I can’t believe it’s almost 10 years since getting my first adult passport! It’s a little sad that I now have to renew it! For those here wanting to know how to renew your Australian passport in the UK, here is my experience and guide to applying for your renewal.
Australia only has one consulate in the UK and that is in London. If you live outside of London you will need to book travel as you do need to complete the process in person. Plus if you are a Harry Potter fan you will get to see Gringotts?
Disclaimer: This is based on my experience and you should speak to the Passport Office if you are unsure. This link will guide on whether you should apply for a renewal or a full passport (here is the link).
How long does it take?
Allow at least 4+ weeks for your application as the passport will take up to 3 weeks to arrive and you need to allow time to book an appointment with the Passport Office. If you are in a rush there is an express service that will come at a cost but you can get your new passport within 2 days after the appointment.
Here is a timeline and guide for the process:
Your new passport will cost the price of an ordinary adult passport, plus an overseas processing charge and special delivery charge. As the prices increase every year check the latest Australian Passport fees here. The website shows prices in Pounds (GBP) and Australian Dollars (AUD).
Renewing your passport in 2018 will cost £224.50 ($387 AUD). The cost breakdown is £159.00 ($282 AUD) for a 10-year passport, £59.00 ($105 AUD) for the application to be processed overseas and £6.50 for postage.
If you need your passport quicker than 3 weeks you can get the priority processing which is 2 business days at an extra cost of £105 ($186 AUD).
Get New Passport Photos
UK passport photos are a different size to Australian passport photos. It’s super easy to get alternative sizes. You will need to go to a photo store like Snappy Snaps and they will ask you what type of passport photo you need and next thing you know you have Australian passport sized photos.
Australian passport minimum photo size is 45mm x 35mm or larger to be accepted. If your photograph is larger than these measurements DO NOT trim it to size. The size of your head in the photograph must measure from bottom of chin to crown of head 32mm to 36mm.
Complete the Renewal Application Form Online
To apply for the r
• was issued when you were 16 years of age or over; and
• was valid for at least two years when issued; and
• was issued in your current name, date of birth and sex; and
• is current or expired less than three years ago
To determine which form you should complete, you will need to answer some quick questions and it will inform you whether you should apply for a renewal or a full passport (here is the link).
If you meet the criteria then you can continue with the online application form. It will ask you to provide information on your current passport details, personal information and emergency contact details. The form will take less than two minutes to complete.
If you wish to get a physical form you will need to contact the Passport Office and they will post one out to you.
Save a copy to your computer and record the application number. Print out the form, sign it and attached the photos. One photo needs to have your first and last name with your signature on the back. All instructions will be on the front of the form if you need to double check anything.
Book an Appointment
The Passport Office in London operates on an appointment system and only accepts bookings via phone up to 4 weeks in advance. To book an appointment call 020 7887 5816 between the hours of 9am-12pm on weekdays.
Booking times are only available from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and they will be closed on Australian and UK holidays. Your appointment will need to fall within these hours.
The Passport Office will give you a confirmation number which you will need to note down and take on the day.
For those that can wait and don’t want to travel to London, there is also an Outreach Center that is run by the Passport Office. For more information on these types of appointments here.
Lodge the application in person
The Passport Office is located at:
Australian High Commission
LONDON WC2B 4LA
If you are visiting an Outreach Center the Passport Office will provide you with location details.
On the day of your appointment make sure you get there 10 to 15 minutes early. The Passport Office has airport style security. On arrival you press the buzzer telling the security guard that you have an appointment; they only let one person in at a time.
Once you are through security you’ll reach a computer screen into which you enter your booking confirmation and it will print you a ticket with your number. There is a waiting area whilst you wait for your number to be called.
When the Passport Clerk calls you up you simply present the form with the passport photos and your passport. Once they are happy with your application and accepted payment they will cancel the old passport by cutting off the long edge of the cover. Your old passport will be handed back to you afterwards.
Your new passport will be posted to you and can take up to 3 weeks to be delivered.
Do You Need To Transfer Your Visa To Your New Passport?
Most visas are now on the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) cards but if you have an old style visa like me, that is in your old passport then all you need to do is carry both passports with you when you are travelling. If you have a BRP card then your old passport can be put away and be a reminder of all adventures you’ve had together.
There is an option to get your visa turned into a BRP card, although it’s an expensive process that I feel is unnecessary.