From 9 December 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should submit their application to the British Embassy in Pyongyang. Their application will then be sent on to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing.
This important change follows reviews by the National Audit Office and is designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making. All British passports have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.
Before 9 December, British nationals living in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea submitted passport applications to a regional processing hub in Hong Kong via the British Embassy in Pyongyang. From 9 December, information on the UK Government website will advise British nationals on the new passport application process.
All the information required to make an application will be found at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports. Applicants will continue to submit their application to the British Embassy in Pyongyang. Their application will then be sent on to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing. There will be no change to processing times.
Fees charged to British nationals applying overseas are based on the current costs of providing the service. As overseas volumes are much less than UK volumes it is harder to gain efficiencies overseas. That is why we have taken the decision to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK. Once this has been completed Her Majesty’s Passport Office will be seeking to create closer alignment between the two sets of fees.