Your First UK Passports & Eligibility

UK passports are considered to be the most powerful travel documents in the world, along with Finland and Sweden a UK passport grants you visa free or visa upon arrival to 173 countries around the world. With unrestricted access to so many countries it's clear to see why UK passports are so desirable.

Each country has their own rules and regulations surrounding eligibility for their passports and ensuring you are eligible can be a long and lengthy process. So, before you make any applications take a look here to see what you need to do to get your British Passport.




Are you a British Citizen applying from overseas?

If you are already a British Citizen but you are applying for your UK passport from overseas, your application process is slightly different. You can now upload digital passport photos as well as sending traditional printed passport photos. To see which service suits your needs take a look at our information below.


Before you apply

Before you start your online application, you will need the following:

• Your current passport - if you have one

• 2 identical new photos of you or your child.

• Any other current passports issued by other countries.

• Any and all supporting documents including birth certificates, marriage certificates, change of name deeds.

• A MasterCard, Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Debit or Maestro (UK Domestic) card - Maestro (International) cards are not accepted.

• A printer - to print and sign your application.



How much will it cost?

You'll have to pay a fee for your passport application as well as a courier fee of £19.86.

This courier fee pays for your passport and supporting documents to be sent back to you securely.

• Adult standard 32-page passport - £83.00 excluding courier fee - £102.86 including courier fee

• Adult jumbo 48-page passport - £91.00 excluding courier fee - £110.86 including courier fee

• Child standard 32-page passport - £72.00 excluding courier fee - £72.86 including courier fee



How long will it take?

Your passport application should take about 4 weeks if you are renewing an existing passport, if you are applying for a first-time passport this time will increase to about 6 weeks. Please remember that during peak times such as Christmas and other busy holidays these times can increase further.

It is important to ensure you have completed your application correctly and that you have sent any and all supporting documents you may need as well as ensuring that your passport photos digital or printed adhere to the guidelines. Any discrepancies may result in your application taking longer and/or being rejected.

The Passport Office will allow you an additional 6 weeks to send an additional supporting documents or information required. If you fail to send the required information within this time your application will be cancelled and you will not be eligible for a refund.

When you receive your new passport, you must sign it before you can use it to travel, this signature must match this of your application.




British nationality and passport eligibility

You can apply for a UK passport if you are one of the following:

• British citizen
• British Overseas Territories citizen
• British overseas citizen
• British subject
• British national living overseas
• British protected person


It can be quite confusing with the vast amounts of information needed to make an informed decision regarding your passport application, if you are unsure if any of these apply to you then please check gov.uk before making a passport application.

If none of these currently apply to you then your next step would be applying to become a British Citizen. There are a couple of different ways this can be done, but it is important to have all of the necessary information before start the process.


Registering as a British Citizen

You may be able to register as a British Citizen if one of the following applies to you:

• You have another form of British nationality
• You were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother
• You were born to a British father, even if he was not married to your mother
• You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
• You're under 18 and don't fit into the other categories
• You have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong
• You're stateless


Please note: There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

This will cost £1163.00 for each adult application and £973.00 for each child application. If your child turns 18 during the application process there will be an additional charge of £80.00 per child turning 18 for a citizenship ceremony.




Naturalisation

Another option is naturalisation, this is the most common way to become a British Citizen. You can apply for naturalisation if the following applies:

• You're 18 or over


• You're of good character, for example, you don't have a serious or recent criminal record, and you haven't tried to deceive the Home Office or been involved in immigration offences in the last 10 years

• You'll continue to live in the UK

• You've met the knowledge of English and life in the UK requirements

• You meet the residency requirement



And you must usually have:

• Lived in the UK for at least the 5 years before the date of your application

• Spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years

• Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

• Had settlement ('indefinite leave to remain') in the UK for the last 12 months if you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

• Had permanent residence status for the last 12 months if you're a citizen of an EEA country - you need to provide a permanent residence document

• Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK



You may also apply for naturalisation if your spouse is a British Citizen. If you're married to, or the civil partner of, a British citizen, you can apply for citizenship if as well as the above:

• You're 18 or over

• You're of sound mind, you're able to think and make decisions for yourself



Unless your spouse or civil partner works abroad either for the UK government or for an organisation closely linked to government, you must usually also have:

• Lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is received

• Spent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years

• Spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months

• Not broken any immigration laws while in the UK




How to apply for naturalisation

If any of the above applies to you then you are eligible to apply for naturalisation and you can do this in two ways, either by post or online. However, you decide to make your application it is important to have all the relevant information to hand as any incorrect or incomplete applications may result in additional waiting time as well as additional fees.


By post

To apply by post you will need to download and print out [Form AN Application for Naturalisation as a British Citizen] This will need to be sent to the address on the form with any and all additional documentation.

If you are currently living outside of the UK you will need to apply by post. This also applies if you are living in the Channel Islands, on the Isle of Man or in a British Overseas Territory


Online

Using the online service next is quick and easier than applying by post, please ensure you have all your information to hand as if you are inactive during your application for 25 minutes or more you will lose your application and need to start a new one.


How much does naturalisation cost?

It will cost £1282.00 per adult application and £973.00 per child application.

You will also need to provide biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20.

The Home Office will tell you when you need to provide your biometric information. Your biometric information is only held until you've attended a citizenship ceremony.

Please note: Even if you meet all the relevant criteria you are not guaranteed to be accepted for naturalisation and the full fee is non-refundable.


Passport applications

Once you are a British Citizen you are then eligible to apply for a UK Passport. You can apply either online or by post. When you apply you will need to attend a passport interview at your local Passport Office, they have locations in Belfast, Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport and Peterborough. Please ensure you bring all original supporting documents and passport photos that adhere to the guidelines.

If you would like to apply online or would like to book a passport appointment you can do so online. To avoid disappointment, losing money and missing out on your upcoming travel plans we always recommend not to book any travel until you have received your passport.

If however, you have already booked your travel and are travelling within the next 4 weeks we strongly recommend using the urgent services, either the Fast-Track 1 week service or the Premium 1 day service both of which are guaranteed services. You can book your urgent passport appointment


Failed passport applications

Whether you were born a British Citizen or you have recent become a British Citizen your passport application is not guaranteed and may still be rejected. This may be for many reasons and may be as simple as your passport photo being incorrect or 3 or more mistakes on your written application, or it could be something more serious such as you are suspected of a serious crime and an arrest warrant has been issued or there is a court order in place restricting your travel movements.

Whatever the cause may be if your passport application has been rejected you are not entitled to a refund, as the price you pay is for your application to be considered and not for the passport document itself. This is because all British passports belong to the queen. You can challenge their decision but this can be a long and costly process, but if you think the decision is wrong please contact Her Majesty's Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm


Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

Call Passport Advice Line

Lines open 8am-8pm


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Passport Office Blog

Our blog is full of useful tips and interesting facts about the world of Passports and Travel.

Passports Office provides relevant information about new passports, renewing an existing passport, and the contact details of key UK passport offices.

This website is not affiliated with Her Majesty's Passport Office from which similar information is available from gov.uk. We are an independent service provider offering services & advice. We charge a service fee of £15.00, £19.00 or £29.00 per applicant, for further support in addition to HM Passport Office fees for your passport.

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