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Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) is dealing with the highest demand for passports in 12 years and has issued over three million passports so far in 2014. However, demand continues to be high, and recognising people’s understandable concerns about possible delays, the Home Secretary announced a series of additional measures to ensure people and families are able to travel and live overseas. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now confirmed details of how to access the additional services they are now providing to British Nationals overseas.
British nationals living overseas whose passports have expired within the last six months, or are due to expire in the next seven months, can now have their passport extended for 12 months with an official stamp in their existing passport. This requires a minimum of three blank pages in the passport. Those who are eligible should contact their nearest Embassy or Consulate to make an appointment for this service. There will be no charge for this service.
Customers will need to bring their existing passport, and will need to complete an application form. Appointments are essential. We will check eligibility and confirm that the relevant country has agreed to accept passports extended in this way. Bookings for appointments are being taken now, and appointments will be available from 23 June, or as soon as we have received confirmation from the host country that they will accept the validity of passports extended in this way.
Customers who have already made an application to have their passport renewed cannot get an extension in their current passport, even if they still have their passport with them. Customers who need to travel urgently may be able to apply for an Emergency Travel Document. Customers should contact their nearest Embassy or High Commission to check if they are eligible.
Customers whose passports have recently been lost or stolen can apply for an Emergency Travel Document as usual.
Parents or guardians of children living overseas who wish to travel may be able to apply for an emergency travel document in place of both new (first time) passport and passport renewals for their children.
Customers will need to provide the same information as when applying for a passport for a child if the child has not held a British passport before. In most cases, we will also ask customers to provide evidence that all those who have parental responsibility for the child agree to apply for an Emergency Travel Document for the purpose of the proposed travel, or provide evidence that they have sole responsibility for the child, e.g. a court order. Customers can then follow instructions to apply for an Emergency Travel Document.
Thailand specific information
The Home Secretary announced two changes:
Passport Extensions: Overseas customers will be able to have an existing passport extended for 12 months. This will apply to a passport which has expired within the last six months, or is due to expire in the next three months. If you have already lodged an application at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) your passport is no longer valid for travel and cannot be extended. If your passport can be extended, the extension will be done by consular staff in Bangkok applying a stamp to the existing passport.
Emergency travel documents for children:Parents or guardians of children living overseas who wish to travel to the UK will be able to apply for an emergency travel document in place of both new (first time) and passport renewals for their children. This will be available from the week beginning 23 June, subject to checks to confirm nationality and identity.
Please note that we will be operating an appointment system only for passport extensions. This is to reduce waiting times and help us to make sure you are eligible. We will not be operating a “drop-in” service. To make an appointment, please call the British Embassy in Bangkok on +66 (0)2 305 8333 and select the “Consular Services” option. If you are eligible you will be given a one and a half-hour window on a specific day in which to visit the Consular Section for your passport extension. You will need to bring your existing passport, one other form of photo ID, and a short application form which is available online and in the Consular Section. There will be no charge for this service. You can find more information on www.GOV.UK.
If you are seeking an Emergency Travel Document for a child, please call The British Embassy in Bangkok or look on www.GOV.UK for more information. If you have come for an Emergency Travel Document for a passport which has been lost, stolen, damaged or has already been submitted to HMPO via the UK Visa Application Centre (VAC), please come into the Consular Section and we’ll see you as soon as we can.