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Unlocking your British Passport: Passport unlocked

To apply for British passport you must first hold British nationality.

Prior to applying for a British passport, in most cases, an individual must first obtain their Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) followed by British citizenship. 

How to Apply for a British Passport

There are 4 ways to apply for a British Passport:

Online – this method is the most cost-effective and straightforward approach to submitting an application. The Home Office online application form will assist you in navigating through each part of the application.

Post Office Check & Send Service – Certain Post Offices offer the option to verify your passport application – by using this service the likelihood of your application being rejected decreases. You can choose either of the following:

  • ‘Passport Check and Send – digital’ if you want Post Office staff to take your photo and help you fill out your application online
  • ‘Passport Check and Send – paper’ if you’re applying with a paper form

The staff will handle the verification of your document bundle and send it to HM Passport Office using Special Delivery. There is an additional fee for this service.

Post – You have the option to send your application and supporting documents directly to UK Visas and Immigration. It is crucial to remember to attach the correct postage to your envelope.

By appointment – The 1-day Premium and 1-week Fast Track services are only available upon appointment. To do this, you must schedule a passport office appointment and make the payment online. Appointments can be booked up to 3 weeks in advance.

Information about your passport application

To ensure a smooth application process without any delays, it is crucial to accurately complete each section of your form, namely:

  • The name stated in your passport must match the name indicated on your supporting documentation
  • If you have changed your name, you must use your updated name on the application
  • Any previous UK passports held should be reported
  • To apply for an adult passport, you must be 16 years of age or older (or will reach that age within three weeks from the date of your application)
Monica Mastropasqua


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+44 20 7539 8021

Your eligibility and specific circumstances will be evaluated during the application process and by reviewing the documents provided. Rejection may occur if, for instance, you have certain bail conditions or are subject to certain court orders.

Supporting documents

You must provide a series of documents in support of your British Passport application. The documents must be originals and copies will not be accepted. However, should the required evidence not be available to you, it may be possible to provide a clear certified copy of the original document.

The following are some of the documents required to be provided in support of a British Passport application, however, different and/or more documents might be required based on one’s personal circumstances:

  • Birth/adoption certificate (if you were born in the UK before January 1983)
  • Evidence of one parents’ immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
  • Certificate of naturalisation or registration (if you were born abroad)
  • If the documents provided are not in English or Welsh, a certified English translation must be provided
  • Someone who can confirm your identity (if you are applying with a paper form) –Your counter-signatory must:
  1. Be a UK or Irish citizen, and living in the UK
  2. Be a professional person or be recognised as ‘a person of good standing in their community’
  3. Not be related to you by birth or marriage, nor in a personal relationship with you
  4. Not be living at your address
  5. Not be working for the Home Office

You should not need a counter-signatory if you are applying online or from abroad.

Application process and fees

You should allow up to 10 weeks from when the Home Office receives your documents or confirmation of your identity details (if needed).

The following are the fees for a British Passport:

First British adult passport:
£82.50 – online application
£93-postal applications
Child passport:
£53.50 – online application
£64 – postal applications
Online premium service: £177
One-week fast-track service: £142

Points to note

  • Having British citizenship does not automatically guarantee that you will be issued with a British passport. Your eligibility and specific circumstances will be evaluated during the application process and by reviewing the documents provided. Rejection may occur if, for instance, you have certain bail conditions or are subject to certain court orders.
  • British passports are property of the UK Government and are subject to possible cancellation or withdrawal at any given time.

Reason for refusal

Common reasons for British passport application refusals and rejections include:

  • The Passport Office is unable to verify all the information provided in an application.
  • An individual is under investigation for potential citizenship deprivation.
  • An application is incomplete, contains inaccurate information, or the application fee was not paid.
  • There is suspicion that the applicant intends to use the passport for terrorism-related or serious organised criminal activities.

We often are approached by individuals who have received a refusal on their passport application and require expert advice on the necessary next steps to rectify the situation. Our immigration lawyers will guide through the eligibility requirements and help you prepare your supporting documentation in order to ensure a smooth application process.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Mastropasqua


View profile

+44 20 7539 8021

About this article

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