If you're a British parent living in Spain and you want to apply for a UK passport for your baby, here are some tips and information that you should know before starting the process.
Having a child that was born in Spain doesn’t mean they are automatically granted Spanish nationality, this right is usually only granted if one of the child's parents is Spanish. It is therefore important that you start the passport application as early as possible.
If one of the parents living in Spain is British, it's possible to apply for a UK passport for the baby, regardless of whether they were born in Spain or the United Kingdom. However, if your child doesn't have the automatic right to Spanish nationality, you will need to obtain a nationality with a corresponding ID number, before you can process their Spanish residency and get them their Número de Identidad de Extranjeros (NIE - foreigner ID number) that is required for other official matters.
How do I apply for my child's passport?
The application process for a child's UK passport from Spain is completed online through the official HM Passport Office page. However, before you begin the online application, it is advisable to prepare all the necessary documents, as you will have to send the original documents through courier to the HM Passport Office in the UK.
You will also be asked to provide the details of someone who can confirm your baby's identity, as well as yours. Someone who has known the British parent for at least two years and is in a recognised profession, i.e. a teacher, lawyer, doctor etc. This person can be based in Spain, the UK, or some other country, but they will receive an email in English with a link to a form they have to complete, and they may also receive a phone call from HM Passport Office.
You will also need to supply a photo of your child. The gov.co.uk website gives you the option to either take the photo yourself or have a professional take it. It is recommended that you take the photo yourself as the software on the website can verify whether the photo meets the necessary requirements beforehand. This can save you money and time compared to having it done at a photographer's studio in Spain, where you may have to pay for retakes if they don't get it right on the first try.
Once you have all the necessary documents ready, you can complete the online process and make the payment. It's £61 for a UK child's passport, plus a courier fee of £19.86 for the passport to be sent to your address in Spain. After payment, you'll be asked to provide the contact details of the person who will confirm your’s and your baby's identity.
Soon after completing that process, you will receive an email telling you to send the relevant application documents to the address that HM Passport Office provides, which you should send through courier to the UK.
What documents do I need to supply?
Some essential documents that you will need to send include:
All documents must be originals, not copies.
You will also need to factor in the time it takes to get your baby's full birth certificate which must also be translated. This can be done by a sworn English-Spanish translator in either the UK or Spain. When starting the application process, remember to allow extra time for getting this done.
You can find the current list of sworn translators from the Spanish government here.
How long does the process take?
It generally takes up to 10 weeks for the entire process, however, applications from overseas may take even longer. Unfortunately, there is no fast-track option for first-time passport applicants from Spain, although this is available for renewals.
To prevent any unnecessary delays, ensure that you have all the required documents and carefully review everything before submitting the application. It's possible to take your newborn's passport photo yourself since the software on the gov.co.uk website can verify whether the photo meets the necessary criteria.
By following these guidelines and suggestions, you can obtain your child's UK passport as quickly as possible (even in less than a month if you are lucky) and safeguard their rights in Spain.
Once your documents have been received and your passport has been approved, printed, and dispatched, you will receive a notification from the HM Passport Office
While the passport is with TNT, there is no tracking available. However, once it is ready to be sent to Spain, a different courier (typically DHL) will take over and send you an email notification with an estimated delivery date.
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