If you’re a British national living in Spain it’s important you are made aware of changes to the way in which you apply for a new passport.
• Currently, it’s acceptable for a UK citizen to send their application to the regional passport processing hub in Madrid. However, from Monday 13 May, all applications must be made directly to the Identity & Passport Service in Belfast.
• Nationals are being reassured that passport processing times remain unchanged, but that they should continue allow the usual four weeks from the date your fee is taken and all the necessary paperwork has been received.
• Head of the regional Passport Processing Hub in Madrid, Andy Hamilton, said: “In real terms, all that this means is that British Nationals living in Spain now need to send their applications to a different address.
• “Current passport processing times remain the same. If you’re renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received.” He added: “If you’re applying for the first time or you’re replacing a lost or stolen passport you should allow at least six weeks.”
• Another change triggered by this move which will affect British nationals renewing their passports is that the current charge of calling the passport helpline will no longer be.
• Now, rather than pay for a premium rate phone line, customers will only be required to pay for the cost of a call to Britain from Spain. For further information about the new application process visit www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.
• Alternatively, any nationals required to travel urgently and would otherwise be affected by this as their normal passport is unavailable should contact their nearest British Consulate in Spain using 902 109 356 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by David Johns