If you’re suffering from the January blues, the prospect of a sunny holiday is sure to lift your mood. Before you pack your lorries and 50s, though, the first item on your travel to-do list is to check if your passport needs renewal.
In any “normal year”, about seven million passport applications would normally be processed, according to UK Passport Office.
For the week ending January 23, 2022, the usual processing times for standard adult online applications are:
- Passport renewal: four weeks
- Replace damaged passport: four weeks
- Replace lost or stolen passport: four weeks
- Change details: four weeks
- First passport application: five weeks
The Passport Office says standard online application processing times “can vary rapidly,” so expect up to ten weeks to receive your passport.
Here’s what you need to know about renewing your passport and how Brexit has impacted travel rules for UK citizens.
How to renew passport
Passports require renewal every ten years and UK government advice is to expect the passport renewal process to take up to ten weeks. The process is faster online than by mail.
Applying for an extension online costs £75.50 for adult passports and £49 for children. You will need a digital photo, your current credit or debit card and passport to complete passport service form.
To complete the process by mail, you will need to collect an application form from a post office that provides it Check and send serviceor by calling Passport consultation line. You will need to provide two identical prints. The paper application process costs £85, payable by check to “His Majesty’s Passport Office” or by credit or debit card.
The Post Office also offers a Check and Submit process which can help ensure your application meets all necessary requirements before it is submitted. The service has an additional cost of £16 and paper and digital applications can both be handled, but you will need to check to see if your nearest branch offers the service.
Can I get an urgent passport?
If you need to renew your passport within the next three weeks instead of the usual waiting period, you can apply urgently by making an appointment at the passport office. You can expect an appointment to last up to 30 minutes.
You can register using online premium service or one week fast tracking service. The online option, which can only be used to renew adult passports issued after 31 December 2001, costs £177 (or £187 for a 50-page regular travel passport). The applicant must make an appointment, take a digital photo, fill out the online forms and pay before receiving the passport at the appointment.
Renewing a standard adult passport with a one-week service will cost £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50-page regular travel passport) and £122 for a child passport (or £132 for a regular tourist passport). passport 50 pages regular tourist passport). Applications must be collected from the post office and booked and paid online. You will need to take two printed passport photos, the completed application forms and any relevant supporting documents.
What are the passport photography rules?
You will need to provide a digital photo each time you renew your passport, either by providing a digital photo for the online application or a printed photo for the paper application. In either case, the photo must have been taken within the previous month.
Photos must be clear and in focus, have color, and contain no other objects or people. Photos that appear “red-eye” will not be accepted and the background must be smooth and light in color.
Nothing should cover your face, and there should be no shadows. Glasses and head coverings should be removed if possible, unless worn for religious or medical reasons.
Digital photos must be at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall. The file must be at least 50KB but no more than 10MB.
Photo prints must be 45mm high and 35mm wide, the standard size for prints at UK photo booths. Images must be printed to a professional standard, with no wrinkles or tearing. When posting, the images should be separate and not attached to the application.
What has changed because of Brexit?
The rules for traveling to Europe after Brexit are “slightly different” as the UK is no longer a member of the EU, says Abta – Tourist Association. “So it’s important to plan early to make sure you have everything ready for your trip.”
British passport holders are considered “third country citizens” in the EU, says Simon Calder in The Independent. And there are “passport expiration dates and restrictions on length of stay almost anywhere in Europe”.
Follow Your Europe travel page, if you are a non-EU citizen who wants to visit or travel within the EU you will need a passport:
- valid for at least three months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are from
- passport issued within the previous ten years
If you renewed your current passport before the previous passport expired and the number of months was added after its standard ten-year expiration date, “note that any months remaining on the passport your account over ten years may not count towards the required minimum three months,” explains Abta.
After the end of the transition period, pet passports issued in the UK will no longer be valid for cats, dogs or ferrets. Instead, a animal health certificate will be required for each trip from the UK to a European Union country or Northern Ireland.
What if I change my name?
If you change your name, you will need a new passport before traveling abroad. The same is true if you change your gender or change your appearance to the point where it is unrecognizable from your current passport photo. Only in the last case will your application need to be signed.
If you are updating your name on your passport because of a marriage or civil partnership, you can apply for a new passport up to three months before the ceremony. This passport cannot be used until after the ceremony, and you will need to submit it separate form with your application.
What if I lose my passport?
If your passport is lost or stolen, you will need cancel it As soon as possible. Cancellations may also be handled by a third party, if you are unable to complete the process yourself.
When reporting a stolen passport to local police, ask for a written report that the British Embassy or your travel insurance company may need, post office Note.
If you cannot get your passport within the expected return time, you can apply Emergency Travel Document This will allow you to travel through up to five countries to reach your final destination. Your expected route details will be printed on the document and it will be kept by border officials if you return to the UK.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/travel/58948/how-to-renew-a-uk-passport How to renew a UK passport: processing times and prices