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CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Old Sep 2nd 2013, 4:55 pm
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Arrow CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

We are making important changes to the way we deliver British passports. The UK government’s goal is to ensure that all British nationals living overseas receive a consistent, trusted, secure and efficient service whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. In order to do that responsibility for issuing passports overseas passed from the Foreign Office and its posts overseas to Her Majesty’s Passport Office – an Agency of the Home Office, which already handles all passport applications from people living in the UK.

From 9 September 2013, British nationals in the USA will submit passport applications to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing. All the information needed to complete the passport application process is available on the British Government website at:

www.gov.uk/overseas-passports

If you cannot find the information you need on the gov.uk website, please contact the Passport Advice Line on:

011 44 300 222 0000

- You should avoid leaving applying for your passport until the last minute.

- You can apply to renew your passport at any time. Any remaining validity up to nine months will be transferred from your old passport to your new passport.

- If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received.

- If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks. Your application may take longer if Her Majesty’s Passport Office needs to request further information.

- Travel should not be booked until the new passport has been issued and received by the applicant. The British Government cannot accept responsibility for costs incurred if travel is booked and subsequently cancelled before the passport has been received.

- The new passport and supporting documents will be delivered separately by DHL to the address you provided in your application.

- If you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should contact the nearest British Embassy or Consulate in the USA (locations can be found at www.gov.uk/world/usa). In certain circumstances our staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. So the best course of action is to apply as early as possible, and to make sure that you follow the new guidelines.

- Please note that our Embassy and Consulates are not able to take calls about individual passport applications and Consular staff cannot countersign passport applications.
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Old Sep 2nd 2013, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Good. Now explain why it is still twice the cost?
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Old Sep 2nd 2013, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Good. Now explain why it is still twice the cost?



Good question. Not quite twice as much but why if you are in the UK do you pay £72.50 for a renewal, but from the USA it's £128 plus courier fee. I can understand the courier fee but if all passports come from the same place, why is the cost of the passport different. Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Old Sep 2nd 2013, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post



Good question. Not quite twice as much but why if you are in the UK do you pay £72.50 for a renewal, but from the USA it's £128 plus courier fee. I can understand the courier fee but if all passports come from the same place, why is the cost of the passport different. Inquiring minds would like to know.
I realise I'm about to get shot down in flames here, but I'd have thought most people residing in Britain who apply for passports are also paying tax in the UK (and by extension, further subsidising the cost of passports over and above the simple application costs). Expats in other countries who are applying for British passports may or may not be paying tax to HMRC, but I suspect most are not. So the UK government have whacked on a premium to the price that expats pay, in order to reflect this.

Now let the slagging commence!
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Old Sep 2nd 2013, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
I realise I'm about to get shot down in flames here, but I'd have thought most people residing in Britain who apply for passports are also paying tax in the UK (and by extension, further subsidising the cost of passports over and above the simple application costs). Expats in other countries who are applying for British passports may or may not be paying tax to HMRC, but I suspect most are not. So the UK government have whacked on a premium to the price that expats pay, in order to reflect this.

Now let the slagging commence!
If this were the case, it behooves the UK government to explain how much it actually costs them to provide a passport.
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Old Sep 2nd 2013, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Good. Now explain why it is still twice the cost?
Isn't it just DHL? I assume they err on the side of caution so they don't have to raise the fees every five minutes. It's full cost recovery.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Is this change also likely to apply to birth registrations in the near future? Just about to post off a form for my son.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Isn't it just DHL? I assume they err on the side of caution so they don't have to raise the fees every five minutes. It's full cost recovery.
Isn't that extra?
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
Isn't it just DHL? I assume they err on the side of caution so they don't have to raise the fees every five minutes. It's full cost recovery.
No the courier fee is separate to the passport. They show cost of passport and passport plus courier fee.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
I realise I'm about to get shot down in flames here, but I'd have thought most people residing in Britain who apply for passports are also paying tax in the UK (and by extension, further subsidising the cost of passports over and above the simple application costs). Expats in other countries who are applying for British passports may or may not be paying tax to HMRC, but I suspect most are not. So the UK government have whacked on a premium to the price that expats pay, in order to reflect this.

Now let the slagging commence!
The reason given in the past as to why it cost more to renew in the US was that the fee had to cover the cost. That was when the passport was also produced in the US. Also I believe they added an amount to cover the cost of services provided by the Embassy to UK passport holders, both those visiting or residing in the US.

It would seem that if fees have to cover the cost of the passport, we should all pay the same. The taxes of those living in the UK should go towards paying for the services they use when on their annual holiday to Disney, and not be subsidized by those of us living overseas who probably rarely if ever use the Embassy services.
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Old Sep 4th 2013, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by NatashaB View Post
Is this change also likely to apply to birth registrations in the near future? Just about to post off a form for my son.
I was wondering that too
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 12:01 am
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Does this mean they will be much stricter on enforcing the passport photograph rules?

I've been reading a thread http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=784653 on that subject, but it wasn't very clear on whether they will reject ones which have been cut down from the US standard size?

Any suggestions from the Consul ?
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 1:05 am
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

HMG initially sold the idea of passport repatriation as a way of bringing the overseas costs in line with what UK residents pay. In theory it should only be the UK cost, currently £72.50, plus the courier fees. They have since backtracked on this and the overseas prices will remain at the higher rate until at least April.

Consular birth registrations are going back in April as well which is a truly horrendous proposal and will lead to all manner of fraudulent claims and errors being made, but it will save the FCO a few quid so they're going for it :/
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Old Sep 5th 2013, 1:58 am
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by AddyLaddy View Post
Does this mean they will be much stricter on enforcing the passport photograph rules? ....... it wasn't very clear on whether they will reject ones which have been cut down from the US standard size? ......
By all accounts, Walgreens and other similar pharmacies that provide passport photos are able to generate photos to the British specifications, so that shouldn't be an issue so long as you ask for British passport photos.
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Old Sep 6th 2013, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE USA

Originally Posted by materialcontroller View Post
I realise I'm about to get shot down in flames here, but I'd have thought most people residing in Britain who apply for passports are also paying tax in the UK (and by extension, further subsidising the cost of passports over and above the simple application costs).
There is no subsidy, it's full cost recovery. So it should be the same.

If it's not the courier cost I assume it must be because it's harder to do for some reason, e.g. check the person actually exists and their countersignatory.
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