Passport Articles | General Passports

Passport Renewal & Recent Changes

Passport renewal are in high demand but with the Easter holidays just around the corner passport renewals are set to increase considerably as people try grab those last-minute Easter deals. Thousands of travelers take advantage of the time off school and work by jetting off for some sunshine before summer, and with these last-minute booking comes a surge of people realising that their passports need renewing, it's been lost in a move or it's accidentally been put through the washing machine and they need to get their replacement urgently.

There have been many changes in recent months regarding not only the application process but also price changes and now with the uncertainty of Brexit there are changes happening almost weekly. Our aim is to provide you with all the relevant and up to information on passports renewals to ensure you are prepared for your upcoming travels.

Important Changes for 2019

As we have mentioned the passport process is changing and many things that we have taken for granted will no longer be available for customers after certain dates in 2019. Many of our customers are contacting us regarding the rules and regulations of their current passports and how that will affect their renewal after 29th March 2019.

We want to make customers aware of these up coming changes so you can not only ensure your making the right choices for you but also getting the most out of your passport to save you time and money.

You will no longer get the extra time left on your old passport

This has come as a shock to many customers as this has not been widely advertised, up until now a Briton renewing their passport would have had any time left over on their old document, up to a maximum of nine months, added to their new one. Someone whose passport expires on March 1, 2019, for example, would have been able to renew today and still be handed a fresh document valid until March 1, 2029. Now, however, a new passport issued to them today will only be valid until September 13, 2028.

This effective means that many people have had the life of their passports cut down from 10 years to just 9 and a half years. You may want to consider renewing your passport before this change comes into effect, but please be aware some countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Russia, Indonesia and the UAE, only accept passports with at least six months left to run and will not accept any months passed over from your previous passport, please check this before renewing your passport.

From April 2019 you will need to upload your photo online

Many people are familiar with the traditional photo booths and the guidelines for passport photos but this is now changing. You can already upload digital photos to your passport application but as of April 2019 you will no longer be able to send in photos they will have to be uploaded onto your application. There are several ways you can upload your digital photo, please see below for further details.

• Get a friend to take one. They can use a phone, tablet or digital camera. We'll show you how to take a good passport photo and upload it.
• Go to a photo shop. You'll get a digital copy of your photo. Some shops can also give you a photo code, this is not yet available in all shops but will be soon.
• Go to a booth. From some booths in the UK and abroad, you'll be able to get a photo code with your printed photos. We'll show you how to use the code to retrieve your digital photo.

When taken your photo please ensure that you have your head, shoulders and upper body in the photo, do not crop or edit your photo. Also please do not wear and sunglasses or tinted glasses, if you wear glasses for medical reasons please remove these to ensure a clear view of your eyes and eyebrows.

Your photo must:

• Be taken against a plain, light-coloured background
• Contain no other objects or people
• Not have any shadows on your face or behind you
• Be taken in the last month

In your photo you must:

• Be facing forward and looking straight at the camera
• Have a plain expression and your mouth closed
• Have your eyes open and visible
• Not have hair covering your eyes
• Not wear anything on your head (unless it's for religious or medical reasons)

You may now need to get a visa to visit certain countries within the EU

Whether or not you will need a visa to travel to Europe after we leave the EU is still very much up in the air and could change if we leave the EU with no-deal, but as it stands at the moment The European Council said in a statement: "EU ambassadors today agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel.

The European Council has said in a statement "According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity. The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays."

"In the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three institutions and the member states would commit to act without delay in applying the mechanism."

The regulation distinguishes between those living in Britain and those who are citizens of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory which is now in the EU. As this is ongoing we strongly recommend you travel and visa requirements regularly for any changes.

If you need to replace or renew your adult passport there are several ways you can do this but which method you chose will depend on if you are applying from the UK or abroad, if you have already booked your travel and it is within the next 4 weeks, has your passport been lost, stolen or damaged? Please be aware or all of these factors when applying to ensure you use the correct service for your requirements.

Passport Renewal in Person

If you decide to renew your passport in person you will be using one of the urgent services, which include the 1-week Fast-Track service and the 1-day Premium service. These are often used for people who are travelling in 4-weeks or less or have realised their passport expires shortly.

1-week Fast-Track service

You can use this service if you want to apply for one of the following:

• Renew your passport
• First time adult passport
• Name change with marriage or civil partnership certificate
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport
• Renewal for a British national born on or before 2 September 1929

1-day Premium service

You can use this service if you want to apply for one of the following:

• Renew your passport - adult only
• Renewal for a British national born on or before 2 September 1929
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport

Attending your appointment

Before the day of your appointment you must ensure you have the following:

• A correct and complete passport application form (you can get these from your Local Post Office)
• Two passport size photos, which adhere to the passport photo guidelines
• Countersigned photo and section 10 of the application
• All supporting documents - Current Passport, Birth/Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificates or Deed Poll Confirmation etc
• Booking reference number (do not forget you will need to present this to gain access to the office)

Please ensure that you are between 10 and 15 minutes prior to your appointment, this is to allow enough time to get through security. You must also ensure that you have no sharp items, such as nail scissors, metal nail files or weapons of any kind; you may not be allowed to enter the building and attend your appointment if you do.

You will pass through security which is very similar to airport security, metal detector and an x-ray machine for your belongings. This is for the safety of the staff and the public. Once you have passed through, you will be asked for your booking reference number, this is the number you are given when you make the initial appointment. You will then go on to a waiting area.

Passport Renewal Post

If you would like to renew your new passport by post you will first need to obtain a paper application form from your local Post Office. Please ensure you use a larger Post Office branch as smaller branches will not stock these applications. We recommend you collect more than one application in case of mistakes and errors on your application, you are only allowed 3 character mistakes per application otherwise it will automatically be rejected by The Passport Office.

Once you have completed your application in full using BLACK ink and in CAPITAL letters you will need to check if you require a countersignature on your passport. If you do and are unsure how to go about this you can see more information on countersigning your passport photos.

Passport Renewal Online

To renew online you must ensure you have all of the relevant information to hand, including all names, parent's details as well as your digital photo and a credit or debit card.

When filling out your details online please check all spelling before submitting as errors may cause delays and may incur additional costs. Once your application has been submitted online you will be sent your Declaration Form via email, once you have received this you will need to print, sign and date this form and send it in the post (along with any required supporting documents such as birth certificates and/or proof of name changes).

Get a passport for your child

Applying for and renewing a child's passport slightly varies from renewing an adult's passport so please ensure you check carefully before applying or making any appointments.

Passport renewal for child in person

If you would like to renew or apply for your child's passport in person and want to use the urgent services please see below for which service you can use as these are restricted for children's passports.

1-week Fast-Track service

• First child passport
• Renew or change a child passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child passport

1-day Premium service

• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child passport
• Renew or change a child passport

Passport renewal for a child by post

Details on how to renew your child's passport by post can be found above. It is important to remember is to ensure you have included all of the relevant supporting documents in with your application. If you do not have the correct documents this may lead to delays and more expense. Documents that may be required include birth certificates, marriage or civil partnership certificates or documents relating to any name changes.

Passport renewal for a child online

Renewing your child's passport online is the same as for an adult, however if you are applying for a first time passport you will need additional information such as the child's paternal and maternal grandparents details.

If you are unsure of how to take a digital photo for your child details can be found with our Photo Guide.

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