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Passport applications and renewals if you are abroad or live outside the UK

When you renew or apply for your passport outside the UK, your application is processed abroad. Don't send your application to the Identity and Passport Service in the UK. Find out how to renew or apply for a passport from abroad or while visiting the UK.

Renewing or applying for your passport while you're abroad

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in the UK doesn't process passport applications sent from abroad. If you're outside the UK, your passport application will be processed abroad by a regional passport processing centre. Each regional passport processing centre processes applications from certain countries.

Finding out where to send your passport application

Check the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website for specific advice for the country you're in about how to renew or apply for your passport.

Choose the country you're currently in from the A-Z list on the FCO website for:

  • contact details for the regional passport processing centre that takes applications from the country you're currently in
  • information about any local application requirements
  • local fees and application processing times

How long your passport application will take from abroad

It usually takes around four weeks to issue a passport abroad, but applications for a first adult passport will take longer. For first adult passport applications, you may also be asked to attend an interview.

You shouldn't make any travel plans until you have received your new passport. You'll need to wait in the same country where you applied to collect your new passport. If you travel on a passport of another nationality or emergency document, you won't be able to collect your new British passport in another country.

If you need to travel urgently

If you need to travel urgently or your passport has been lost or stolen, contact your local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. They may be able to help you with emergency travel documentation. The regional passport processing centres can’t process urgent applications.

Renewing or applying for your passport while visiting the UK

If you don't live in the UK, you can renew or apply for your British passport while you're visiting the UK.

Short visits to the UK – renewing your passport

If your stay in the UK is three weeks or shorter, you may be able to renew your passport using an urgent application service. This has to be done in person. To use these services, you need to:

  • book an appointment at a Regional Passport Office in the UK – you can do this up to two weeks in advance
  • provide an address in the UK to which your new passport can be delivered – your passport can’t be sent to an address abroad

See ‘Urgent passport applications’ for more information about these services, including fees and how to book an appointment.

Renewing your passport during a long visit to the UK

If you’re in the UK for longer than three weeks, you can also apply to renew your passport using the standard renewal process. This process usually takes about three weeks but turnaround times aren’t guaranteed. IPS recommends that you use the Post Office Check & Send service. Applications sent using this service are usually processed more quickly than standard postal applications.

Follow the links below for information on the standard renewal process for adult and child passports.

Applying for a first British passport while visiting the UK

If you're aged 16 or over and have never held your own British Passport, you can't apply using an urgent service. For your first adult passport, you have to apply using the standard application process. 

You’ll need to attend an interview and should allow at least six weeks for the application process. However, some of the supporting documents for your application may need verification. The application process could take longer if these documents are from abroad

If you’re under the age of 16, you can apply for your first child passport using the urgent ‘one-week Fast Track’ service.

Your British passport can only be delivered to an address in the UK. Don't book any travel until your new passport has arrived.

Not sure if you're eligible for a British passport?

There are strict rules about who can have a British passport – see 'Who is eligible for a British passport?'.

  • Source Direct Gov
  • Last Updated: 06 Jan 2012