UK PASSPORT SERVICE
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Outside the UK: British nationals outside the United Kingdom can contact the nearest British Diplomatic Mission and request an emergency Travel Document. However, these documents have limitations:
- Maximum of 5 countries
- Your travel plans will be added to the passport pages (Note: you cannot change the dates of travel).
- A visa may be required – You need to contact the foreign diplomatic mission of the country that you are visiting. You will need to ask if a visa is required for a British travel document.
It will be up to the British Embassy or Consulate to decide if they will issue you an Urgent Travel Document, as well as how fast.
Tip: In most cases, they will grant this request and get you the document in 1-3 days.
Tip: Bring proof of travel (e.g., paid airline itinerary).
Tip: Alternatively, you can also contact our firm, and we will let you know the latest times to process your application as quickly as possible. Click here to start.
Inside the UK: If you travel to the UK to renew your passport by mail from within Britain, it will take less time to process your application. Please contact HM Passport office by clicking here.
Why does it take so long to get a UK passport?
The UK Passport Office does not publicly distinguish between renewal and first time passport application processing times, so we can only use our years of experience to guess as to the reasons why some passport applications are processed in 4 weeks and some take up to eight weeks:
First Time Applications Often Take Longer
You should assume that your application will take longer than 4 weeks if you have never applied for a passport before.
However, if you are submitting your first passport application, the process is straightforward, and if you have all the documentation, you may get your passport faster.
For example, if you were born in 1984, your father is British, and you submit the following documentation, this application shouldn’t take that long:
- Your long-form birth certificate
- Your father’s birth certificate
- Your father’s valid UK passport
- Your parents’ marriage certificate.
That is as straightforward as UK passport applications get, and you should expect it to take less than the full 8 weeks, unless you are contacted by the UK passport office for additional information/documentation.
Renewing a UK Passport Often Takes Longer
If you still haven’t renewed your old blue passport, you can expect the processing time to be closer to 8 weeks. This is because the blue passport lacks the security features of the current red passport.
Any missing Documentation Adds to the Processing Time
If you omit any of the required documentation in your application, it will cause delays. You should always try to submit more documentation than necessary, especially if you are applying for your first UK passport.
Note: If you must Register as a British Citizen first, this process takes months in addition to the stated passport processing time.
In Person British Passport Application Processing Time
The only way you can speed up your passport application time is by flying to the UK and applying from within the UK. This may seem absurd, but it’s true. The UK Passport Office promises a standard of 3 weeks processing time to those physically present in the UK.
So, you should time your visit close to the expiry date of your current passport.
Emergency British Passports
If you need your passport sooner than 4-6 weeks and you are unable to fly to the United Kingdom, your only other option is to apply for an emergency passport. However, there are a few things you should know:
First time UK passport urgent processing time
If you previously had a British passport, you can request a Travel Document (read information above).
If you are applying for your first UK Passport, there is no urgent processing for you. The only thing you can do is send your documents as perfectly complete and accurate as possible. Consider hiring a third-party company like us to help you with the process.
You Must Have an Actual Emergency to Get an Emergency Passport
You must meet the following conditions in order to apply for an emergency travel document (passport):
- your previous passport is expired, full, damaged, or has been lost or stolen, or is in the possession of the UK Passport Office or a foreign government
- you are travelling before you can get a new passport (i.e. less than 4 weeks)
- you are also able to submit proof of your travel plans.
Please note: your travel plans will be included in the emergency travel document and you will be unable to travel anywhere else with this passport substitute. Usually, the travel document expires at the end of your trip.
Emergency Passports are One-Time Use
The emergency travel document is normally issued for your specific trip and will expire at the end of it, or shortly thereafter. It usually lists the country or countries you intend to travel to as well.
In other words, an emergency travel document is not a substitute for a normal British passport.
You Must Apply for Your Emergency Passport in Person
In order to get a British emergency travel document in Canada, you must apply in person at one of the following locations:
|Type of Office||Consular Region||Address||Phone Number|
|British High Commission||Canada||80 Elgin Street|
Ottawa Ontario K1P 5K7
|email@example.com||613 237 1530|
|British Consulate General||Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba||5100-150 6 Ave SW|
Calgary Alberta T2P 3Y7
|firstname.lastname@example.org||403 705 1755|
403 538 2181
|British Consulate General||Quebec||2000 McGill College Avenue |
Montreal Quebec H3A 3H3
|email@example.com||514 866 5863|
|British Consulate General||Ontario||777 Bay Street, Suite 2800|
Toronto Ontario M5G 2G2
|firstname.lastname@example.org||416 593 1290|
|British Consulate General||British Columbia, Yukon and Northwest Territories||1111 Melville Street, Suite 800|
Vancouver British Columbia V6E 3V6
|email@example.com||604 683 4421|