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UK Passport Application and Renewal Overseas

If you are planning on travelling, a valid passport is the first document you will need to secure. When you are in the UK this can be done online and easily. Are you in a hurry? You can also apply to get your UK passport urgently.

But what happens if you are abroad when you need a new passport? Maybe you you lost it or it was stolen while on holiday. No matter the reason, know that you can apply to renew your passport or get a new one overseas.

In this article, you'll learn about the requirements, fees, processing times, and steps to get your British passport from abroad.

How to apply for a British passport or renew it abroad


If you live in the UK but you’re temporarily abroad when you need to get a new passport, you must apply online. Once you apply, you will be given a number to track your application by email or text.

Documentation needed

As part of the application process, you will be asked to provide:

  • A digital passport photo. For more information and guidance on how to take the picture correctly watch the video at then end of the section.
  • The OS Application Form. Depending on what country you are applying from, you will need to fill in the OS Application Form and submit it. You will be asked to choose what you are applying for (renewal or new passport application) so you complete only that section. Notice that you can only apply to renew your passport if your current one is not damaged and your name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, appearance and nationality has not changed. If you have lost your passport or it has been stolen or damaged, you need to complete the ‘replacement section’ on the form.
  • Some original documentation, such as your last British passport (if you still have it) or any valid passport issued in another country. Depending on your situation, Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) may request other documents, like your birth certificate, or an official translation of any document that is not in English. You’ll be told what else to submit once you complete your online application.
  • The contact details and signature of a 'Counter signatory' (if requested). This is someone who has known you for at least two years and can confirm your identity. In order to be your counter signatory the person:
  • - Must be a professional person, such as an accountant, engineer, nurse, etc.
  • - Must hold a valid British, Irish, EU, US, or Commonwealth passport.
  • - Mustn’t be related to you, be in a personal relationship with you, or work for HM Passport Office.

How long does it take to get a passport abroad?

In general, it takes around a month for your new passport to arrive. However, the process may take from weeks to months, depending on whether Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) is satisfied with the evidence you have provided or they request further proof.

How much does a British Passport cost?

To apply for a standard passport, you will need to pay £75.50 for an adult passport and £49 for a child passport. You’ll also have to pay an extra £5 fee for the safe returning of the supporting documents.

Can I apply for a UK passport if I live abroad?

Yes. You can apply for a new British passport in your new country of residence. Depending on where you live, you may be able to make the application online or only in person. You must check what you need to submit and in what way where you live by using the online tool, as the requirements in each country are different.

How much will it cost?

As a rule, fees for overseas applications are higher than the equivalent fees for UK-based applicants. This is because these applications take longer to process. To apply for a standard passport, you must pay:

  • • Your passport fee (£86.00 for an adult and £56.00 for a child)
  • • An extra £10,16 fee for the returning of your supporting documents
  • • A £9,70 fee for the delivery of your new passport by standard DHL delivery

How long will I have to wait to receive it?

You can expect to receive your new document within four to six weeks.

Applications are only accepted up to nine months before the expiration of your current passport.

What can I do if my passport got lost or stolen abroad?

If you have lost your passport or it got stolen when you were abroad, you need to report it as soon as possible so it can be cancelled. This will help to protect you in case it lands in bad hands. You can do this online by following this link.

After that, you can apply for a new one in your country of residence. However, if you are in a hurry because you need to travel within the next 6 weeks, you can apply for an emergency travel document or passport. If you apply for an emergency passport, you don’t need to report your document as stolen, as this will be done as part of your application.

What is an emergency passport?

This document will allow you to travel to your destination through a maximum of 5 countries and then return to the country you live in. You must check with the embassy or consulate of each country if they require a visa when you travel with an emergency passport. Some countries, like the UK, will keep your emergency passport once you reach the final destination.

Emergency passports are an ideal solution when you don’t have enough time to apply for one or renew it in the regular way. You’ll have to provide evidence of your travel plans, such as booking confirmations or detailed travel plans.

If you apply for a child under 16, they’ll need to attend an appointment and bring a signed consent letter if neither parent can’t be present.

How to apply for an emergency passport

You can apply online. Know that you can also be asked to attend an appointment at your nearest British embassy, high commission, or consulate. You’ll be told after you’ve submitted your application whether you need to do so or not.

As part of the application process,you must pay a non-refundable £100 fee. You can pay it online as part of your application or over the phone. You should receive your emergency travel document within 2 days of application.

If you have never had a British passport before, you won’t be able to get an emergency passport. So don’t apply for one or you will lose the payment fee.

We hope you found this information useful. For more detailed information about how to request your passport overseas and complete the application form we suggest you read The Government’s Guidance Booklet. Have a safe flight!

Get a British passport overseas