Getting your child's first British passport

23 Jul

Our guest post is from Passports Office, experts in passport and emergency travel documentation. This post is to share some handy tips and facts to help you tackle the first passport challenge head on.

getting baby's first uk passport

All you need to know about applying for first British passport for a child:

The first day you bring your little bundle home is an exciting time. This brand new person will start to become part of all you do and they’ll be the only thing you can focus on night and day. Once we adjust to the new routine of two hourly feeds and power naps, we can start figuring out taking small trips to the local shops and back.

prince george home from hospital

Even Prince George needs a passport!

And before you know it your baby will start shuffling, crawling and walking. Then you can start thinking about travelling further afield and going on your first holiday abroad with your new family.

One of the many experiences we get to share with our children is showing them the world and taking them to the amazing places it has to offer. In order to do that we all need to have a passport.

For new and first time mothers, applying for your child’s very first passport can be a daunting prospect. It’s unfamiliar territory. Most of us will only have had to renew our own passport, but how do you go about applying for your child’s first one?

All children need their own passports and they need new ones regularly (even Prince George)! 

Once upon a time (before 1990), children were able to travel on their parents’ passport. Some might remember this from when they were kids but this is now no longer possible. Children now get to have their very own passports from day one.

As our little ones grow into bigger clothes and bigger shoes, we have to replace their passport so that it matches their changing face. As a result, children’s passports are only valid for five years. These five year passports cannot be extended but are free to renew.

going on holiday with kids

Once your child turns sixteen they’ll be eligible for a passport with a longer lifespan. Their new passport is then valid for ten years, like any other adult passport, and they’ll be able to fly to far off lands all by themselves.

You need to prove nationality to get a British passport.

When applying for your child’s first passport you have to prove that they are eligible for British nationality. But don’t worry this is much simpler than it sounds! Passport examiners, who process your child’s application, aren’t looking to catch you out. When going through the application they are looking to prove eligibility in the simplest way possible.

The easiest way is with the mother’s passport details, which the application form will ask you to include, along with the father’s. Its worth noting that if you as the mother were not born in the UK, but the father was, then they can use his passport information to prove nationality. If neither of you were born in the UK, it’s a little more complicated. We suggest having a look here or speaking to an expert.

You only need to include a full birth certificate for your child’s first passport (not renewals).

You only need to include your child’s full birth certificate with the first passport application. You won’t need to include it when applying for any renewals or replacements – necessary if the passport is lost or stolen. This also applies to adult passports.

You need to get your child’s passport countersigned.

As adults, when we have to renew our own passports, we are asked to get it countersigned by someone who knows us and is considered of official standing, like your doctor or a local notary.

In 2007 it became necessary for your child’s passport to also be countersigned. If you’re not familiar with someone who can do it, each passport application pack contains a helpful guide book which has a handy list of people who qualify to countersign.

Further questions? Just ask.

If you still have questions or need help filling out your application then here are two useful pages available to assist you:

– A great website for the more complex and nitty gritty questions you might have is the Government’s official website at www.gov.uk.

– Or, if you prefer to have someone else negotiate the red tape and handle the application for you, Passports Office are experts at the ready. You can ask them to look over your documents or they can fill out and submit the application for you.

We hope you find this information helpful.  Now let’s hope there are no delays getting your baby’s first passport!  

 

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