World news story

Your passport application: did you send it to the right place?

Get it right, be on your flight! Get it wrong, the wait may be long!

Return To Sender

In 2013, regional processing of British passport applications was transferred from Washington D.C. to Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) in the UK and a new on-line system was introduced to help streamline the application process; customers simply complete their application on-line and send a copy of their supporting documentation, with a copy of their application, to HMPO for processing.

British Consul Dean Churm said, “Over the last year, nearly 1000 British passport applications have been incorrectly sent to the British Embassy in Washington. Unfortunately we’ve had to return each one to the sender so that the new application process can be followed which, very often includes new forms, the correct fee, and correct supporting documentations.”

Mr Churm also warned about using Passport Application Agents who promise to process your application quickly “It’s always quicker, cheaper and easier to use the HMPO on-line passport application than a passport agency that promises to get your application for you. They will charge you extra for forms and information that is already provided free of charge, and they have also been known to send applications to the wrong place. Please do not give them your personal information when there is no need for you to do it.”

If you are applying for a new British passport, don’t send your application to the nearest British Embassy or Consulate as it will be returned to you causing additional delay and expense.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with their British passport application or renewal, direct them to GOV.UK or advise them to ring the Passport Advice line.

Published 16 October 2015
Last updated 20 October 2015 + show all updates
  1. Reminder for those applying for British passport renewals.
  2. First published.