To obtain a UK passport you must prove that you are a citizen of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. This is why materials related to one's country of origin and current residency are required for UK passports. Aside from British citizens, however, British nationals, subjects and some individuals who are married to or are the children of British citizens can qualify for a UK passport. To avoid filling out a lengthy application just to have it denied, contact the UK's 24-hour Passport Adviceline at 0300-222-0000.
Applying for a Passport
You can fill out an online application form for a passport by visiting the Identity and Passport Service at ips.gov.uk. In addition to your application, which should include your birth certificate, Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation, you must also provide two identical photos for the passport. Note that children born after 1983 must also provide a birth certificate, Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation for one of their adoptive or biological parents.
Replacing a Passport
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately to the British Embassy if you are traveling abroad or through the office of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) if you're within the United Kingdom. You must complete an LS01 to void your old passport. The embassy or FCO can issue an emergency passport to allow for immediate travel.
The FCO recently mandated that anyone wishing to apply for a passport for the first time be interviewed to ensure the authenticity of his or her documents. This rule only applies to individuals ages 16 and older. Individuals are asked to schedule an interview at one of the Identity and Passport Services office, where an official asks the interviewee to confirm various facts stated on his or her passport application to prevent identity fraud. The interview takes approximately 30 minutes, and the interview data is destroyed shortly after the facts have been confirmed and the passport has been issued.
Individuals can apply for passports online, through snail mail or by visiting a designated passport office. First-time adult passports cost 72 pounds, as do replacement, renewed, amended and extended passports. It costs 46 pounds to extend a child's passport if it was issued after May 1, 2008. Passports issued before this date are free to extend. Note that not all passport requests can be accommodated in person, as the offices are extremely busy. There may also be an extra fee for applying in-person for a passport.
To combat identity theft, the FCO created a biometric passport, which has a different design and added security features, including a chip that is stored in Page 31 of all UK passports. The chip contains the same personal information that the normal passport would, including date of birth, address and photo. This chip can be quickly processed at many passport check points throughout the world, allowing for easy access. This chip was installed in all passports issued in or after March 2006. Though UK residents are not required to obtain this new passport currently, once their passports expire and they apply for a renewal, their new passport will contain the chip.
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