Author Topic: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising  (Read 20336 times)

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VMC

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How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« on: May 29, 2011, 11:18:04 AM »
Although relatively simple on the surface, the instructions for applying for your first passport can be vague.  That in itself can be a bit annoying, but because even the most minor mistake can mean redoing your application (including bothering your referee again) AND the internets seem to be rife with people giving bad advice on it, I decided to make this simple, UK-Y guide.  It can be used for people who are applying for their first passport as Brits by decent, but the requirements and the actual form filling will be slightly different.

What you need:
  • Passport appropriate photos (2 identical)*
  • Any current passports from other countries
  • Any expired passports from other countries which haven't been replaced by a current one. However, you must include the passport you used to enter the country even if it is not your current one.
  • Naturalisation certificate (the official one and not the ceremonial one that some councils give out.)
  • Marriage certificate or deed poll documenting your name change if your name has changed from your other passport
  • One professional referee (UK passport holder, professional or of standing in the community--can be retired, known you for at least 2 years)
  • Money for the fee
  • A black pen

The form:

General advice:
  • Use black ink
  • WRITE IN CAPITAL, BLOCK LETTERS (unless instructed otherwise)
  • If you make a mistake, totally black out the mistake
  • If your referee makes a mistake, have him or her black out and initial the mistakes
  • Make sure that any signatures are within the borders of the signature box and do not touch the edge.
  • Also make sure that the BLOCK CAPITALS in the other sections fall within the white boxes.  If you do not do this, the information might not get scanned correctly and it may delay your application.
  • If you are a naturalised citizen, you DO NOT need to fill out any information on your parents or grandparents (section 8 ).  This is for people who have citizenship by descent.  Do not sweat this section.
  • There are several sections that need to be dated.  Don't miss them.  If you're using check and send, it will probably be picked up, but postal applications might be delayed if you miss these.
  • Be sure to consider checking the box for secure document return. (I think this is only an option with check and send)
  • Make sure your referee writes the required blurb** on the back of one of the photos and uses your FULL name including TITLE.

I think the form itself is self explanatory otherwise.

Using Check and Send:
Many post office branches offer this service.  If you go to the Post Office website, you can find a branch near you where you can basically have someone look over your form, photos, and documents and send them off securely.  They cannot guarantee that your application does not have errors or your photos meet the requirements.

*Photo Requirements:

Most modern photo booths will take photos with the required background, of the proper size, and even give instructions on how to centre your face in the frame.  Photo shops will also usually know all the current regulations.  Some general advice:

  • Remove your glasses, if possible
  • Pull your hair back from your face
  • Keep your face neutral

The website actually goes into pretty specific advice on that, so it shouldn't be a problem for most people.

**The referee blurb on the back of one of your two photos

Quote
"I certify that this is a true likeness of [Miss, Mr, Mrs, Ms or other title and your full name] [signature of referee][date]"

Good luck!
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 01:07:48 PM by Legs Akimbo »

VMC

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 11:23:20 AM »
If I've missed anything or if anyone else has advice, feel free to post.  I will try to edit it in if appropriate and possible.  I may add information on interviews at a later date.

I didn't put costs down because these are subject to change too often.  I am hoping to keep this as relevant as possible for as long as possible.

Offline Mrs Robinson

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 11:33:38 AM »
I may add information on interviews at a later date. 

I know we've at least a couple older threads out there somewhere with the passport/identity verification interview info, but I think it'd be great for you to put up-to-date info about it when you've had your interview.  :)
Ring the bells that still can ring
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There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

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Offline 4426120

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 12:20:50 PM »
As well as keeping your signature within the box, keep all other letters within the little white boxes.  The information is scanned and if anything falls outside of the boxes it could be rejected and hold up your application. 

You must also include the passport on which you entered the country (if it is not your current passport) should you be applying for a UK passport by naturalization.


Offline MalcolmB

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 01:04:32 PM »
You must also include the passport on which you entered the country (if it is not your current passport) should you be applying for a UK passport by naturalization.



What exactly does this mean?  The first passport you ever entered the UK on, or the one you used most recently?

Offline 4426120

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 01:23:06 PM »
I take this to mean the passport on which you entered the UK in order to settle.

Offline MalcolmB

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2011, 05:50:07 PM »
So...whichever passport you first entered with on your fiance/spousal visa?

Offline 4426120

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 01:14:28 PM »
Yes. Or work permit/visa.

Offline onetiger

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 11:54:17 AM »
Thanks so much for this.  I'm hoping to apply for my passport soon after I get my naturlisation (which hopefully will be w/in two months), so this info will be invaluable!

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 05:31:14 PM »
You might want to add in the photo section about not smiling...

Otherwise, perfect! And I'd wish this existed when I applied for mine! :)
Summer 97 - first visited friends in London
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Sep 04 - WP renewed
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VMC

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 06:03:30 PM »
You might want to add in the photo section about not smiling...

Otherwise, perfect! And I'd wish this existed when I applied for mine! :)

I put "keep face neutral" and linked to an extensive list of requirements which list not smiling as one of them.  But, chances are, if someone is going for a passport after being naturalised, they've had several photos sort of along the same lines, so I was less worried about the photo requirements and more about the actual form.

Offline Qube

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 11:47:11 AM »
Thinking ahead, is it possible to apply for your first British passport after naturalisation if you aren't in the country?

VMC

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 12:04:52 PM »
Yes.  I think there are a couple people who were naturalised after moving back to the US who then applied for their passports.  I am not sure if it's the same process as someone who has BC by descent or not.

VMC

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2011, 07:04:03 PM »
Some clarification from the interview dude: do fill out stuff about your parents/grandparent in the box.  So I guess that is definitive.

VMC

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Re: How to apply for your British passport after naturalising
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2011, 09:30:22 PM »
My passport interview:

This is not going to be everyone's experience, but since this seems to be a BIT exceptional, I wanted to make sure that it's not repeated.

I filed my paperwork 2 days after my citizenship ceremony.  I heard back a couple of weeks later.  I called and was told they were all booked up.  I called back in about an hour to find out if they had appointments outside of London, and suddenly a London appointment had opened.  

The woman who booked the appointment said that I would receive a letter which would say to report to the passport office near Victoria. She said to disregard this map as first time passport applicants are being interviewed at Hannibal House in Elephant and Castle. They hadn't changed the letter for some reason. She sent me a map via email of E&C and how to get to Hannibal House.  My appointment was for 2:45, and I was to arrive at least 20 minutes early.

Since I am not very good with London transport (at least not the Tube) on my own and Elephant and Castle always seems to confuse me, I left really early.  I got there around 12:30 after a fairly smooth trip there.  I spent almost two hours browsing the shops, drinking tea, writing letters... I would soon regret this.

At about 2:20 I went up to Hannibal House and the security guard told me to wait there and ran after someone going into the lift without clearance.  He then said, "I don't know why they keep doing this to people..." and explained that I was in the wrong place.  I said no, the woman on the phone had told me that it was definitely at Hannibal House.  He showed me a notice on the door.  He suggested I go to the Victoria office and explain.

I somehow managed to navigate the Tube on my own (surprising myself) in sheer panic.  I made it to the Victoria office a little after 3.  I complained.  They filed a report.  I was sweaty, nervous, and my eyebrow did the stress twitchy thing.  I hope that didn't make the interviewer wonder.  After navigating security (metal detector, bag xray), checking in on the first floor, then verifying I was the same person in the picture, spelling my name, I was told to wait for my number to be called and went to a big room (compared to the little cubicles everyone else was going to) for my interview.

The questions (that I remember):
Full name and how it's spelt.
Address
Email I used on form
How I submitted form
My phone number (I memorised it just for the interview...I can never remember it)
Did I pay for special delivery of documents?
What documents I sent with application
Country of birth
Place of birth
Have I received my documents back?
Am I a dual citizen?
Date and place of naturalisation
Have I ever been known by any other name?
How long have I lived at my current address?
Who else lives there?
My DOB
Husband's DOB
What bank account do I hold?  How long has it been open?
My referee's name, occupation, and how I knew him
My name is a slightly unusual spelling, so he asked about that in a round about way.
He asked about my parents, and then mentioned that I had left that bit blank, and I explained I didn't know that I had to fill it out, and the C&S people said I didn't.

I think that is it (not all in order).  I had to sign a digital pad.  He said I should hear back in a week, but the woman at the info desk said 4-10 working days.  He then talked about getting regular credit checks to make sure no one has stolen my ID.

Crazy amount of stress to get the passport.  I have to say that this has been the weirdest part of my journey to become British.  It's a bit like that film Brazil.  I do have to say that the people at Identity and Passport service were friendly, even if one of their members sent me to the wrong place.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 09:45:28 PM by Legs Akimbo »