Passport Interviews
In order to help stop fraudulent passport applications, The Identity
and Passport Service (IPS) is introducing significant changes to the
passport application process for first-time adult passport customers.
All adults applying for a passport for the first time. This also applies
to customers whose names were included in a parent’s passport.
This new process does not apply to people who held their own
passport as a child or those wanting to renew their passport.
The benefits of these changes will be to:
Help fight passport fraud
Help protect the UK public from identity theft
Ensure the British passport stays one of the most secure and
respected in the world
All adult customers (16 and over) applying for a passport for the first time
must attend an interview with IPS in person to confirm their identity.
Yes. First-time adult customers should allow 6 weeks from the date
of application to obtain their passport and should not book any travel
arrangements until the new passport is received. Because first-time
adult customers now need to attend an interview, it is no longer
possible for IPS to provide a Fast Track service for first-time customers.
By early 2008 there will be 69 passport application offices in operation,
holding around 600,000 interviews a year. Over 95% of the population
will live within an hour’s travelling time of an interview office, from either
their home or workplace.
In some remote locations, if a customer lives more than one hour
from an interview office they will be able to take advantage of secure
videoconferencing facilities, where customers are interviewed by visiting
a partner organisation, such as local council premises.
The whole process will take 30 minutes, including an interview of
10-20 minutes. At the interview customers will be asked basic – not
deeply private – information about themselves that can be checked to
confirm that they are who they say they are.
If customers are called to attend an interview, it is compulsory and
customers will receive a letter from the IPS asking them to book an
appointment. If customers do not receive a letter, they are not required
to attend an interview.
No. As first time adult customers need to attend an interview, it will no
longer be possible for the IPS to provide them with a fast-track service.
Yes. First time adult customers will be able to make a passport
application using the standard application form. Applications can be
sent directly by post or by using the Check & Send service available at
selected branches of the Post Office and Worldchoice travel agents.
A regional IPS office receives a passport application and carries out
the initial identity verification process.
Once identity has been verified, a letter will be sent to the customer
inviting them to telephone IPS to arrange an interview.
Customers who have particular requirements will be able to make this
known when arranging their appointment. Examples include customers
requiring language support, or customers who need to be accompanied
by a helper or an interpreter (which will be provided at IPS expense) or, in
the case of 16 and 17 year olds, a parent or guardian.
The customer will attend the interview at the arranged location and
time. (Once all the interview offices are operational, customers will be
given a choice of locations at which to attend the interview, subject
to availability of appointments).
The interview offices have also been designed to take into account
customer requirements for accessibility. Decoration incorporates high
contrast to aid those with visual impairments and offices are equipped
with facilities for those with hearing difficulties.
IPS will then process and despatch new passports to 99.5% of
first time adult customers within 15 days. This does not include the
time between IPS sending an invitation to attend interview and the
customer attending, as customers make their appointment booking
at a time and date of their choosing.
Please go to the IPS website HTTPWWWPASSPORTGOVUK or
4EXTPASSPORTtofor free.