World news story

Changes to British passport services in Pakistan

Temporary suspension of passport submissions at British High Commission, Islamabad. Counter to remain open for passport collection and consular enquiries.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK Visa Support

In order to do that, responsibility for issuing passports overseas is being passed from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its posts overseas to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK, which already handles all passport applications from people living in the UK. From 2014 all overseas applicants for British passports will apply direct to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK, using an online application and payment channel. For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

In order to prepare for this change, it will not be possible to submit passport applications at the public counter of the British High Commission in Islamabad from 8 July 2013 until 8 November 2013. However, the counter will remain open for the collection of new passports and consular enquiries during this period. The counter will re-open on Monday 11 November 2013 for the submission of passport applications.

How to submit passport applications during this period

From 8 July to 8 November, all applications must be sent to us by courier or post. The address is:

PPT Applications British High Commission Diplomatic Enclave P.O. Box 1122 Ramna 5, Islamabad

All passport and courier fees must be paid by Bankers Draft.

What if I have further questions on the application process?

Guidance on how to do this is on this website: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

Is there anyone I can speak to?

Please note that our offices in Pakistan are not able to take calls about individual passport applications. If you cannot find the information you need on the website, you should contact the user pay Passport Information Line at +44 208 082 4744 Calls charged at £0.72 per minute plus VAT at 20%. Payments can only be made by credit card when you call.

Processing Times

There are different processing times for different types of passport:

  • Renewal of a passport: approximately 4 weeks
  • First time applications: approximately 6 months

These long processing times are due to a high level of attempted passport fraud and identity theft in South Asia. To tackle this, our teams carry out detailed checks before we issue passports.

What if I need to travel urgently?

If you are a British national and you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should contact the nearest Consular Assistance team (Islamabad or Karachi). In certain circumstances our staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. So the best course of action is to apply as early as possible, and to make sure that you follow the new guidelines. Please see: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

Nationality Enquiries

The Home Office is the lead government department on nationality matters. If you have an enquiry about eligibility for British citizenship or nationality, information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk

Checking documentation – essential criteria

Please note that only complete passport applications can be accepted and customers should make careful note of what essential and desirable supporting documentation should be submitted. Please note we can only accept payment by Bankers Draft payable at any branch in Islamabad and these should be made out to British High Commission. We regret that applications which are not fully supported with documentation or correct payment will be returned. Any changes to passport fees will be published on our website: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

Collection of new passports

During this period of closure, the Public Counter will be open between 1400-1500 from Monday to Thursday so that customers can collect their new passports. Customers will be notified in advance when their passport will be ready for collection.

Customers invited for interview

Customers who have been invited for interview will not be affected by the closure of the Public Counter and should continue to keep their appointment. Please bring a copy of the invitation to interview letter with you so that the Security Guards will grant access.

Day Time-Morning Service Time-Afternoon Service Consular Assistance
Monday 08:00 – 1200 Interviews only 14:00 – 1500 Passport/Document Collection Available from 08:00 – 12:00
Tuesday 08:00 – 1200 Interviews only 14:00 – 1500 Passport/Document Collection Available from 08:00 – 12:00
Wednesday Closed Closed 14:00 – 1500 Passport/Document Collection Available from 08:00 – 12:00
Thursday 08:00 – 1200 Interviews only 14:00 – 1500 Passport/Document Collection Available from 08:00 – 12:00
Friday Closed Closed Closed Closed Available from 08:00 – 12:00

British Nationals requiring consular assistance

British Nationals requiring Consular Assistance will be able to see a Consular Official as usual. The Public Counter will be open for Assistance between 0800-1200 Monday to Friday. Any change to these procedures will be published on our website and we apologise for any inconvenience that this will cause our customers.

Published 4 July 2013