Over the past few years, due to the imminent threats coming from various Muslim terrorist organizations with relatives in the UK and due to the huge population of Muslim and other asian minorities with similar traditions or religion which make them look suspiciously alike, both in terms of look and in terms of names and looks the UK government has thought to apply some extra security measures in order to ensure, that whoever applies for a new British passport or wants to replace a damaged, lost or stolen passport has to go through an additional process which further confirms that the applicant is his or her own person.
The key reason for this is due to the uniform looks, uniform clothing and the great similarity of names especially of Muslims descending from originally Pakistani, Pashtoun and Indian families all bearing the same names. The uniform look, the long beard and the large tendency of specific names can make identification of a person very hard. This may also raise the chances of someone’s passport being stolen and used easily for someone else to travel or to enter in the country.
This is why, the government has decided to include a so called countersignatory in the application process, someone who is a friend or an acquaintant who can provide an additional proof of someone’s identity. It’s very important to note that this person cannot be a close relative, a sibling, a parent, or a child of the applicant. The countersignatory can be a colleague, an acquaintant or a not that close friend who can confirm that they have known the applicant for more than two years. With their countersignature they help with the identification. They can also be legally held responsible if they are caught lying.
The countersignatory must provide with his or her signature and their passport number that they do know the applicant and are able to confirm their exact identity. They have to be a British, an Irish, a US or a Commonwealth citizen, yet preferably it’s best they are British or Irish to make the application process all the faster and more effective.
If the government sees any contradictions or wants to know more about the exact relationship between the applicant and their countersignatory they can call in the countersignatory for extra interviews and can reach out to him for further questioning at any given time. The government hold the right to refuse an application is the countersignatory’s own person proves not to be enough of a proof for someone’s identity.
The countersignatory should not only sign the application form, they also need to write their confirmation on the back of both passport photos of the applicant. Applicant must warn their countersignatory that in case the government is unable to reach them at any time, this may stop or even cancel out the whole application process altogether.
If you have any upcoming questions about the person of countersignatory or to ask who can become your own countersignatory, then either give a call to the British Passport Customer Services Number or contact the government office via email.