UK clamps down on passport fraud & cuts costs

| 05/08/2013

(CNS): The British government is making changes to the passport service for UK nationals living overseas in an effort to cut costs and clamp down on fraud. According to local officials, applicants will no longer be able to send copies of their passports with their renewal application rather than the original during hurricane season. Original passports will need to be submitted with applications all year round. From 12 August the passport application process will also be centralized and British citizens in Cayman will need to send their application to the passport office in  the UK, while British Overseas Territory Citizens (BOTC) passport holders can still submit theirs through the local passport office.

Currently, British citizens living in the Cayman Islands submit passport applications to a regional processing hub in Washington, United States. However, from 12 August applicants will be required to send their applications to the Passport Customer Service Centre in Durham, though there will be no change to processing times.

All the information required to make an application will be found on the UK Government website, which will be amended shortly to advise British nationals on the new passport application process.  

The changes come on the heels of a review by the National Audit Office in the UK. Officials from the governor’s office said they are designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making.  

All British passports have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.

Passports can be renewed up to 9 months ahead of the expiry date with no loss of validity. Applicants are encouraged to plan ahead and submit their applications in good time.

Fees charged to British nationals applying overseas are based on the current costs of providing the service. As overseas volumes are much less than those in the UK it is harder to gain efficiencies overseas, which, officials said, is why the UK has taken the decision to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK. 

Once this has been completed Her Majesty’s Passport Office will be seeking to create closer alignment between the two sets of fees.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank God I was never enticed to apply for the much loved "British passport." Sounds like a lot of stress to deal with to me. My plain li'l ole Cayman OT passport.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you are visiting the UK you can renew your passport in person at any one of the regional passport centres. There is an emergency same day service available which will get you a new passport in 4 hours. I just did mine at Durham recently and it was really easy and despite the fact it was a same day service the cost was US$ 50 less than sending it to Washington.

    • Anonymous says:

      So sorry to hear that you had to go to Durham. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you, either you're from south of Watford or a Newcastle supporter, not sure which is worse really. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for this.  Good to know.  Its been so long since I ventured to the UK I had no idea they had the capability of processing passports in a day now – it used to be 6-12 weeks!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I guess we'll have to make sure our passports don't need renewing in or around hurricane season then… or we're stuck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't complain… many nationalities need to apply in person at their embassy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes and most embassies are in their locale. Not the case here!

      • Kerryann ebanks says:

        Yes! like Honduras my child go through
        so much before the get a passport they never
        have system .

    • Anonymous says:

      It says that you can submit your renewal up to NINE MONTHS prior to the expiration date.

      So just PLAN ACCORDINGLY and if your passport expires within hurricane season then SEND IT NINE MONTHS BEFORE.

      Plain and simple.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good advice but not absolutely correct. You can actually renew a passport at any time, even if it has 2 or 3 years validity left, however if you do so you will only receive a maximum of 9 months additional time on it. i.e. 10 years + 9 months from the date it was renewed..