Tue | Jul 27, 2021

Immigration Corner | Applying for a child’s passport

Published:Tuesday | May 18, 2021 | 12:09 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

How would I go about applying for a British passport for my child for the first time? Any assistance would be appreciated.

– B.G.

Dear B.G.,

Please be aware that if the child has never had a British passport, persons must apply for a ‘first child passport’ for him/her. The child must have British nationality to be eligible for a British passport.

Persons will need to apply online and they will need:

• A digital photo of the child (or a device that takes digital photos);

• Supporting documents;

• A credit or debit card.

It will cost £49 to process the application and persons will need to apply and pay for the passport online.

Someone has to confirm the applicant child’s identity.

After paying and submitting the application, persons will need to ask someone to confirm their child’s identity.

The person asked to confirm should be made aware that he/she will receive an email from HM Passport Office telling them what to do. The persons will need to confirm the child’s identity online –however, they do not need to sign a printed photo. It is necessary that persons find out who can confirm your child’s identity and what they need to do. This can be found online.

Persons can apply by post by either:

• Getting a paper form from a post office that offers the passport check-and-send service; or by

• Contacting the Passport Advice line to get a form posted to them and then filling in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 of the form. Please note that the child will need to sign Section 6 if he/she is 12 years old or over.

Also, persons will need to get someone else, known as the ‘countersignatory’, to fill in Section 10 and certify their child’s photo. Persons should read the booklet that comes with the form if they need help with the application.

To send in the application, persons can either:

• Post the form, photos and documents using the pre-printed envelope that is enclosed with the form;

• Take the form, photos and documents to the post office, if in the United Kingdom, and if they would like to use the passport check-and-send service.

With respect to signing the application, someone with parental responsibility must sign the form. In addition, if the child is 12 to 15 years old, they will also need to sign the form.

Persons must send original documents or official copies of certificates. Photocopies are not accepted, even ‘certified copies’.

If the documents are not in English or Welsh, they will need to send certified translations as well as the originals. Please note that persons cannot send laminated documents.

If the name to be put on the passport does not match what is on the birth certificate,

persons must send:

• A signed and dated letter from everyone with parental responsibility confirming the name change and that they agree to the child getting a new passport;

• A deed poll;

• At least one piece of evidence that shows the new name being used; for example, NHS records, child benefits or school records.

DOCUMENTS TO PROVIDE IF APPLYING ONLINE

If applying online, persons will be told what documents they will need to provide.

DOCUMENTS TO SEND IF APPLYING BY POST

If applying by post, persons must send:

• Two new photos of your child;

• The child’s full birth or adoption certificate (the one with parent’s details on it);

• Proof that the child has British nationality (for example, a British registration certificate, parents’ passport details or parents’ birth certificates);

• Any valid passports from a different country belonging to the child;

• Any court orders (for example, one that describe parental responsibility or residency arrangements).

Persons are advised to read the guidance notes to find out which documents need to be sent.

CHOOSE HOW DOCUMENTS SHOULD BE RETURNED

The documents will be sent back by normal post, but persons can pay an extra £5 to get them sent by secure delivery. Choose this service on the application if this is to be used.

GETTING YOUR PASSPORT

The new passport will be sent back by courier or Royal Mail. The delivery service will either:

• Post it through the letterbox;

• Hand it over personally if persons are home;

• Leave a card or post a letter saying how they can get it (it will not say the package is a passport).

Please note that persons can track their passport application online.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com