With sunny weather just around the corner, you’ve probably got most of your holiday plans worked out by now – but if you haven’t, don’t worry. Last minute trips can be even more fun than those you’ve been planning for months, but don’t get left behind due to passport issues. If you still need to apply for your first adult passport, then the best advice is to do it as soon as possible, as it could take longer than the standard three weeks. When applying for your first passport as an adult in the UK, you may be called for an interview so that the Passport Service can verify your identity before providing you with this document, which should arrive in the post sometime after. So, what should you expect from your first adult passport application, and what can you do to make sure it all runs smoothly?
#1. Apply Early:
If you’ve already got a holiday planned, then you need to get your application sent off as quickly as possible, as it’s likely to take longer than three weeks for your first time. In addition to the possibility of being asked to come in for an interview, you will also likely need to get somebody to counter-sign your passport photograph. This will need to be a person who is not related to you, has known you for a certain period of time, and works in a profession that is on an approved list. In some cases, finding such a person can be tricky, so make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to complete the full application.
#2. Get the Photos Right:
There’s nothing more frustrating than having your passport application delayed because the photographs that you have sent in aren’t suitable. If you’re using a photo booth to take your passport photographs then it’s a good idea to choose one which has instructions printed inside for taking correct passport photos – you will usually find one at your local Post Office. Another idea is to have a photographer skilled in taking passport photos take your picture; this will cost you more but provide you with further peace of mind when it comes to ensuring that your application is approved.
#3. Consider Using Check and Send:
Applying online for your passport is easier than ever, but if you want to make sure that you get everything right and your application runs smoothly, you might want to consider paying the additional £9.75 to take advantage of the Post Office’s Check and Send service. You can pick up an application form at your local Post Office branch and once it’s completed, bring it back in where the trained staff will look over everything from forms to photographs to ensure that it all meets HM Passport Office standards and is ready to go. This way, you can be made aware of any potential issues on your passport application that may slow it down so you can fix them straight away. Bear in mind that if you are applying for your first adult passport then you will not be eligible to use the digital Check and Send service and will need to fill out the paper form.
#4. Gather any Supporting Documents:
In order to get your first adult passport as quickly as possible, you will need to provide the Passport Office with supporting documents that help verify your identity. Usually, this will be your birth certificate, although you may be asked for other forms of identification such as your UK driving licence, if you have one. If you do not have access to your birth certificate, it’s a good idea to prioritise applying for a new one before you send off your passport application. You can obtain a copy of your birth certificate in England and Wales by contacting the registry office where the birth registration took place, either by post or in person. You may also be able to order a copy of your birth certificate on the Gov.Uk website.
#5. Preparing for an Interview:
In some cases, applicants who are getting their first adult passport will be called in for an interview with HM Passport Office. This is nothing to worry about; it’s standard procedure for verifying identity and will not last very long. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your personal life that only you yourself would be able to answer correctly. Some examples of questions that you will be asked include your full name and address, the names of anybody else who is on the electoral roll at your address, the dates of birth of certain family members, who you hold your bank account with and how long you have held it, who your countersignature is and where they work, how long you have lived at your current address and where you lived previously, and the date of your parents’ marriage. Don’t worry if you are unable to answer of these questions as you genuinely do not know; for example, if you’re estranged from your parents and don’t know something about them, you can simply explain your situation to the interviewer and they will move on to the next question. As long as you get the majority of questions right and can prove your identity you will be fine.
#6. Fast-Track Passport Applications:
In some circumstances, you may be able to get your passport quicker than usual. However, bear in mind that this fast track passport service is more commonly used for renewals and first child passports rather than first adult passports, so you should not rely on it to get your passport on time. There are several fast-track and urgent passport options available that you can take advantage of if you need a passport quickly. You can use the one-week service to get your passport sent to your home within seven days excluding bank holidays or the one-day premium service to have your passport on the same day, as long as you have all the necessary application paperwork, photographs, countersignatures, and other supporting documentation available. There are several locations nationally that has passport offices available. You will need to book an appointment at a Passport Customer Service Centre. If you are up north an option is the Liverpool Passport Office or even the Durham office. You will pay an additional fee that is non-refundable if you cancel or do not attend your appointment. You can find more information on the passport office Liverpool and other Passport Customer Service Centres near you by visiting Passports-Office.co.uk, along with further information on what to do if your passport is lost, stolen or expired and you need one urgently.
#7. Once Your Passport Arrives:
Congratulations – you have successfully completed your application and are the proud owner of a UK passport. Once your passport arrives in the post, you should first sign it – bear in mind that your passport is not valid without your signature. Don’t forget to check your passport to make sure that everything is correct including your name and how it is spelled, your date and place of birth, your nationality, and the start and expiry dates of the passport itself. If any of this information is incorrect you will need to get in touch with the Passport Office as soon as possible to let them know.
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