If you are living in Spain and your British passport is about to expire in the near future, there's no need to worry, because it's now possible to have it renewed while living here in Spain; in fact this has been the case for several years.
As of the 13th of May 2013 the digital passport application process has changed. Previously, applications were sent to the passport processing centre in Madrid. This is no longer the case as you will need to apply directly to the Identity and Passport Service in Belfast. No need to panic though, you don't actually have to go there, you can do it all online and via post.
How to Renew an Adult or Childs UK Passport
The application process is done online and is relatively straightforward. There are three simple steps which are:-
- Complete online application form
- Print and Make Payment
- Sign and Send
Note that you can save the application online and will be given a username and password. You will also need to have a printer and debit/credit card to make payment and print the application.
Important: If you are applying for a first child or adult passport the process is fairly similar, although you may have to attend an interview in person and provide identification and other supporting documentation. Interviews are held as close as possible to your home.
To apply online you will need to go to the following web address.
There is an online guide that you can read which provides you with all the application details.
The Digital/Biometric Passport Processing Fee
Do not forget to include the appropriate fee with your application or it will be delayed. The fees for applying in Spain are at present as follows:
- Adult passport (32 page) - £83.00 + £19.86 courier fee.
- Adult passport (48 page) - £91.00 + £19.86 courier fee.
- Child passport (32 page) - £53.00 + £19.86 courier fee.
The Courier fee shown above is to cover the cost of returning the passport to you via a secure courier.
*** Prices correct as of 14th of January 2015.
You will need to provide the following documentation to accompany your application:
- Your existing, or expired ten-year adult, or five-year child passport. Please note that this must be an original as copies are not accepted
- You will also need two photographs of yourself cut to passport photograph size. To ensure that the photographs are acceptable, you should follow the IPS rules, a link to which you will find below. But essentially they must be in colour; must be of identical size (45mm x 35mm), and must be of your head only, without any headdress or hat, and your facial expression should be neutral (no smiling, grimacing, or otherwise pulling a face).
See the following page for a complete list https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/342794/
Certifying Your Photographs
Please note that if you are renewing a passport, (not applying for a new one), then you do not need to have your photographs certified, unless of course your visual appearance has changed markedly from the photographs in the old expiring passport.
If your appearance has changed substantially, then your photographs will need to be certified, and you can follow the requirements and instructions as given on the website.
Further information on passport photo requirements can be found here https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports
How Long To Get My New Digital Passport?
The length of time it would take to issue your new are passport will vary depending on the time of year and how busy passport office is, but as a rough guide you should expect to receive your new passport in around 6 weeks from receipt of your application. If you are applying for a first passport, it can take up to 8 weeks.
When you receive your new passport you should check it through carefully to ensure that all the details are correct, as after six months, any change required to the information recorded will be deemed as a renewed passport application and charged accordingly.
Lost, Stolen or Expired Passports
If you have lost your passport or if it has been stolen and you do not have time to get a replacement, you can apply to your local British Consulate or Embassy and obtain an Emergency Travel Document or ETD.
This allows you to travel through up to five countries. In order to get an ETD, you will need to report the loss to your nearest Guardia Civil or National Police office. They will then issue you with a report that you will need to show when applying for the ETD.
To apply for an ETD, you will have to do so in person at your nearest British Consulate office. See the following list to find your closest consulate. https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-madrid
The following documentation will be required:-
- Completed ETD Application Form - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-a-united-kingdom-emergency-travel-document--2
- Proof of your travel plans
- A police report if the passport has been stolen
- The fee of approximately £95 (In Euro's)
You can make a provisional police report in English by calling 902 102 112, then go the nearest National Police station to collect the final report.
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