applicant cannot be recognised from the photo in their existing passport, he/she should get their application form and one of their photos countersigned by someone else to prove his/her identity.

Payment Method

Persons will need a credit or debit card to apply online. If the application is made by post, it can either be paid by a debit or credit card - fill in the form in the application pack or by cheque that is made payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’

Renewing the passport before travel

If the passport will expire soon, persons might need to renew it before travelling. Check the entry requirements of the countries being visited before booking travel.

Travelling to the EU if there is no Brexit deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, October 31, 2019, persons will need at least six months left on their passport when travelling to most EU countries and a passport that is less than 10 years old, even if it has six months or more left on it.

Unexpired visas

Persons are advised that they should send the previous passport with the visa attached to it with their application. Please note that the previous passport will be returned to the applicant and he/she will be able to use the visa, if both passports are produced in conjunction.

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