British passport application process know-how

Before we get started with the introduction we must underline the fact that only British citizens can apply for a British passport. The process is now solely and exclusively handled by the HM Passport office in the UK which means that even those expats living abroad all around the world can only apply for a passport through the website and application through consulates is not possible any longer.

The average time for processing the passport application

In the UK there are several additional security checks which apply, which also means that the process of obtaining a passport is longer than in other countries. On average if you apply for a passport living in the UK it would take around 3 to 6 weeks in case of a new passport, however if you want to renew your passport the process can take up to 6 weeks therefore it’s wise to start it way before you are to travel anywhere.

This application process is even sturdier for those living abroad. According to the latest press releases, expats living abroad wanting to renew their passports will need to wait up until 2 months in order to get their new passport. The total price of the process makes things even harder.

Currently it costs a whopping GBP 72.50 to apply for a standard 32 page passport that’s eligible for 10 years. If you are a frequent traveller who needs to use the passport very frequently you may obtain a so-called Jumbo passport which has 48 pages instead of the general 32. The application cost of this however costs also more: it’s GBP 85.50 per application. For extra urgency you may end up paying double as much money. Expats need to pay an extra fee depending on their country of residence. Call the HM Passport Office Contact Number for more information on extra fees and processes.

As for the method of application there are multiple ways to apply:

Online: all you need to do is to visit the website in order to apply online. You will need to fill out the application form submit it alongside the payment which you will need to do online with the help of a debit or a credit card.

Post office: you can also visit your local post office and buy an application form which you can fill out manually and then you can post it to the HM Office directly. In this case you have the chance to pay either by debit or credit card, you can pay by check using the Post office Check and Send service (for an extra fee of GBP 8) or you can also pay by cash.

You will also need to provide two standard passport sized photographs. Check out the rules for passport photos to learn about the conditions which apply for passport photographs.

If you want to update your passport due to name, gender or drastic changes in your appearance you will need to send a passport renewal application form and the fee of GBP 72.50 along with it. The new passport will be valid for 10 years.