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 is now possible to have it renewed in Spain, in fact it has been for several years. You will need to apply to the Identity and Passport Service in Belfast, but no need to panic; you don't actually have to go there, you can do it all by post or courier. Remember, we're talking about renewing a passport, and not applying for one for the first time; that requires a different procedure. So, if you are renewing your passport, you must be in possession of the old passport you are about to renew.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As from 13th May 2013, all digital passport applications will need to be sent to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/change-to-passport-service-for-british-nationals-in-spain-and-andorra
For those Previously Registered as Children on their Parent’s/Guardian’s Passport
If you were previously included as a child under your parents or legal guardian’s passport, then it is not the renewal process that you will need to follow, but that of applying for a passport for the first time.
The Application Form
The form that you need to complete for an adult passport application is designated form C1 the original of which is yellow. You can download a PDF copy of a C1 from the British Embassy website in Spain. Don't worry if you don't have a colour printer, the embassy will accept a C1 with a white background, and with your details completed in black ink. Whether you are collecting your form in person, or downloading it from the Embassy‘s website, you should also collect or download a copy of the C1 guidance notes at the same time, and you should read these carefully before beginning to complete your form.
The Smart Form
When you get onto the website, you'll find that there is something called a smart application form. This smart form allows you to complete the C1 online; but please be aware that you will still need to print a copy off, in order to sign it. The smart form is quite helpful, because it gives you on screen prompts for each section that needs to be completed. It also enables the embassy to process your passport application a little quicker. Please note however, that only citizens resident in the UK or Hong Kong are able to use the smart form.
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 on the embassy's website. But essentially they must be in colour; must be of identical size (45 mm 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).
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.
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 31st March 2014.
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 section is, but as a rough guide you should expect to receive your new passport within 2 to 4 weeks from receipt of your application. 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.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: As from 13th May 2013, all passport applications will need to be sent to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast. Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/change-to-passport-service-for-british-nationals-in-spain-and-andorra
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