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Common issues people face when applying for a British passport

There are several reasons why someone applying for a British passport may have their application refused, rejected or delayed. Therefore, it is important to ensure the process is followed correctly to avoid any potential issues.

Ensuring all the correct information is included at the time of application is a good place to start but it can be vital to seek expert advice to make sure you stand the best chance of being granted British citizenship.

If you need assistance with an immigration issue, our lawyers are here for you, simply get in touch today by calling +1 844 290 6312.

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    Difficulties in completing a British passport application

    There are a number of reasons that an application for a British passport can be refused so it is important to ensure that you have the best chance of being approved as a citizen without any problems. A UK passport application can be refused reasons including:

    • Incorrect or unpaid British passport application fee
    • Incomplete application made. For example forgetting to sign the passport application form.
    • If the HM Passport Office is unable to verify details of an application
    • On grounds of eligibility such as insufficient English language skills or Life in the UK knowledge.
    • The applicant is not considered to be of good character or there is a suspicion that the passport could be used as part of terrorist or criminal activities by the person.
    • Delay in supplying requested information
    British flag

    How to avoid getting an application refused

    The main way to avoid getting an application for a British passport turned down is to ensure you meet the basic criteria when applying for the first time. You should be able to provide your identify and have official and original documents available. In addition, you need to make sure you are eligible for a passport based on your current citizenship status and there are no other possible reasons why your application would be rejected. It is advisable to seek guidance from a dedicated immigration lawyer if you believe that your application may not be straightforward or if you just need some reassurance about your eligibility.

    Getting the passport photo right

    When applying for a travel document such as a UK passport you need to supply a photo as part of the application process. There are several requirements for this photograph and people can often fail to send one that will be accepted by the UK HM Passport Office. The general rules for ensuring you meet the passport photo requirements and receive a United Kingdom passport are:-

    • If you are submitting passport applications online then you only need to send one photograph, if you apply via the post then you must send two pictures.
    • Pictures need to be of a good quality and not blurry. They must be taken against a white background.
    • Avoid ‘red eye’ as the photograph will be rejected for now showing natural eye colour.
    • Each photograph must by 35 millimetres long and 45 millimetres high – the photograph must be taken in this size and not cropped or altered to meet the requirements. This also applies if you apply for your passport online.
    • The subject must be facing forward in the photo – so ensure you make eye contact with the camera.
    • You must not be wearing any objects which hide your face – although religious coverings are allowed to be worn. You must not be wearing glasses.

    Other problems when applying for a United Kingdom passport

    There are a number of other factors that can result in a delay or rejection so it is important to be aware of the potential issues ahead of time so you obtain a valid passport. In some cases, the Home Office will require further information when considering granting British citizenship and request that any such information or supporting evidence is provided in a certain time frame. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you provide up-to-date contact details and let the Home Office know of any changes as soon as possible otherwise your application could be automatically dismissed because you supplied the wrong address or telephone number. Another possible problem when meeting British nationality residence requirements is that some applicants have been absent from the United Kingdom for too long or have not been in the country for a suitable period. When calculating absences from the United Kingdom, it is important to note that only whole days are counted by the UK government.

    What is the correct way to apply for a UK Passport?

    If you meet the criteria and have the required documents, then you can make an application via the following methods:-

    • Apply online – An application can be completed online and this method is the cheapest way to apply and is ideal for those confident applying online.
    • Post Office Check & Send Service – larger Post Offices offer a special service that will confirm your forms and send them directly for processing by the HM Passport Office.
    • By mail – you can send your documents and application form directly to the UK Passport Office. It is important to check you have sent them via the right postage service, especially when sending original documentation such as your current passport, visas or other supporting documents.
    • In person – it may be possible to make an appointment to apply for a British passport. An appointment needs to be made in advance and there are only certain passports that can be issued via this service. You will need to check that your appointment is not just to renew an existing travel document when you are applying for a first British passport.

    Be aware that fast track services are only available in certain locations across the UK. There is also a substantial charge for these 1-day Premium and 1-week Fast Track services but they can be a useful service if the current processing time is too long for a UK passport. For those applying while overseas then there may be a different procedure for applying for a British passport and the guidance is it is best to check with the government, embassy or consulate what the process or rules are if you are making an application outside of the United Kingdom.

    What documents do I need to apply for a new passport?

    When submitting your application, you must ensure that you send only your original documentation. The UK HM Passport Office will not accept photocopies unless they have been certified. The following evidence is required to apply for British passports:-

    • A valid birth or adoption certificate (if you were born in the UK prior to 1983)
    • Evidence of one of your parents’ immigration status (this is required if you were born in the UK after the start of 1983)
    • Your certificate or naturalization or registration, if you were born overseas
    • Your supporting documentation
    • Someone who can confirm your identity (this is only required if you complete a paper form)

    How long does it take for a British passport application to be processed?

    It can take up to 10 weeks for a passport application form to be processed and for your British passport to be sent to you. If you are planning to travel overseas using your new passport then you should only make travel arrangements once you have received the new UK passport as you will need your passport number. It also reduces the risk of having to cancel travel plans if your passport application is delayed.

    Do you need help applying for a British passport? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      How we can help you to apply for British citizenship and your British passport

      Applying for British citizenship is an incredibly complex process, there are a number of strict requirements that you will need to meet and you will need to provide a substantial amount of supporting documents throughout the application process.

      Here at IAS we have a team of lawyers that specialise in UK immigration law, they can assist you with every aspect of the British citizenship application process. We have lawyers based in areas across the UK and United States but if you cannot make it to one of our offices in person we also offer all of our services remotely.

      Our lawyers can help you to fill in the British citizenship application form, assist you with gathering all of the required documents and write you a Letter of Representation to support your application. They will also be there to answer any question you may have about the Life in the UK Test, other requirements or any aspect of the application process.

      Once you have been successfully granted British citizenship you can apply for your first UK passport. The application form can be complex and your application maybe refused if you make a mistake. We offer an application checking service that will see one of our lawyers thoroughly check your application for any mistakes or inaccuracies before it is submitted.

      For more information about how our lawyers can help you to apply for British citizenship or a UK passport, get in touch today on +1 844 290 6312.

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