British Passport Requirements – Everything you need to know

Renewing your British passport from South Africa is quite a straightforward process, but there are some instances where you may be required to provide additional documents when applying for or renewing your UK passport. 

If you are a UK national currently living in South Africa, here is MyBritishPassport’s guide to renewing your British passport.

What documents are needed for British passport?

Proof of the following for a standard British passport renewal will be needed:

  1. Your most recent British passport (this passport can be valid or expired but must be the most recently issued one) – No copies will be accepted. It is important to note that Her Majesty’s Passport Office does not accept photocopies, so-called “certified” originals or laminated copies of documents. You will need to submit the original document and MyBritishPassport can assist you by obtaining them on your behalf. 
  2. Any other uncancelled NON-BRITISH passport relating to you. The United Kingdom permits dual citizenship.
  3. If applicable – original full long version marriage certificate* of applicant in case of marriage with surname change, if you now use a different name to the one on your current/most recently issued passport OR original official name change document from the relevant government department (or deed poll) if you now use a different name/surname to the one on your current/most recently issued passport.
  4. If applicable – Original full long version birth certificate* of the first-time applicant. If adopted – original full long version birth certificate and adoption certificate*. (Only a Vault birth certificate* will be accepted as South African birth certificates, please see explanation below).

*Explanation of certificates:

  • Full long version birth or adoption certificate – records both the child’s parents’ details.
  • Vault birth certificate – Applicable for South African birth certificates only. It is a copy of the original registration form completed by the parents when a birth was registered. It is a photocopy of the original, stamped and signed by the Department of Home Affairs’ Officer.
  • Full long version marriage certificate – records the previous marital status of the bride and groom.

*If you’re applying for a UK passport for the first time or your British Passport has been expired for a period of longer than ten years, you may be required to submit an original birth or marriage certificate. 

Your application is considered a “first time” application if you have never previously held a UK passport. 

Eligibility for a British passport could be because either or both of your parents were born in the UK. If you were naturalized in the UK but you’ve never had a British passport before, you should be eligible, too. 

Should a document not be in English, you will need to obtain a certified translation and submit the translation alongside the original document. 

First-time UK passport applications are more complicated than renewals so you can rest assured that the next time the process will be easier. 

Need to know if you are eligible for a British passport? Contact MyBritishPassport here to find out if you could apply for a UK passport.

How do I go about renewing my British passport from South Africa

As mentioned above, renewing your British passport is quite a bit easier than a first-time application. 

The only element that could make it more complicated could be if your name has changed since your last passport.(ie, in the case of marriage or adoption).

In such cases, you could be required to included a long form marriage or birth certificate with your passport renewal forms. 

Over the past decade, the way in which UK passports are renewed has changed. The forms must now be completed online only (except if you are based in the UK, where you have a choice of getting physical forms from your local post office or completing them online).

In many ways, completing the online passport renewal forms makes things a bit easier. We advise you to take care to fill them in as accurately as possible. 

The passport office will not think twice about rejecting the application if there is an error and this can cause much frustration and an unnecessary delay. 

To avoid a rejection, why not enlist the services of MyBritishPassport? After completing our easy, online form, we will handle the rest of your passport application, thereby saving you a lot of worry and fuss. 

We’ll also guide you with your digital passport photos and then arrange for your old passport to be sent in via DHL. 

Ready to get started? Click here! 

I’ve lost my UK passport: what now

A lost passport is never a happy discovery and you will need to apply for a new passport as soon as possible. 

If your passport has been lost, there is always the possibility that it could have been stolen. You will therefore have to report the loss or potential theft to your local police station and obtain a police report. 

Should you need to travel urgently and don’t have time to wait the almost 2 months it takes for a new passport to arrive, you could apply for an emergency travel document. 

This can be done by making an appointment at your local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. They will interview you and then let you know if they need additional documents for your emergency passport.

An emergency travel document normally takes 2 to 3 days to get processed. It is only valid for your planned, upcoming trip. 

Will my damaged UK passport still be an acceptable travel document

Any damage to your UK passport could render it unacceptable as a travel document. You’d be amazed at how even the smallest defect could make it irreparably damaged!

MyBritishPassport always recommends keeping your passport in a safe, dry place, away from the curious hands of children with markers. 

We are also great advocates for using passport covers, which do an excellent job of protecting your passport. 

Generally speaking, your passport could be considered unacceptable for travel if:

  • it has water damage, especially if the laminated pages or cover pages are lifting
  • the passport has been defaced (eg. with a marker or stained)
  • personal details have been obscured by the damage.

If you will be traveling soon and you believe your passport may be unacceptably damaged, rather check first! 

Contact MyBritishPassport

MyBritishPassport specialises in British Passport renewals, applications & replacements from South Africa.

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Brian Aslett
Brian Aslett
08:34 18 Jan 22
In December I realised that my UK passport only had a few months to run. I looked on line for help and got in touch... with "My British Passport". Their service was exceptional. I completed the online application, paid and sent in a photo etc. Christa kept in touch with me regularly on progress and the new passport arrived by courier a few days ago. I could not have asked for better more
Keith Hulse
Keith Hulse
17:30 24 Dec 21
I thought the whole process was handled very professionally and with great care - I would not have any hesitation in... recommending this service to anyone applying for a British passportread more
Sharon Belfante-Taylor
Sharon Belfante-Taylor
15:29 24 Dec 21
Shaun was exceptionally helpful and informative. Getting your British passport renewed while living in the USA can be a... daunting challenge, but MyBritishPassport really made things so easy. I highly recommend them. The cost is very reasonable when you consider just how much renewing your passport will be without them plus all the anxiety of making sure you did it right. They are well worth the more
Errol Alexander McLeod
Errol Alexander McLeod
05:52 15 Dec 21
Superb service from Shaun at MyBritishPassport. My wife's British Passport was renewed professionally and hassle-free,... with prompt communication and efficient courier collection and delivery. Most highly recommended!read more
Kay Stoler
Kay Stoler
12:56 07 Dec 21
Using their service was effortless and amazing. Their consultant, Christa Devenish was fantastic - nothing was too much... trouble, and if I didn't understand anything - Christ went out of her way to assist me. The whole experience was fast & more
joanne harvey
joanne harvey
14:06 06 Dec 21
Extremely efficient and helpful. New passport received in 3 weeks. Shaun answered all my questions promptly and... patiently! Even refunded because I paid for my own express delivery. Couldn't be happier with the service. Fully recommend it for Brits living more
Johan du Toit
Johan du Toit
17:12 22 Nov 21
Ive had the pleasure to have Carla handle my application at MyBristishPassport, she has been very professional and... efficient. I would highly recommend MBP to anyone looking for their passports to be more
Sidney Allen
Sidney Allen
13:37 26 Oct 21
Very good service and well ahead of time deserve six stars
John Mathers
John Mathers
09:07 20 Oct 21
Being of the older generation, I found that dealing with My British Passport an absolute pleasure, all aspects of the... procedure of applying for new passports were handled very professionally and timeously,I have absolutely no trouble in recommending them to more
Helen Matthews
Helen Matthews
04:47 09 Oct 21
It was my first time to use a third party to renew my british passport. I was given easy to follow step by step... instructions. The courier picked up my documents from my home en route to UK and delivered my new passport back to me a few weeks later. I can highly recommend their service. Big thanks to Hanel the lady i dealt more
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Mat Fforde
09:04 20 Aug 21
Sincerely thanking 'Hanel' at MyBritishPassport for her professional assistance in helping me secure my renewed British... Passport swiftly and without any hassle whatsoever! I can thoroughly recommend this service!read more
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Paul Davies
10:59 18 Aug 21
Very professional and helpful if I had issues. I definitely would use them again.Many Thanks
paul gould
paul gould
13:57 29 Jun 21
Excellent service from MyBritishPassport got it all sorted and back to me inside of 6 weeks.
Jane Coetzee
Jane Coetzee
13:32 07 Jun 21
Highly efficient, fast, service, with no hidden extra costs. Kept informed at all times during application, courier... service, progress report, and delivery. 24 days from collection to delivery. Would highly recommend to anyone needing a new or renewed British Passport.Thanks especially. to Hanel Smithread more
Charmaine Allen
Charmaine Allen
15:30 23 May 21
Amazing Service. First class.
Mary Tucker
Mary Tucker
18:56 13 May 21
Miguel, who handled my renewal was so professional and helpful at all times. He was so patient when I got things... wrong. Once my documents were on their way he kept me posted on what was happening. Thank you so much, I will recommend your service to anyone who needs a seamless passport renewal. Regards Mary Tuckerread more
Anneke Piscitelli
Anneke Piscitelli
23:19 04 May 21
Professional, efficient, swift, friendly. Absolute brilliant service.
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