For British National residents in Spain it used to be possible to obtain a new British passport from Madrid. Since the 13th May, this option has been removed. All applications now need to be sent directly to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast.
Although this might sound like a retrogressive step, we are informed that in practice it just means sending your passport application to a different address. The processing time should remain the same.
There is some good news too as the British passport helpline call charges are being removed and customers ringing from abroad will only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK rather than at premium rate. Apparently, it is the intention to bring the cost of applying for a passport in the UK and the cost of applying overseas more in line.
Whilst on the subject, here are some general reminders about passport application dos and donts:
- Allow four weeks to renew a passport from the date the fee is taken and the correct documentation is received
- Allow six weeks if you are renewing a British passport or applying after it has been lost or stolen
- Make sure that your signature on the form stays in the box and does not touch the grey edge
- Make sure you send the original documents – copies will not be accepted
- Correct mistakes using typex – if you do make an error initial against the correction or complete a new form
- Don’t attempt to bypass the system and send your passport application back with friends – this is illegal
- Think any old photo will do – the rules around passport photos have got tighter and tighter
Remember if you need to travel urgently and do not have your passport you should contact the British Consulate via 902 109 356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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