UK Passport advice (reader's question)

This question was originally posted on our Facebook page by a reader.

After some advice please, from you lovely people.. I moved from the UK to France a few years ago, with my daughter. Her passport runs out in November this year, so obviously need to renew - mine runs out next year, and I use it at least once a month - I think I need to contact an Embassy? I have found various conflicting info on the interweb(!) and thought there maybe somebody here who has experienced something similar recently. Will I have to be passport free for a couple of months? How can I travel (Europe and Switzerland) - I need to for work? Merci in advance ;)

Thanks for all the advice! I will plan carefully on when to apply for my renewal - 9 or 10 days without travelling won't be too bad! Figure we will wait until after the main holidays for renewing my daughter's, just in case! :)

It can all be done online all the information you need is here on this site hope it helps.

I live in France and renewed my son's UK passport last month via Paris office and completed forms online. Having no British friends here, it was ok for a French friend to sign it who is a school teacher and it arrived within 9 days. Excellent service. You can apply up to 9 months in advance.

I would second or third going through the UK embassy in Paris. I renewed my daughter's passport through them about 18 months ago by downloading the forms from the website as Lyn mentions. I also found the service to be extremely quick and efficient.

We did ours last November on a trip to UK - using the Premium service - making an appointment 2 weeks before and then it takes 4 hours and about £170 for the new passport. We used the Peterborough office as it suited our travel plans. It`s often a requirement to have at least 6 months validity left on your passport - and in the UK system described above the unused portion of your old passport is added to the new one.

Perhaps a cheap flight back to UK may be less expensive that paying for one outside UK?

If you're living in France, you MUST apply through the Embassy in Paris. The UK passport office will NOT accept applications from, or return passports to, abroad. The cost is well over twice what you would pay in the UK. I intend renewing mine, when it expires, while on a trip to the UK. I have less of a problem than most, as I have an Irish passport as well.

Embassies and consulates are generally quicker than the UK passport office. If you want to phone first try your nearest consulate as the phone lines are often busy at the embassy in Paris

Nina, you should always check with the official website for answers to official questions. My post below gives the address of the government website you need. Read all the info there and you'll know exactly what to do.

I am in Budapest. On Sunday I did not even take my passport out of my pocket once at departure point Bordeaux or arrival here. Tomorrow, I have been told, they will look at the outside cover then from that point on inside the EU nothing else. So, the message is do not be too worried by overdue renewal although when you do it with the embassy your jaw will drop when you hear what it costs - but there is no choice so that is that. Only the embassy is doing it now, we changed one daughter's passport in 2011 and tried the consulate in Bordeaux who said that is no longer part of consular service.

just for interest if you have a uk passport and are british apart from your old passport and new photographs what else do you need to apply - thank you if you can help

Download the forms here, with all other information you need:

In Switzerland they regard EU passports as valid, so no problem there. If you are only using the airport (Geneva) you don't even touch the Swiss off-roads to meet any Customs. Also a French ID card will also get ou throughout the EU - remember there are no customs or immigration offices now within the EU, so even that is not really necessary, your car registration number is usually enough.

Curiously my UK passport is now out of date, and I am applying for French nationality, but was stopped by the police for an insurance chack on the car, and altough they looked at the passport it didn't bother them that it was out-of-date.

I renewed mine in December in London by booking a Premium service appointment at the passport office just by Victoria Station. It was very good: I just had to fill in the usual passport form (you have to get that from a post office) and take that plus the fee and photos to the passport office. The interview lasts about 20 minutes including waiting time and you go back 4 hours later to get the passport. Or you can do it in a week and get it delivered to a UK address. You can book the interview around 2/3 weeks in advance. As I was back in the UK anyway it was extremely handy to be able to do this.

Otherwise it's all via Paris, from what I have read.

We have all applied from the Embassy in Paris, you can print the forms from their site. I have also had to apply for an emergency passport (at a cost)! but I found all the staff very helpful.


I think you need to read this article

It looks as though you have until April to apply under the current system. It is pricey but quick!

An alternative is to arrange to renew while you are in the UK. I believe it is still possible to apply and collect on the same day at the offices in Petty France London although the post office offer a service which is pretty quick but you have to be IN THE UK to apply and obviously can't travel until it is returned..

Last time I applied to the Embassy in Paris, they sent a new passport out in 2 days. Unfortunately it then took UPS 5 days to find our house !