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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
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