The application process to get a British passport can be challenging for several reasons. First, you would need to gather the documents that prove your eligibility to get the passport, based on which the government does extensive background checks on you. That is also one of the reasons for the processing time, which can be prolonged for some applicants.
Besides following the instructions correctly on this potentially error-prone process, there are some tips you can follow to ensure your passport application process goes as smoothly as possible. In this article, we’ll break down some of them.
Apply for your passport online.
With official online passport services, you can simply apply for your British Passport from the comfort of your home. This way, you will not need to worry about filling out (and potentially making a mistake) when filling out your forms by hand and sending your application. The online process also has clear instructions and algorithms.
What’s more, it’s cheaper to apply for a passport online than by post.
Here’s a brief guideline on how to apply online:
- Visit gov.uk
- Start your application and fill out the online application form, providing all required personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. You will also need to provide details about your current passport if you have one;
- Upload digital copies of required supporting documents that prove your eligibility;
- Pay the fee using a credit or debit card;
- Submit your application.
Simply follow the instructions given during your application process in full, this application method is considered the simplest way to apply. You can find detailed online passport application guidelines here.
Take your passport photo at home
Your passport photo has to fulfil specific parameters to be accepted, which is why some may want to delegate this task to a local photo studio. But the trip takes time, and, especially with our current technology, some may not even like going out to take a photo (and pay for it!).
Taking your passport photo at home can be convenient and save time as you don’t have to visit a photo studio. Additionally, it can be cost-effective as you only need a digital camera and printer to produce the photo rather than paying for a professional photo.
What’s left to take care of, then, is to process your photo at home online so that it will fully comply with the British passport photo requirements.
Check if you’re eligible to get your passport urgently
If you’re in the UK and need to renew or replace a passport or get a child passport for the first time, you can use the urgent service to speed up your application process.
However, if you’re currently outside the UK, this service is not available. If you’re abroad and need to travel urgently, apply for an emergency travel document instead.
Adults applying for the first time are also not eligible for this urgent service.
For more details, check the gov.uk website.
Use the 1 week Fast Track or Online Premium services
You can use the urgent service two ways: with Online Premium and the 1-week Fast Track. Both processes require personal appointments that you need to book, as well as higher application fees.
To apply with the Online Premium, book an appointment at gov.uk. The earliest you can get an appointment is 2 days after application. You will get your British Passport at the appointment. This service costs £193.50, or £204.50 for a 50-page frequent traveller passport.
Online Premium can only be used to renew an adult passport issued after 31 December 2001.
To apply through the 1 week Fast Track, get your application form at a Post Office, book your appointment online at gov.uk, and attend your appointment with your package of documents and filled-out application form.
This service costs £155 for an adult passport, £166 for a 50-page frequent traveller passport, and £126 for a child passport or £137 for a 50-page frequent traveller passport.
UK passport fees in 2023
Besides the fees that we have mentioned above for urgent services, here are the British passport application fees currently in effect in 2023:
- Adult standard 34-page passport: £82.50 for online applications and £93 for paper form applications;
- Adult 50-page frequent traveller passport: £93.50 for online applications and £104 for paper form applications
- Child standard 34-page passport: £53.50 for online applications and £64 for paper form applications;
- Child 50-page frequent traveller passport: £64.50 for online applications and £75 for paper form applications;
- Passport for people born on or before 2 September 1929: free.