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Topic: Renewing US Passport question  (Read 648 times)

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Renewing US Passport question
« on: March 14, 2019, 10:10:16 AM »
Hello everyone... I am tying up loose ends since my British wife passed away on February 28th. Now that I am a Widowed parent of a British citizen, apparently, I will be green-lighted for ILR. We are still in disbelief, hoping up until the last 2 weeks that she would recover.

My 1st question is: will I need to send in my passport to the Home Office or will a copy suffice.

2nd question: my passport is up for renewal in April on my birthday this year. did I read somewhere that it had to be within 28 days? 4 weeks?

3rd question: If I have to send my physical passport to the Home Office, should I get it renewed 1st? My past experience with sending in my passport to the home office means several months of waiting for it to be returned.

4th question: (sorry, last one) Is it "easier" to travel to London to the US Embassy = i.e., parking etc. congestion fees and waiting times

Thanks again for all your help. I've found it better to ask you guys who have inside knowledge of these things rather than searching obtuse government websites.  ::)
Cheers!


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 08:42:24 AM »
I know this original post is old, but for anyone else who wants to know about renewing their US passport... I recently renewed mine. It was a massive pain. The US embassy go out of their way to make it awkward and difficult. You either have to get to London by 11am latest (not easy if you live far away - and we don't all live in London), or you have to use the most useless courier in the UK, DX services. I chose the latter.

You also have to pay by Postal Money order to "US disbursement office" - why don't they accept debit cards... Anyway, it took DX FIVE TIMES to finally manage to collect my documents. Complete shambles. DX then said they would refund me the £15.45 fee, and they didn't.

But on the good side, it only took two weeks to get my new passport. Of course DX didn't turn up until just before 5pm, and I had waited for them from 8am, but at least they turned up that day.

Also keep in mind the embassy building has moved location, so don't accidentally go to the old one if you do go in person.

And if you are renewing a child's passport, both parents normally have to be present along with the child. Even if you are divorced and you have sole custody. So I found that rule quite awkward as well as it sort of  implies we're all gonna do a runner the first chance we get, which is kind of offensive. lol. You can renew a British passport for a child without the other parent, as long as you provide a court order. So again, the US is a bit OTT with the rules.

Thankfully you only have to do this, if you're an adult, every ten years. x


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 09:18:27 AM »
Yeah, I ended up going to London.

My 1st hiccup was parking at the train station. The parking meter only took coins (a bit old) and it wanted £7 for the day. I did not have £7 worth of coins in my pocket so ... searching about, I see the advert for RingGo. Ok, well let's see if I have a mobile signal - yes! Download the app ... (seconds ticking) installed = add my personal info, car reg, credit card, secret question and cross my fingers = Bingo! RingGo worked! I rush to the ticket machine to collect my ticket, wait in line, train arrives. Get to ticket machine, enter my info and get ticket, run to train. I glance down at ticket and realize it is "outbound" and rush back to ticket machine to get "return" ticket, rush back to train as doors close on me... ack! find the tiny button to open train praying it would and it did. Whew! (a footnote to RingGo - I've been told to turn off notifications from them as they will charge you 50p for each one - true?)

I get into Waterloo Station and it's sheer chaos. There was some mention (from a neighbor) that there was a tube to Vauxhall (which turned out to be a train line - the closest station to the Embassy - 20 minutes walk from there) I decide in my innocence that I don't have time to find a ticket machine, get a ticket to Vauxhall and find the right line soooo, I decide to walk. 45 minutes from Waterloo ... I need the exercise so off i go.

After about 25 minutes of fast paced walking, I'm getting tired. I'm watching my phone to check the time walking along the Thames and of course, you don't foresee construction and various detours along that route. I stumbled on uneven paving stones a few times and nearly got run over by traffic crossing across the road in a panic. But finally made it to the Embassy, which has a large moat. Which I guess would be pretty in some way but they were in the process of cleaning it so it was a murky mess.

There are two entrances to the Embassy. I get in the 1st line I see, which I learned after about 10 minutes of waiting, was for other nations. I'm told to go to the other line, which is for American citizens. Okay, I go there, looking for some sign that might have alerted me earlier - there was none. Still, I'm chirpy with the guard, hoping to charm her into letting me in since I'm about 15 minutes late for my appointment. She says okay and I'm in. You have to have all your belongings scanned and walk through the body scanner just like an airport. Get past that and still no signs telling you where to go. I follow everyone else and go out the initial scan building up a long walkway to the Embassy. Again, the separation of Americans and I'm told to go upstairs to the 2nd floor.

Once there you get a number and the DX courier form (which was not explained to me - but I figured it out while waiting in line). Then you begin the booth shuffle. Wait for your number to be called. Booth 27 back to booth 3 down to booth 15 etc. Eventually I'm done having signed up for the DX courier service to my home. I can't recall the price - I think about £10.

I took a slower walk back to Vauxhall and got on the train to Waterloo. Again, chaos ... I'm not a seasoned London traveler as you may have guess. Trying to find the right platform to get the fastest train is next to rocket science in my eyes. I did finally find help from a nice guard who seemed to know what she was doing but still nerve wracking. My passport came through in about 7 days ... DX was good enough to give me a 4 hour window of delivery - no problems.
Cheers!


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 07:30:56 PM »
I had my passport renewed at the Embassy in November. It all went smoothly, except DX delivery. I was told I would get a delivery window on the day expected, but I got neither a delivery window OR a day of delivery. Then we got an "attempted delivery" notice. My husband works from home and was home all day and there was no delivery attempt. When I contacted DX they said they had been "unable to reach my property", with no further explanation. I rescheduled the delivery for the earliest available day which was 2 days later. I never received a delivery window, and when I called to complain they said they didn't give delivery windows. So they lied or the Embassy lied and my money is on them. I don't know why any reputable company uses DX.


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 09:29:55 PM »
I haven't checked on this for a few years....and I still have a couple more years before I need to renew.....is London the only place you can go in person to renew? When I was still working I think I was able to head over to Liverpool to get it done. Have they done away with that?
Fred


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 09:10:27 AM »
I haven't checked on this for a few years....and I still have a couple more years before I need to renew.....is London the only place you can go in person to renew? When I was still working I think I was able to head over to Liverpool to get it done. Have they done away with that?

here's a helpful link / webpage

Most applicants can send the renewal application by mail. If your current U.S. passport is undamaged, issued within the past 15 years and has your current name (or you have evidence of a legal name change), apply by mail. Those living in England and Wales must use a courier service called DX for mail applications.13 Mar 2018
How Do I Renew an American Passport When Living in the UK? | USA ...
https://traveltips.usatoday.com/renew-american-passport-living-uk-109751.html
Cheers!


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 09:30:11 AM »
I haven't checked on this for a few years....and I still have a couple more years before I need to renew.....is London the only place you can go in person to renew? When I was still working I think I was able to head over to Liverpool to get it done. Have they done away with that?

I renewed by post. When looking up the renewal process, it seemed you could only renew at the embassy if it was an emergency situation. Everybody else has to renew by post (This was sometime last year that I renewed).

Also, didn't see this post when it was initially posted....I am so sorry for your loss :(
My, how time flies....

* Married in the US and applied for first spousal visa August 2013
* Moved to the UK on said visa October 2013
* FLR(M) applied for  May 2016. Biometrics requested June 2016. Approval given July 2016.
* ILR applied for January 2019 (using priority processing). Approved February 2019.
* Citizenship applied for May  2019

**CITIZENSHIP APPROVED July 4, 2019! Formal ceremony on August 28, 2019!**

HEY MOM, I'M A BRIT NOW :D


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 02:49:36 PM »
Thanks. I would probably just renew by post.....but the DX incompetence is a bit scary. I still have another 2 years before I need to do it.....maybe they will do something smart and make the process simpler????? or at least get a different delivery business? Although, considering how completely out of date the process was for my wife getting her green card to go to the US, I'm not planning on them doing any wise planning.
Fred


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 03:07:09 PM »
Thanks. I would probably just renew by post.....but the DX incompetence is a bit scary. I still have another 2 years before I need to do it.....maybe they will do something smart and make the process simpler????? or at least get a different delivery business? Although, considering how completely out of date the process was for my wife getting her green card to go to the US, I'm not planning on them doing any wise planning.

FWIW, we both renewed ours by post last year and DX picked up our application and passports for delivery, and returned them and the new ones exactly as advertised. No issues at all with them provided you are prepared to spend the day waiting in for them.  I think they named the day each time but not a narrow time frame around which you could plan to be out. You have to be in in order to sign.

The only gripe I had was that DX didn't know what day the new passports would be delivered until they received them from the Embassy the day they were ready and the Embassy does not say when they will be issued.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 06:16:46 PM »
FWIW, we both renewed ours by post last year and DX picked up our application and passports for delivery, and returned them and the new ones exactly as advertised. No issues at all with them provided you are prepared to spend the day waiting in for them.  I think they named the day each time but not a narrow time frame around which you could plan to be out. You have to be in in order to sign.

The only gripe I had was that DX didn't know what day the new passports would be delivered until they received them from the Embassy the day they were ready and the Embassy does not say when they will be issued.
Easy peasy then......but for the payment methods I guess......
Fred


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 08:44:32 PM »
Easy peasy then......but for the payment methods I guess......

The payment   :o

That was the hardest part, getting a cashier’s check made out to the right entity in dollars.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2019, 09:15:24 PM »
I renewed my US passport last month in the Edinburgh Embassy, it was very easy to do.  I took the bus to Edinburgh, about a 2hr journey and then walked to the embassy from the bus station.  I was able to pay using my debit card.  The new passport and the old/one were sent back to me in the mail about 5 days later.  I has to provide a Special Delivery envelope for it to be mailed back to me which was not cheap but it was trackable and was delivered before 1pm the day after it was mailed.
US Citizenship - March 2009
Online Application Spouse Visa - 27 Jan 2015
Biometrics Appointment - 4 Feb 2015
Application received Sheffield - 6 Feb 2015
Visa Received - 16 Feb 2015
FLR(M) In-Person  (Approved)- 4 Jan 2018
BRP Received - 9 Jan 2018


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 09:34:15 PM »
I renewed my US passport last month in the Edinburgh Embassy, it was very easy to do.  I took the bus to Edinburgh, about a 2hr journey and then walked to the embassy from the bus station.  I was able to pay using my debit card.  The new passport and the old/one were sent back to me in the mail about 5 days later.  I has to provide a Special Delivery envelope for it to be mailed back to me which was not cheap but it was trackable and was delivered before 1pm the day after it was mailed.

Unfortunately they only do that for residents of Scotland.  At least that is what they said last year when I inquired.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 10:27:15 PM »
Unfortunately they only do that for residents of Scotland.  At least that is what they said last year when I inquired.

They do a walk-in service every Monday 13:30 - 16:00 for passports and the lady that was in the line in front of me was from Newcastle.  She had come up to Edinburgh on the train. She had no problems getting her passport.

So it looks like it has changed.
US Citizenship - March 2009
Online Application Spouse Visa - 27 Jan 2015
Biometrics Appointment - 4 Feb 2015
Application received Sheffield - 6 Feb 2015
Visa Received - 16 Feb 2015
FLR(M) In-Person  (Approved)- 4 Jan 2018
BRP Received - 9 Jan 2018


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Re: Renewing US Passport question
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 10:44:00 PM »
They do a walk-in service every Monday 13:30 - 16:00 for passports and the lady that was in the line in front of me was from Newcastle.  She had come up to Edinburgh on the train. She had no problems getting her passport.

So it looks like it has changed.

Sounds like if you don’t ask and just turn up then you’ll be okay. That’s good to know.

https://uk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/edinburgh/us-citizen-services/

Quote
Welcome to the U.S. Citizen Services Section of the Consulate General Edinburgh.  We provide all passport, citizenship and consular related services to U.S. citizens in Scotland.

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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