Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Old May 5th 2015, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by The Sorceror View Post
Same here, I have called the official helpline twice, but (as 37100 has also said) as far as I can see they are just reading the information off their website ....absolutely no help whatsoever.

I am going to try and contact a couple of the agencies who claim to offer a fast track service on your behalf if you are outside the UK, just to see how they actually do it (in particular, which form you need to complete and how they handle the fact that you are not physically in the UK at the time). That said, even if they give a convincing answer, I am reluctant to send my passport to a bunch of guys that I don't know, which is why I am still hoping that someone on here has successfully used this sort of service.

I noticed from one of Richard8655's posts that his application from the US was turned round very quickly...just out of curiosity, I looked on the government website and they give a time frame of at least 6 weeks, so the system worked incredible fast! Problem is, you have no certainty as to how much time they will actually take....
I wouldn't touch any of those "agencies" with a bargepole. Being charged exorbitant fees and not getting your passport back aside, are you not a tad concerned about identity theft? The sooner you get in your application in with HMG the sooner you'll get it back.
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Old May 8th 2015, 2:16 am
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by The Sorceror View Post
Same here, I have called the official helpline twice, but (as 37100 has also said) as far as I can see they are just reading the information off their website ....absolutely no help whatsoever.

I am going to try and contact a couple of the agencies who claim to offer a fast track service on your behalf if you are outside the UK, just to see how they actually do it (in particular, which form you need to complete and how they handle the fact that you are not physically in the UK at the time). That said, even if they give a convincing answer, I am reluctant to send my passport to a bunch of guys that I don't know, which is why I am still hoping that someone on here has successfully used this sort of service.

I noticed from one of Richard8655's posts that his application from the US was turned round very quickly...just out of curiosity, I looked on the government website and they give a time frame of at least 6 weeks, so the system worked incredible fast! Problem is, you have no certainty as to how much time they will actually take....
Yes it was very fast (1 week) and surprised me as I expected 4 weeks or more. (just arrived in the mail today)

So perhaps once you both start your application processes (with an application centre or an agency) turnaround might also be along this shorter timeline too. But then I don't know how USA compares to China as an origin in examination and process time. Good luck Sorceror and gzlex.

Last edited by Richard8655; May 8th 2015 at 2:25 am.
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Old May 10th 2015, 6:15 am
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Just to update my situation.
I bit the bullet, and bought a flight to London and will do the 4 hour process in person.
I just can't take any chances with it 'maybe' getting done in time.

This is 100% on me, I should have started the process a couple of months ago, but it's still hard not to get frustrated.
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Old May 10th 2015, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by gzlex View Post
Just to update my situation.
I bit the bullet, and bought a flight to London and will do the 4 hour process in person.
I just can't take any chances with it 'maybe' getting done in time.

This is 100% on me, I should have started the process a couple of months ago, but it's still hard not to get frustrated.
Forewarned is forearmed. I'm sure you already have made an appointment but in case you haven't: https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently
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Old Jun 10th 2015, 7:49 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by gzlex View Post
Just to update my situation.
I bit the bullet, and bought a flight to London and will do the 4 hour process in person.
I just can't take any chances with it 'maybe' getting done in time.

This is 100% on me, I should have started the process a couple of months ago, but it's still hard not to get frustrated.
Hi, I just posted on your thread about my friends urgent situation with his passport and visa in China. I'm glad I was finally able to find this thread.

He has put himself in the worst possible situation...he has less than 3 weeks left on his UK passport AND his Chinese work visa! He wanted to go to Beijing to renew his passport but the processing time is possibly over 6 weeks. So now he will have to back to the UK and get the one day rush and hopefully come back in time to renew his work visa.
does anyone know if he'd be able to come back to China with just a couple of days left on his work visa?
even if he does come back to China with his new passport, he still might not be able to renew his work visa before it expires.
We don't know if there could be a better way to solve this problem, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by meowski; Jun 10th 2015 at 7:57 pm.
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Old Jun 10th 2015, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by meowski View Post
Hi, I just posted on your thread about my friends urgent situation with his passport and visa in China. I'm glad I was finally able to find this thread.

He has put himself in the worst possible situation...he has less than 3 weeks left on his UK passport AND his Chinese work visa! He wanted to go to Beijing to renew his passport but the processing time is possibly over 6 weeks. So now he will have to back to the UK and get the one day rush and hopefully come back in time to renew his work visa.
does anyone know if he'd be able to come back to China with just a couple of days left on his work visa?
even if he does come back to China with his new passport, he still might not be able to renew his work visa before it expires.
We don't know if there could be a better way to solve this problem, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Sounds like your friend hasn't any other option but go through with that plan and hope he has enough time to renew his Chinese visa once back in China.
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Old Jun 15th 2015, 11:54 am
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Based in Irish Republic, I posted last year when my wife got caught up in the Passport Office transition. We had to go the route of temporary passport and US visa for an upcoming trip - cost over €300. The new passport eventually turned up 9 weeks after the application. So this year I needed to renew my own, and faced with a 6 week 'written' commitment using the online method, I decided to fly back and renew in person using the 4-hour service (for an extra £30 or so on the fee, plus flights and expenses of course) and this post is my experience. Lets face it, who can last 6 weeks without a passport these days?
I booked my appointment in London Victoria 3 weeks in advance - you cant do it any further ahead than that, and plenty of appointments were available. But when you arrive at your allotted time you will find that around 100 other people have all been given the same appointment time. You need to bring your old passport and the fee (they accept cards), if its just a straight renewal. As regards completing the form, I was told to pick up a form my local post office - not much use if you are flying in! So I downloaded a form off the website and completed it but was told on arrival it was the wrong form and was given another one which asked for exactly the same info as the one I had completed. On arrival you go through an airport style scanner and your appointment is checked and that you have brought the right documents, and you are given a ticket number. Then you are sent to the waiting room, where I calculated about 100-150 people were waiting to see a Passport office agent, who work at around 30 'windows', 17 of which were open that day (May 2015). You wait for your number to be called. I ended up waiting around 1.5 hours - bring a book or laptop with you and something to amuse children if you have them with you. There is a queuing system display so you know where you are in the queue - it worked quite well. When my slot arrived I needed help with the form, as it asks for a UK address and obviously I don't have one. I thought that if I was collecting on the same day, I don't need an address. Wrong! I was hung up for a while as I recalled my daughter's address but did not know her postcode, in the end I managed to call up the Royal Mail website on my phone (enabling data roaming et al), and got the postcode. I couldn't complete my application until I provided it! Once complete you given a chit and sent to the payment booth, when your payment is accepted, you are given a time when you can collect and a receipt. You must bring the Receipt with you when you collect your new passport. I left the Passport office at about 12.30pm (my initial appointment was for 10.45am) and was told to return after 4pm to collect. The collections office is next door to the applications office. The collection process worked fine and was straightforward with almost no waiting time. My perception was that the whole system is quite efficient, but do be prepared for that initial wait which I reckon could be anything up to 2 hours. I hope this helps any of you trying to decide how best to get a new passport.
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Old Jun 15th 2015, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

No problems from here. Sent on March 16th by DHL new passport received back - via DHL on 24th , documents back on 26th. The point is that you can renew a passport anytime in the 9 months prior to expiry, and this time gets added onto your new one. mine was not due to expire until August but I knew I might need to make a trip in late july, so sent it off for renewal early. It's the passport holders responsibility to ensure they renew in time, so if processing time shows as say 6 weeks, then you need to send it back at least two months beforehand.If an emergency arises, then you would have to apply for emergency travel documents from the nearest Embassy. The only downside now is that you have to apply online then send the declaration etc and i can see this can be a problem in certain parts of the world!
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Old Jun 15th 2015, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Originally Posted by Oldsteel View Post
Based in Irish Republic, I posted last year when my wife got caught up in the Passport Office transition. We had to go the route of temporary passport and US visa for an upcoming trip - cost over €300. The new passport eventually turned up 9 weeks after the application. So this year I needed to renew my own, and faced with a 6 week 'written' commitment using the online method, I decided to fly back and renew in person using the 4-hour service (for an extra £30 or so on the fee, plus flights and expenses of course) and this post is my experience. Lets face it, who can last 6 weeks without a passport these days?
I booked my appointment in London Victoria 3 weeks in advance - you cant do it any further ahead than that, and plenty of appointments were available. But when you arrive at your allotted time you will find that around 100 other people have all been given the same appointment time. You need to bring your old passport and the fee (they accept cards), if its just a straight renewal. As regards completing the form, I was told to pick up a form my local post office - not much use if you are flying in! So I downloaded a form off the website and completed it but was told on arrival it was the wrong form and was given another one which asked for exactly the same info as the one I had completed. On arrival you go through an airport style scanner and your appointment is checked and that you have brought the right documents, and you are given a ticket number. Then you are sent to the waiting room, where I calculated about 100-150 people were waiting to see a Passport office agent, who work at around 30 'windows', 17 of which were open that day (May 2015). You wait for your number to be called. I ended up waiting around 1.5 hours - bring a book or laptop with you and something to amuse children if you have them with you. There is a queuing system display so you know where you are in the queue - it worked quite well. When my slot arrived I needed help with the form, as it asks for a UK address and obviously I don't have one. I thought that if I was collecting on the same day, I don't need an address. Wrong! I was hung up for a while as I recalled my daughter's address but did not know her postcode, in the end I managed to call up the Royal Mail website on my phone (enabling data roaming et al), and got the postcode. I couldn't complete my application until I provided it! Once complete you given a chit and sent to the payment booth, when your payment is accepted, you are given a time when you can collect and a receipt. You must bring the Receipt with you when you collect your new passport. I left the Passport office at about 12.30pm (my initial appointment was for 10.45am) and was told to return after 4pm to collect. The collections office is next door to the applications office. The collection process worked fine and was straightforward with almost no waiting time. My perception was that the whole system is quite efficient, but do be prepared for that initial wait which I reckon could be anything up to 2 hours. I hope this helps any of you trying to decide how best to get a new passport.
If you're based in the ROI then going to Belfast would have been another option.
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Old Jun 15th 2015, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

You are right, it would but I have family in London. Its also a looong way to Belfast from Cork!
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Old Jun 23rd 2015, 4:32 am
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

I deliberated for some time on my renewal as I too was chagrined at the whole having to photocopy my foreign passport thing. However, 'discretion being the better part of valor' I eventually capitulated and saw reason with myself and included the photocopies.

I can report my entire renewal process took 12 days from beginning to end. I am in receipt of my most revered and treasured new passport. No complications to report (old passport has already arrived as well). My conscience is clear and onward we go.
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Old Jul 9th 2015, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

My recent experience was 10 Days.

Renewed a UK passport from the US, filled the form out online and overnighted passport and documents 30th June, new passport received July 9.
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Old Apr 17th 2016, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Experience of renewing UK passport from overseas

Living in the Netherlands since 2003, this is my second time having to apply for a UK passport. First time was back in 2005 and was at the Amsterdam consulate. Waiting time was around two weeks and things went quite smoothly. This time, things have been simplified, not having to bother to get anyone to countersign my signature and got my new passport in exactly two weeks. But those two weeks sure were fretful.
So glad I missed the period where everything was done via France.
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