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Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Old Jan 25th 2016, 9:33 pm
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Default Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Hello,

My first post! I did a Google search for "average processing times 1st child overseas passport Uganda" and it led me to this forum! The posts I read were back from 2014 regarding Durham passport office and saying how slow it was (new system back then?).

I'm from the UK, wife is Ugandan and we've just had a little lad. I applied for his passport recently on the 7th Jan 2016, but have submitted my passport, wedding certificate, etc (all originals). My questions are:

1. Have things improved since 2014 and what are the average processing times these days? (is it really 12 weeks like they say?)
2. Will they post back the supporting documents before the passport?

I want to get on with her spouse visa and obviously can't whilst they have the supporting documents needed.

The other challenge is that my wife doesn't have a proper postal address in Uganda, so I've asked them to post it back to me here. When I called them for advice they suggested that and for me to add a cover letter. However, I heard since that it's "unusual".

Thanks in advance,
Neil.
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Old Jan 25th 2016, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Probably even longer now thanks to anti-fraud checks that need to carry out if the child is born to a British father and a non-British mother in a high risk country. Whether Uganda is consideredly particular high risk I cannot say but I would certainly hold off applying for your wife's spouse visa until your child has their British passport.
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

They did tell me before I applied that Uganda is classed as a "Group 3" country. Not exactly sure what a group 3 country is, but it doesn't sound good...
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

And the other thing I was wondering was whether they only send the supporting documents back at the end with the child's passport, or can they send them before they've finished the job?
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Originally Posted by peeps123 View Post
They did tell me before I applied that Uganda is classed as a "Group 3" country. Not exactly sure what a group 3 country is, but it doesn't sound good...
Other Group 3 countries include Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. So no, probably not so good.

Originally Posted by peeps123 View Post
And the other thing I was wondering was whether they only send the supporting documents back at the end with the child's passport, or can they send them before they've finished the job?
You can request them back earlier but it may hinder the application to do so depending which documents you need and at what stage the application is. You should contact HMPO directly to query this.
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Thanks for the reply.

Oh, so not in the best league then for passport checks, etc.

The truth is that I wanted the documents back that I need to submit for her spouse VISA (e.g. her passport, our wedding certificate, his birth certificate). My plan was to submit his passport application (done), then wait say 4 or 5 weeks, get the supporting docs back, submit her settlement visa application so that the two were running in parallel (to save time being apart). I was thinking to contact them on Friday after the application has been in 3 weeks (that's what it said on their website "do not contact before 3 weeks") to see what they said. One thing I didn't do was take note of the barcode number, so am not sure if that will hinder my enquiry?
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Old Jan 26th 2016, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

I would reiterate what I said in my initial reply - if you are planning to apply for a spouse visa for your wife then you should definitely wait until the passport is issued. Once issued a spouse visa holder has a maximum of three months to enter the UK and apply for their Biometric Residence Permit and your son could still be waiting for his British passport at that point.
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Old May 14th 2016, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Oh no, this doesn't bode very well for my daughter's passport application, as am assuming Sierra Leone is probably also in Group 3!! My wife is in the process of applying for a passport for my daughter who resides in Sierra Leone with her. All paperwork and supporting documents need to be sent to the Durham office, so we are probably looking at December.. Here's hoping it will be a smooth ride.
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Old May 14th 2016, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

My fingers are crossed for your smooth ride. Here's my ride:

Passport application posted to Durham: 8th Jan (2016)
Money taken: 11th Jan
Supporting Documentation returned to me: 1st Feb
[at this point all was going really well]

[called the passport office every 3 weeks to be told "still with the overseas team"]
Wife's settlement visa successful: 1st April
[here's when it starts to go bad as they changed the rules so that you only get ONE month validity, not three]
MP chased passport office: 4th April (told that just waiting for your interview to be arranged)
Passport interview date (in Sheffield): 21st April (told that this was the final stage of the process and that I passed)
Emailed passport office: 5th May (told that "back with overseas team")
Called passport office: 10th May (told "still with overseas team")
MP Called passport office: 13th May (told "still with overseas team")

So I'm still waiting. We had to leave our boy in Uganda so that my wife could get her Biometric Residence Permit and now she's back there with him waiting for the passport.

What I think is bad is that during my interview I was told that if there are any delays with domestic passports then overseas ones get pushed back. Also, the fact I was told that the interview was the final stage, and now that it's "with the overseas team" makes me doubt I'm being told the truth.

The did tell me that from the moment I get the email saying that the passport application is successful, then it's: 48 hours to be printed, then 7 - 10 days to be shipped to Uganda (via DHL), then you just collect it.

Good luck!
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Old May 14th 2016, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Thanks, much appreciated it looks as though it will be a bumpy ride. Am happy that your wife's visa came through so quickly, but awful that you guys had to leave your boy behind and then having to spend money on travel fares to and from Uganda. Hopefully, she will not have to be there for too long and you will soon be reunited here.
I think I will follow Brit in Paris' advice and wait until I have my daughter's passport before applying for my wife's visa. At any rate, my wife has to take the English test and pass as Sierra Leone isn't one of the exempt countries. I've got a few questions, if you don't mind clarifying for me?
You mentioned that the passport interview date was in Sheffield is that where you live? I live in London, so am hoping if I'm called in for an interview it will be in London.
Also did you guys apply from Uganda or did you apply in the UK? Did you apply on behalf of your baby or did your wife apply, so who signed Section 9 you or your wife?
Did you get your countersignatory in Uganda or here in the UK? It's a bit tricky trying to find someone in SL who holds a British passport!
Would also appreciate if you could say what supporting documents you provided?
Am providing my birth certificate, my wife and my daughter
My British passport, my wife didn't have a passport at time of daughter's conception.
My wife national identity card with photo
2 pregnancy scans
Pics of me, wife and daughter over the years
Daughter school reports
Marriage certificate
The only difficulty we are having is finding a document that proves my wife lives at address in SL.. The postal system there doesn't work the way it does here in the UK, so it's just a village with a name.. My wife has never worked, so there is no official letters from government departments she has received. The electricity bill is just a receipt that's it was paid no address.
We rent the house from a landlord and even that hasn't got an address only a receipt that we've paid monies.. We have my child's graduation report from nursery and it shows the name of the village, but that's it.. Any suggestions as to what we can use? Much appreciated
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Old May 15th 2016, 9:16 am
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Originally Posted by haydock67 View Post
Thanks, much appreciated it looks as though it will be a bumpy ride. Am happy that your wife's visa came through so quickly, but awful that you guys had to leave your boy behind and then having to spend money on travel fares to and from Uganda. Hopefully, she will not have to be there for too long and you will soon be reunited here.
I think I will follow Brit in Paris' advice and wait until I have my daughter's passport before applying for my wife's visa. At any rate, my wife has to take the English test and pass as Sierra Leone isn't one of the exempt countries. I've got a few questions, if you don't mind clarifying for me?
You mentioned that the passport interview date was in Sheffield is that where you live? I live in London, so am hoping if I'm called in for an interview it will be in London.
Also did you guys apply from Uganda or did you apply in the UK? Did you apply on behalf of your baby or did your wife apply, so who signed Section 9 you or your wife?
Did you get your countersignatory in Uganda or here in the UK? It's a bit tricky trying to find someone in SL who holds a British passport!
Would also appreciate if you could say what supporting documents you provided?
Am providing my birth certificate, my wife and my daughter
My British passport, my wife didn't have a passport at time of daughter's conception.
My wife national identity card with photo
2 pregnancy scans
Pics of me, wife and daughter over the years
Daughter school reports
Marriage certificate
The only difficulty we are having is finding a document that proves my wife lives at address in SL.. The postal system there doesn't work the way it does here in the UK, so it's just a village with a name.. My wife has never worked, so there is no official letters from government departments she has received. The electricity bill is just a receipt that's it was paid no address.
We rent the house from a landlord and even that hasn't got an address only a receipt that we've paid monies.. We have my child's graduation report from nursery and it shows the name of the village, but that's it.. Any suggestions as to what we can use? Much appreciated
Ha, sounds like we're in a very similar position (especially with lack of a 'proper' postal address, as that gave me grief initially), so I'll try my best to answer your questions.

1. I live in the midlands, but Sheffield was the first place that had an available slot, so I took that one. I believe there are other centres around the country, but often I see on this forum that people go to Sheffield.

2. I applied for my son's passport and put my name and signed Section 9. My countersignature was done by a lifelong friend here in the UK (a fellow British national). He did have to write on the back "I certify that this is a true likeness of <insert child's name>" even though he hadn't met him. However, this is all above board as I checked it with the passport helpline before completing it. They understand the circumstance that we're in...the lack of postal address was slightly more troubling at first...

3. Postal Address: I'm in the same position here with just a village name and no letters or anything like that. When I first called the passport office helpline they didn't really know what to do and I was passed to a few different people. At one point one person said "maybe you won't be able to apply", and that scared me. But I was put to someone else and they eventually said "just put what you can and send it in". What I did in the end was to put the village name and then sent in lots of evidence to prove my address (perhaps I sent too much, but I included letters from my company, bank statements, a letter I had received from my MP regarding my wife's Visa application). I also asked for the supporting documentation to be sent to me, which they did. The passport is fine as it gets sent to SL (in my case the UKVI centre in Kampala) and your wife can collect it (they cannot send the passport to you).

4. Supporting docs. I sent the usual list and nothing special, with the main aim to prove that I was there during conception, I support my wife and child, and that we are a family (and that I'm British!). Therefore:

A photocopy of my passport front page
my Uganda entry/exit visa stamps from my old passport
son's full birth certificate
my birth certificate
marriage certificate
evidence that I had been sending money to my wife
photos of us together as a family (I indluded some of just me and my wife when we met, the time I was there 'when the magic happened', and at the hospital and after)
medical records for the pregnancy and birth

Looks like your list is pretty comprehensive, so you should be fine.

At the interview I just took some extra photos to show the progress since the time of the application, including my wedding album and that seemed to go well (we even had a laugh together at the 'quality', or lack of, my wedding cars).

Again, good luck and give me a shout if you need any further help.
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Old May 17th 2016, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Originally Posted by peeps123 View Post
Ha, sounds like we're in a very similar position (especially with lack of a 'proper' postal address, as that gave me grief initially), so I'll try my best to answer your questions.

1. I live in the midlands, but Sheffield was the first place that had an available slot, so I took that one. I believe there are other centres around the country, but often I see on this forum that people go to Sheffield.

2. I applied for my son's passport and put my name and signed Section 9. My countersignature was done by a lifelong friend here in the UK (a fellow British national). He did have to write on the back "I certify that this is a true likeness of <insert child's name>" even though he hadn't met him. However, this is all above board as I checked it with the passport helpline before completing it. They understand the circumstance that we're in...the lack of postal address was slightly more troubling at first...

3. Postal Address: I'm in the same position here with just a village name and no letters or anything like that. When I first called the passport office helpline they didn't really know what to do and I was passed to a few different people. At one point one person said "maybe you won't be able to apply", and that scared me. But I was put to someone else and they eventually said "just put what you can and send it in". What I did in the end was to put the village name and then sent in lots of evidence to prove my address (perhaps I sent too much, but I included letters from my company, bank statements, a letter I had received from my MP regarding my wife's Visa application). I also asked for the supporting documentation to be sent to me, which they did. The passport is fine as it gets sent to SL (in my case the UKVI centre in Kampala) and your wife can collect it (they cannot send the passport to you).

4. Supporting docs. I sent the usual list and nothing special, with the main aim to prove that I was there during conception, I support my wife and child, and that we are a family (and that I'm British!). Therefore:

A photocopy of my passport front page
my Uganda entry/exit visa stamps from my old passport
son's full birth certificate
my birth certificate
marriage certificate
evidence that I had been sending money to my wife
photos of us together as a family (I indluded some of just me and my wife when we met, the time I was there 'when the magic happened', and at the hospital and after)
medical records for the pregnancy and birth

Looks like your list is pretty comprehensive, so you should be fine.

At the interview I just took some extra photos to show the progress since the time of the application, including my wedding album and that seemed to go well (we even had a laugh together at the 'quality', or lack of, my wedding cars).

Again, good luck and give me a shout if you need any further help.
Very similar indeed, but once again thank you so much for the information it has really helped me a lot.
*If I have to travel out of London for interview, well then so be it.
*I will definitely do the application from here and get the wife to send through (to me) all the relevant original documentation first and then I will send it on once I get my friend to countersign
*I will get my good friend who is a teacher to do the countersignatory for me and he also holds a British passport
*For the address, will pretty much follow your example and I think we also have my daughter's school report with the village name on it, so will include that too
* Will also provide the usual supporting documentation similar again to yours..

Will let you know how I get on and I hope your son's passport comes through pretty soon and you can all finally be together. Thanks again for your help and good luck to you too for the future
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Hello Peeps 123
Just wanted to check back with you if you got through yet with your son's passport? I am just in the process of finalising paperwork and getting countersignature together, before I post application next week. I really am not looking forward to this, as it seems like most Group 3 countries are taking at least 12 months to process



Originally Posted by peeps123 View Post
Ha, sounds like we're in a very similar position (especially with lack of a 'proper' postal address, as that gave me grief initially), so I'll try my best to answer your questions.

1. I live in the midlands, but Sheffield was the first place that had an available slot, so I took that one. I believe there are other centres around the country, but often I see on this forum that people go to Sheffield.

2. I applied for my son's passport and put my name and signed Section 9. My countersignature was done by a lifelong friend here in the UK (a fellow British national). He did have to write on the back "I certify that this is a true likeness of <insert child's name>" even though he hadn't met him. However, this is all above board as I checked it with the passport helpline before completing it. They understand the circumstance that we're in...the lack of postal address was slightly more troubling at first...

3. Postal Address: I'm in the same position here with just a village name and no letters or anything like that. When I first called the passport office helpline they didn't really know what to do and I was passed to a few different people. At one point one person said "maybe you won't be able to apply", and that scared me. But I was put to someone else and they eventually said "just put what you can and send it in". What I did in the end was to put the village name and then sent in lots of evidence to prove my address (perhaps I sent too much, but I included letters from my company, bank statements, a letter I had received from my MP regarding my wife's Visa application). I also asked for the supporting documentation to be sent to me, which they did. The passport is fine as it gets sent to SL (in my case the UKVI centre in Kampala) and your wife can collect it (they cannot send the passport to you).

4. Supporting docs. I sent the usual list and nothing special, with the main aim to prove that I was there during conception, I support my wife and child, and that we are a family (and that I'm British!). Therefore:

A photocopy of my passport front page
my Uganda entry/exit visa stamps from my old passport
son's full birth certificate
my birth certificate
marriage certificate
evidence that I had been sending money to my wife
photos of us together as a family (I indluded some of just me and my wife when we met, the time I was there 'when the magic happened', and at the hospital and after)
medical records for the pregnancy and birth

Looks like your list is pretty comprehensive, so you should be fine.

At the interview I just took some extra photos to show the progress since the time of the application, including my wedding album and that seemed to go well (we even had a laugh together at the 'quality', or lack of, my wedding cars).

Again, good luck and give me a shout if you need any further help.
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Old Jun 14th 2016, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

Well, I can't say it's been a fun last few weeks, but a couple of weeks ago they said that there were prepared to release the passport provided I sent in new photos. I did that immediately, but it still took almost two weeks to process them. I moaned and got the MP involved again and hey, they've printed it!

I've just checked DHL and as of 00:31 (Ugandan time) tonight it arrived in Entebbe airport! Estimated delivery to the Passport office (technically the UKVI office in Kampala) by end of day tomorrow. So I'm hoping to be with my son in a couple of days time before Father's day. Will be an amazing time.

I posted the original application on the 8th Jan and will have the passport on the 15th June.

I really hope yours comes sooner than that and wish you all the best.
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Old Jun 15th 2016, 1:34 am
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Default Re: Avg Durham Processing times 1st Overseas child passport - UK dad, Uganda Mum

That's brilliant news and just in time for Father's Day. So all in all it took around 5 months instead of the 3 months advertised. Here's hoping that mine will be just as short. Thanks again for your help and all the best to you too for the future.
Regards



Originally Posted by peeps123 View Post
Well, I can't say it's been a fun last few weeks, but a couple of weeks ago they said that there were prepared to release the passport provided I sent in new photos. I did that immediately, but it still took almost two weeks to process them. I moaned and got the MP involved again and hey, they've printed it!

I've just checked DHL and as of 00:31 (Ugandan time) tonight it arrived in Entebbe airport! Estimated delivery to the Passport office (technically the UKVI office in Kampala) by end of day tomorrow. So I'm hoping to be with my son in a couple of days time before Father's day. Will be an amazing time.

I posted the original application on the 8th Jan and will have the passport on the 15th June.

I really hope yours comes sooner than that and wish you all the best.
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