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Passport Renewal from Outside the UK - Supporting Documents

If you are outside of the UK and your British passport has, or is due to, expire, you may be pleased to know you can apply online in any country. Gone are the days when you need to visit a local embassy and wait in a seemingly endless queue, or submit your application to a local passport office.

In this article, we will outline the application process and the supporting documents which the Home Office will accept before issuing a new passport.

How Do I Apply for a Passport Renewal from Outside of the UK?

To submit your application, simply visit the passport office website for overseas applications.

The process has now been made very straightforward and has three stages:

  • Get a digital passport photo (which must meet the standards required)
  • Complete the online application form and pay the application fee
  • Submit your passport and supporting documents

Alternatively, you can apply for an emergency passport if:

  • You are a British national
  • You are outside the UK
  • Your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
  • You do not have time to renew or replace your passport before you travel
  • You can provide proof of your travel plans, for example, booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you cannot book ahead)

See the Home Office website for more details.

Which Documents do You Need to Submit to the UK Passport Office?

The golden rule when submitting your passport application is to ensure that you send all of the necessary documents. As the Home Office guidance states, “Your application will be delayed if you don’t include all your supporting documents. If we have to write to you for missing or additional documents, you’ll need to send them to us within six weeks. If you don’t, we will withdraw your application, and you won’t get a refund”.

The documents you need to send to the UK passport office to support your application depend on the type of application you are making. Thankfully, for a renewal application, the supporting documents needed are fairly minimal. You will need to send:

  • Your current British passport (the original, not a copy)
  • A full-colour copy of any other uncancelled passports relating to you
  • Your identity documents

There are a range of identity documents which can be provided. The Home Office requires that passport renewal applicants provide at least one document with photo identity; and

one document as evidence of name and address and/or residency within the last year. The list of documents which can be used are as follows:

  • Your British passport (if you are renewing)
  • Non-British uncancelled passport
  • National identity card or equivalent (or colour photocopy)
  • Visa or residence permit (or colour photocopy)
  • Tax record, e.g. a letter from a tax authority
  • Educational record, e.g. school report
  • Employment record, e.g. an official letter from your employer
  • Letter sent to you from a central, regional or local government department
  • Medical/health card
  • Voter’s card
  • Immigration documents

Are There any Additional Supporting Documents Required for Child Passport Renewals?

There are additional requirements for children but only in very specific circumstances. If the child applying is subject to a court order a) relating to their care or b) that provides or removes parental responsibility and rights or c) that limits the movement of the child from the country of residence, the court order must be provided to the passport office.

If the child is under the care of social services, then the Home Office requires a “letter from the Director of Social Services (or equivalent) confirming that social services has parental responsibility for the child and include any relevant court order(s) to support this”.

In circumstances whereby the person submitting the application does not have parental responsibility for the child who is the subject of the application, the Home Office states that it requires one of the following documents:

  • a statutory declaration explaining that you are acting in the place of a parent, explaining why and whether anyone with parental responsibility exists. You should include several pieces of documentary evidence which supports this, or
  • if you are a testamentary guardian, documentary evidence explaining that you have been appointed a testamentary guardian of the child, including a copy of the will and death certificate
  • confirm whether any other person holds parental responsibility and/or court orders are in place affecting the child. If court orders are in place, include these.

What are the passport photo rules?

Anyone who has ever applied for a passport will know, one of the more frustrating parts of the application process is ensuring your photo meets the strict requirements of the passport office. You can take the passport photo yourself, or have one taken by a passport photo service, but either way, you will need to check that it passes the requirements. The photo must:

  • be no more than one month old
  • be a colour digital image which can be uploaded
  • be in focus
  • measure 750 pixels high x 600 pixels wide
  • have a file size between 50KB and 10MB.
  • show your head-and-shoulders in front of a plain background (with no one else in the picture)
  • show your face towards the camera looking down the lens
  • show you with a straight face, mouth closed, and your eyes open they are clearly visible

You must not cover your face, including with your hair, cover your head except for religious or medical reasons, or wear sunglasses or tinted glasses. Those with ordinary glasses must ensure their eyes are clearly visible and that no glare or reflections are visible.

Final words

By taking the time to carefully submit your application online, verify your photo meets all of the requirements of the passport office, and that you provide the necessary supporting documents, you can expect to receive your passport in a timely manner. You should be aware, however, that there are currently delays due to COVID-19. For this reason, it is recommended that you submit your application as early as possible.

Related article

British Citizenship Application Fee 2020

Some of our Happy Clients

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

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"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

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Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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