Are you a British citizen living in South Africa? If so, did you know that British passport renewals are now processed online and that you can renew your passport from South Africa?
Here at MyBritishPassport, our area of expertise is helping UK nationals renew their passports and apply for British passports for the first time from South Africa.
Below are our top tips for British passport renewals in 2021…
UK Passport Renewal Tips
1. Renew your passport in good time.
In order to travel on your British passport, MyBritishPassport recommends having at least 6 months of validity left on it. This can prevent the airline not accepting you for travel or the immigration authorities from preventing you from entering another country.
In addition, even if your passport is still valid but it is older than 10 years, it is a good idea to start the renewal process.
The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed passport renewals at the passport office and, instead of it usually taking 4 to 6 weeks for renewals, it can now take 6 to 8 weeks, if you apply from South Africa.
This is assuming that your renewal forms have been correctly completed, your passport photos comply with the given standards and you have sent in your old/current passport.
Should there be a mistake or oversight in your forms, the passport office is likely to reject the renewal application and you will unfortunately have to begin the process again.
MyBritishPassport can assist you in your British passport renewal by ensuring that your online forms are accurate, your passport photos are compliant, and that you send in the relevant supporting documentation.
We also use a registered courier service to have your current passport sent in to the passport office as we know them to be reliable and trustworthy. This greatly eliminates the risk of your passport going missing in transit and Her Majesty’s Passport Office from not receiving it.
2. Ensure that your online passport renewal forms are completed accurately.
As mentioned above, it is very important that your passport renewal forms are accurately completed. If you are unsure about anything or want to make sure that your forms have been correctly completed, contact us here and we can assist you.
3. Avoid renewing your passport during the UK summer months.
Over the years, it has become clear that Her Majesty’s Passport Office sees far more passport applications and renewal requests during the UK summer months of June, July and August.
An obvious reason for this is that many Brits travel abroad on holiday in the summer and many discover that they need to renew their passports a few weeks prior to travel.
Renewing your passport during these months can mean you may need to wait longer for your new one to arrive.
MyBritishPassport recommends renewing your UK passport during December, January or February when the passport office sees lower volumes of requests.
4. Follow Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s guidelines for having your passport photo taken.
As with all countries, the United Kingdom has very specific guidelines when it comes to passport photos.
You no longer have to submit physical passport photos for renewals and will need to submit a digital photograph. These can be taken with a good digital camera, at a photography shop or at any place that understands British passport photo standards.
Before submitting your passport renewal application, MyBritishPassport will give you guidance as to how to go about having your passport photos taken and we will ensure that they are compliant before submission.
5. Send in your current UK passport using a reliable courier service.
MyBritishPassport does not recommend using the South African postal service to send in your current passport or other supporting documentation as they have become unreliable over the years.
Instead, rather use a good courier service and ask for tracking on your package.
Should you decide to work with MyBritishPassport for your passport renewal, we will arrange for your old passport to be sent to the passport office through a reliable registered courier service.
6. Be aware of passport renewal scams.
There are many passport renewal scams out there whose goal is not to help you but to take your money.
Although it may seem tempting to use a service that claims to be efficient and reliable, in addition to offering unbelievably low prices, it is well worth verifying the legitimacy of the company before deciding to work with them.
MyBritishPassport is a legitimate, registered and well-regarded company that specializes in helping UK nationals living in South Africa with all their British passport renewal and application needs.
Have questions about how MyBritishPassport can assist you with renewing your British passport? Contact us below and we will be in touch shortly!