British nationals in New Zealand wanting to apply for a new passport are advised of an important change in the way they will need to make applications. From 13 January, they will need to send applications directly to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK, instead of the regional processing hub in Wellington.
All the necessary information on the new passport application process can be found at UK Government passport website. Applicants will complete the passport application form and payment on line. They will then print and sign a declaration sheet and send this together with photographs and supporting documentation to Liverpool Application Processing Centre in the UK
British High Commissioner, Vicki Treadell, says: “In simple terms, all this means is that British nationals in New Zealand will need to send their applications to a different address.”
“Current passport processing times will remain the same. If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received. Don’t leave it until the last minute; if you apply up to nine months in advance, unexpired validity will be added to your new passport. Most countries need at least six months remaining validity to allow you entry.”
“If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.”
Applicants should ensure their passport photographs meet the UK standards outlined on the UK Government website; failure to do so will result in the applicant being asked to send new photographs, thus delaying the application.
We recommend that applications are sent by secure means such as registered post or a courier. NZ Post continues to offer an international trackable courier service to submit applications to the UK, but applicants are free to use other companies according to their choice. The new passport and supporting documents will be returned to applicants separately by DHL to the address they provided in the application.
The only other change is that the current passport helpline call charges will be removed. Instead of paying for a premium rate phone line, applicants will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK.
British nationals who lack internet access or want advice are able to call the Customer Service Centre on +44 (0) 300 222 0000 or e-mail overseasNewportCCC@hmpo.gsi.gov.uk
People who need to travel urgently but whose normal passport is unavailable should contact their nearest Consular Assistance team in New Zealand, 04 924 2888. They may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document to help you travel but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport.
Note to Editors:
Fees charged for overseas passport applications are based on the cost of providing the service. Because the number of overseas applications is smaller and efficiency gains are harder to achieve, the issuing of all British passports is being repatriated. Once this has been completed worldwide in 2014, Her Majesty’s Passport Office will seek to more closely align overseas and UK passport fees.
Media enquiries only
British High Commission Wellington Press Office: DDI: 04 924 2856, Mob: 021 344 590