British passports to come from the USA

| 21/07/2009

(CNS): From 3 August people applying for a new or to renew an existing full British passport will have to send their application to the United States as the Cayman Islands Passport Office will no longer accept applications. People will now have to go to the expensie of an international courier or registered post to send the application to the UK Passport Service Centre in Washington D.C at the British Embassy, which is the new passport centre for the Cayman Islands and the region. The Governor’s office said the change is part of a global initiative to streamline operations and save money.

Until now, people applying for a British Citizen passport were able to do so through the Passport Office in Liverpool via the Cayman Islands Passport Office. The change however, will not affect applications for British Overseas Territories Citizen passports and they will still be processed by the Cayman Islands Passport Office.

Applications for UK passports must now be sent to: The UK Passport Service Centre for the Americas and Caribbean, British Embassy, 19 Observatory Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA. The Governor’s office said people can use a courier company of their choice and cost to send the application and passports will be returned to their owners via UPS and a further $21 will be added to the cost of the passport.

The Governor’s office stated that the change is part of a global initiative to streamline the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s passport operation to make it more cost effective, secure and sustainable and the vast majority of applications, which have the correct supporting documentation and payment fee, will now be processed within 10 working days of receipt in Washington.

Applicants will need to allow additional time for their applications to transit between the Cayman Islands and Washington, but overall the time taken to process an application will be quicker than the current 6-10 weeks for one sent to the UK for processing.

The office said that the FCO’s Passport Rationalisation Project was set up in May 2008 and aims to deliver a more streamlined and efficient passport operation for British Nationals abroad, to achieve immediate financial benefits to the FCO and UK taxpayers and to establish a sustainable operating platform for the future. 

“In order to keep costs covered, the UK Government is committed to looking for opportunities to reduce administration, centralise excellence and deliver beneficial economies of scale,” a released from the Governor’s office stated. “This change will help achieve all these aims and help safeguard personal identity, reduce opportunities for passport fraud and protect UK borders without compromising the security of systems and processes or affecting the UK’s commitment to deliver 90% of passports within ten working days.”

The FCO said it believes these arrangements will put the UK in a stronger position to deliver further enhancements to its application process and systems, including the development of online services and a more secure emergency travel document for those who need them.

The cost of the passport itself will remain the same: Standard passport (32 pages); £124 Jumbo passport (48 pages) – £150; Child passport – £79

An additional charge (currently $21) will be made to cover the cost of returning it via UPS and this should be reflected in your payment. You will need to pay the correct fee in US Dollars when applying for your passport and the following methods of payment are accepted: Credit card (Visa or Mastercard); Money order, cashier or certified bankers cheque made payable to British Embassy Government Account. For more information, guidance and copies of application forms from or


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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is great news!  Now we won’t have to deal with the frustration of the local passport office on at least one thing. The management of this unit is deplorable and someone with good managment skills needs to get in there to sort it out. The question begs to ask why in God’s name are they being allowed to close to the public at 3 pm when the Immigration Department next door, which I am sure has a much larger volume of work, serves the public until 4 pm? The passport office is hardly busy from what I have seen and surely their turnaround time could be much quicker. AND,  the rigid manner in which they operate is mind boggling, e.g. if a person arrives there 2 seconds (literally!) after 3 pm and they are just closing the door the workers will lock the door in your face while looking straight at you, no matter how urgent your situation may be. Talk about great customer service and "civil servants"!

  2. Anonymous says:

    if this so why cant they do some thing that we can send our CI pasports there to get US Visas

    • Anonymous says:

      Because you cannot send your Cayman passports anywhere in the world to get a US visa put in it. To get a US visa either a first time visa or a renewal you MUST travel in person to either Jamaica or the Bahamas. Furthermore American visas are not issued in America – you need to be out of the US to get that done.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ten days turnaround would be nice but (quoting from the US British Embassy website):

    The North America Passport Production Centre is currently experiencing unusually high seasonal demand, which has resulted in a backlog of passport applications.   It will now take 6 weeks to process your passport application.  We are working hard to clear applications as quickly as possible.

    Hence, only a marginal improvement on that at present!

    • Anonymous says:

      That statement is just a formality in case it takes a bit longer. Furthermore, in the US you can usually pay an express fee and get your passport within 24 hours – dont worry it will be much better than using the Cayman Islands passport office. Imagine with less than 25,000 Caymanians it takes 3 weeks just to get a Cayman passport – oh well GOVERNMENT FAT CATS

      • Anonymous says:


        Are you trying to tell me that the Government employs its workers by the pound rather than by their ability to perform certain functions.

        I always wondered why so many Government employees seem to be overly obese.

        I guess they have to look similiar to the present and past LOGBs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Prayers are definitely answered – thank you, thank you, thank you – I always thought it was bloody ridiculous that it took  6 to 10 weeks through the Cayman Islands Government passport office  to get this done – fat government workers sitting on their a…….es.  In the past it was done through Jamaica and usually took 5-10 business days. As for it costing a bit more – you get what you pay for – The increase is a VERY VERY VERY small price to pay to get your passport back within less than 2 weeks. Thank you thank you thank you again and again – at last.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sending it by registered mail and then paying $21 to get it back works out cheaper than the current CI$40 per passport charge levied by the Passport Office in Cayman.  When I renewed my kids passports I got stiffed for $80, although I knew the documents all went in the same bag!