How To Renew A British Passport In The US

Renewing a British passport from anywhere outside of the U.K itself can seem to be quite daunting. However, it does not have to be. By following these simple guidelines, you will soon realize that renewing your British passport from the U.S is not necessarily the most stressful task. We will deal with where to get the application form, photo standards, supporting documents as well as where and how to send your British passport renewal application forms.

Finding and Filling Out the British Passport Renewal Application:

You do not have to visit the British embassy or a British consulate within the U.S in order to get your hands on a British passport renewal application form. The application forms as well as guidance notes for filling out the forms are available online along with other general information. You can select the “smart application form” which allows you to fill in your information on the screen, print and sign; or the “blank application from” which you must first print, fill in and sign.

Document Requirements

Supporting documents to be sent with your British passport renewal application form:

A full explanation on the supporting documents to be submitted is given in great detail within the guidance form. For renewing a new red passport you will require:

  • Two passport photos
  • Passport application form (C1)
  • Old passport
  • Passport fees

Passport Photo Requirements

You must include two identical, recent (within a month) and professional photos with your passport renewal application. There are strict standards to adhere to regarding these photos. Some of the most important are listed below.

  • The photos must be 45mm high and 35 mm wide.
  • You must have a neutral expression (mouth closed).
  • Nothing should cover your face or head.
  • The background must be plain light grey or cream in color.
  • The photo must be in colour.

If you are renewing an old black or blue passport, you will have to treat it as if you re applying for your very first passport which basically means that you will exclude your old passport from the supporting documents.

You can post your application form to the British embassy by courier which is definitely the preferred and recommended method. This way you are assured that your application will arrive at the embassy securely and that your new passport will get back to you as safely and as quickly as possible. The address to which you must send your passport renewal application is listed on the form instructions.

Processing Times

Renewing a newer red passport will take at least four weeks whereas renewing the older blue or black passport can take at least six weeks. These periods can be prolonged further if you have not sent along the correct supporting documents or if your photos have been rejected due to failing to comply with the exact photo standards.

If you read the guidelines correctly and follow through with the clear requirements, there should be no reason for your British passport renewal not to run as smoothly as possible.