Immigration Corner | Changing personal details on a British passport
Dear Mr Bassie,
How would someone go about changing personal details on their British passport? Please advise.
Please note that persons will need to get a new passport if they change any of the following:
• Their name
• Their gender
• Their appearance. That is, if they cannot be recognised from their passport photo any more, for example, they have had plastic surgery.
Please be aware that persons will not be allowed to travel if they make a reservation to travel under a different name from what is on their passport.
Those persons will be sent a new 10-year passport and time left on their old passport will not be added to the new one.
Changes that do not have to be reported
Persons do not have to tell HM Passport Office or get a new passport if they:
• Change their address or contact details
• Get a new job
• Change their appearance slightly - for example, dye your hair or grow a beard
• Change their marital status (divorce, marry or form a civil partnership) but keep their name
• Change their title, for example, doctor or professor
• Become a national of another country as well as the UK
Persons can apply for a new passport online. It costs £75.50. Persons can also apply using a paper application form. Persons can get a paper application form by either:
• Going to a Post Office in the United Kingdom that has a Check and Send service;
• Calling the Passport Adviceline in the United Kingdom;
And this costs £85.
Persons should fill in and sign their passport applications using the name that they want to see printed on the passport. Persons must get a counter signature if their appearance has changed and they cannot be recognised from their existing passport. Please note that persons do not need a countersignature if they are changing their name or adding a title.
Please be aware that unexpired visas in the old passport may become invalid if persons change their name. Persons should check with the embassy or consulate of the country that issued the visa.
Just for completeness, if persons have dual citizenship (dual nationality) and have a non-British passport, the name on their non-British passport must match the name and gender that they want on their British passport. If it is different, change the details on the non-British passport before applying for a new British passport.
Marriage or civil partnership change
Persons can get a new passport in their new name either before or after the ceremony.
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