Sat | Nov 17, 2018

Immigration Corner | Applying for a child's first British passport

Published:Tuesday | October 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am a British citizen living outside the United Kingdom and I need to apply for my child's first British passport. How would I go about this?

- HA

Dear HA,

If a child has never had a British passport, the parent must apply for a first child passport. However, the child must have British nationality to be eligible for a British passport.

Persons can apply for a child passport online. Those persons must complete and print off the application form and send it to HM Passport Office with the child's photographs and supporting documents. The address can be found on the form.

Please note that if you are in the United Kingdom, the parent can apply by post by either getting a paper form from a post office that offers the Passport Check and Send service or by contacting the Passport Adviceline to get a form posted to the applicant.

Upon receipt, the parent should fill in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 of the form. Please note that the child will need to sign section 6 if he/she is 12 years of age or over. The parent will need to get someone else, known as a 'countersignatory', to fill in section 10 and certify the child's photograph.

Read the booklet that comes with the form if unsure or if help is needed with the application.

To send in the application, persons can either post the form, photographs and documents using the pre-printed envelope that comes with the form, or take the form, photographs and documents to the post office, if using the Passport Check and Send service.

It should be noted that someone with parental responsibility must sign the form and that if the child is 12 to 15 years of age or over, he/she will need to sign the form as well.

 

Documents to be sent with the application

 

Parents must send the following with the application:

- Two new photographs of their child.

- The child's full birth or adoption certificate - that is the one with parent's details on it.

- Proof that the child has British nationality, for example, a British registration certificate, parent's passport details or parent's birth certificate.

- Any valid passports from a different country belonging to the child.

- Any court orders, for example, that describe parental responsibility or residency arrangements.

It is advisable that persons read the guidance notes to find out which documents need to be sent.

Persons must send original documents or official copies of certificates. Photocopies are not accepted, not even 'certified copies'. Please note that if the documents are not in English or Welsh, persons will need to send certified translations as well as the originals. Also, persons cannot send laminated documents.

If the name on the passport does not match the name on the birth certificate, persons with parental responsibility must send a signed and dated letter confirming the name change and that they agree to the child getting a new passport; a deed poll; at least one piece of evidence that shows the new name being used, for example, National Health Service records, child benefits or school records.

Applicants' documents will be sent back by normal post, but persons can pay an extra £5 to get them sent by secure delivery. This service should be chosen on the application for those wishing to use it.

Please be aware that the applicants will receive their child's new passport by courier or Royal Mail. Please be aware that the applicant, having applied, can track their passport application.

I hope this helps.

John S. Bassie

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com