There’s a multitude of reasons why you would need to renew your UK passport while you’re overseas. You may currently live far from home, or work in a remote area, and don’t want to travel all the way back to the UK to renew your passport. Although we hope this isn’t the case, it could be that your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged. Perhaps you travel a lot and have run out of blank pages ahead of your passport expiry date, or you’re nearing the end of a specified length of validity for your current country.Whatever the reason, the process to get yourself a new passport as quickly as possible may not be as complicated as you fear. Sure, there are a few exceptions to this rule that may have you jumping through hoops, but on the whole, it should be a fairly straightforward process. We’ve put together this guide on to give you an outline of everything you need to know.
When can I renew my current passport?
You can renew your passport at any time. There is no stipulation stating that you have to wait for your passport to expire before renewing it. In some cases, you may need to renew it up to six months in advance of the expiry date, depending on the country you are currently in or intend to visit. The reason for this is that some countries such as Brazil, Ecuador, Turkey, Tunisia and Israel require you to have a minimum of six months validity on your passport.
Where can I renew my current passport?
You can send your passport to the Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK with the correct forms by recorded delivery, or you may be able to visit the appropriate embassy or consulate in your local area.
You can download and print all the necessary forms you will need to fill out here.
You can use the government’s overseas tool to get more precise information and prices for the country in which you are currently residing.
It is important to note that the application can take up to or longer than four weeks. Therefore, it is particularly important to only book travel outside of the country you reside in once your passport has arrived. It is wise to keep several copies of your passport and visa, as well as any documents that the embassy has given to you, throughout the application process.
In the event that you are required to travel whilst you are waiting for your passport to be processed, and the requirement is urgent, then we recommend applying for an emergency travel document from your local embassy or consulate. This is also applicable if your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged whilst on a trip, and you need to return home.
What is the cost of passport renewal?
As a general rule of thumb, when applying for a passport whilst abroad, you will need to pay the standard passport fee as well as an extra courier fee – approximately £19.86, but this depends on which country you are in. A standard adult first passport or renewal costs around £72.50.
You can enclose a cheque along with your application forms and passport in recorded delivery, or you can pay online via the secure government website.
What other documents are required?
To submit an application for passport renewal or replacement you will need:
• Correct application forms, completed and signed as appropriate
• Your passport
• Two identical recent passport sized photos
• Any other passports issued by other countries (if you are a dual citizen)
If you are unsure whether you are filling out the forms correctly, you can check the government guidance notes.
If you realise there are supporting documents missing from your application, you have a six-week period to provide them. If the missing documents are not provided within this timeframe, then your passport renewal application will be cancelled.
Anything else I need to know?
Your new passport will be delivered by courier and you must be available to sign for it.
You will not be able to request a refund if you do not provide the required documents for your application in time.
If you’re in a rush, it will be helpful to know that there is an express one-day service offered by the London Passport Office, although this comes at an increased price.
If you are unsure whether your photo is acceptable, you can upload it to the online service which will confirm whether you can use it in your application.
For any other questions about passport renewal services, you can contact the passport advice line:
Telephone: +44 (0) 300 222 0000
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm (UK time)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 5:30pm (UK time)