Picture this: your British passport is running out, but you live in Australia 🇦🇺. You’re nowhere near the UK Passport Office and you don’t know if you can even make it back to the UK in order to renew it. Did you know that UK passport renewal in Australia is possible?
This is probably due to the quite high population of British citizens residing in Australia. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs, “at the end of June 2020, almost 1.2 million people who were born in the United Kingdom were living in Australia”. This makes British nationals the largest migrant community in the country.
If you are one of the nearly 1.2 million British citizens who live in Australia or if you’re staying there temporarily, don’t worry. You don’t have to be in the UK to renew your passport, and in this blog post we will show you exactly how to renew it and what you will need to do so.
Renew British passport in Australia – when to do it
Whether you’ve come to Australia from the United Kingdom to enjoy a vacation, tackle a long business trip or visit family, it’s important to know the validity of your British passport. Knowing when your British passport will expire is a must because otherwise you may be in for an unwelcome surprise when you decide to leave the country. The expiry date can easily be found next to your personal info, such as your name and date of birth, so you need to keep an eye out for it and learn the best time to renew your passport.
The best time to plan your British passport renewal is when your current passport has just under 6 (six) months remaining until expiration or as soon as you run out of blank visa pages. This is because it can take time for your passport renewal application to be processed and if you apply long enough in advance, you’ll be able to address any issues that may arise during the process. Chances are that you are in Australia on some form of visa, so early renewal of your passport guarantees that your visa will stay unaffected. If your passport does expire, your visa could be cancelled.
If you have an upcoming trip, you will need to apply for your renewal well ahead of time considering how long it can take for your new passport to be printed and mailed to you. Normally it takes anywhere from 3 (three) to 6 (six) weeks to process a British passport renewal application when applying from Australia. If you prepare well, you should easily be able to have your new passport in time.
Looking for more tips for other passport applications? Look no further:
- British Passport Processing Time: A Guide to Getting Ahead of the Game
- How to Renew Your UK Passport in Canada?
- Using The Post Office For Passport Application and Renewal
- Children’s Passport Renewal – UK
- How To Replace a Passport That Has Been Lost, Stolen or Damaged
- How to Renew a British Passport in the U.S.
- How to Get an Emergency Passport
How to renew a British passport online from Australia
You may be thinking that applying for a passport renewal in a foreign country must be a little tougher than in your home country. But rest assured, whilst it may take longer, it’s no more difficult to renew a British passport in Australia than it is to renew one in the UK.. This is because passport renewal is often an easier process than applying for a new British passport. This is because the government already has the information you provided when you first applied, meaning there will be no interviews to attend or multiple forms of proof required.
In order to renew your British passport, you will need to submit an application form online on the UK Government website. In the past, passport applicants were required to visit the post office in Australia and send their passport applications the traditional way, but the magic of the digital age has made it possible to renew a passport using an online form. When preparing your renewal application, you will need to gather a few things to submit:
- Your current passport (the Passport Office will need to see your passport number). If you hold dual citizenship (or more) you will need to provide any outstanding passports you have been issued by other foreign governments.
- A passport photo (taken within the last month), either as a code or digital for you to upload.
- A way to pay for the renewal of your passport.
You may also be required to provide some other documents, however, you will be instructed on what to provide by the Passport Office. Only undamaged, original documents will be accepted and photocopies are not allowed. Once you have submitted the application, you will be able to track its progress by receiving texts or emails, or by using the government website.
Renew child’s British passport in Australia
Unlike adult passports which have 10 (ten) years of validity, children’s passports only have 5 (five) years of validity, due to their quickly changing appearance as they grow up. This is why you need to pay extra close attention to the expiry date of a child passport.
The renewal of a child’s passport is very much the same as renewing an adult passport. You’ll need to go to the UK Government website for passport renewal and select the overseas option. You will be required to provide:
- The child’s passport, so you can input their passport number.
- A passport photo that meets the requirements for UK digital passport photos, or a digital code.
- A method of payment, specifically a debit or credit card, so you can pay the processing fees.
Should you need to provide additional documents, you will be informed about it at the end of the application process, as well as how and where to send them. One thing to remember is that, if you are filling in the UK passport renewal form for your child, all of the personal information included in it must be your child’s, unless specified otherwise.
If the child is 11 (eleven) or under, you will need a countersignatory, who must be a UK passport holder in a registered profession who has known you and your child for at least 2 (two) years, but is not related to you. They must also not be living at the same address as you, in a relationship with you or an employee of the HM Passport Office.
Your countersignatory will be required to verify the application and, if you apply online, this means that they will need to be contacted by the government. Before providing their details on the form, you must first check with them to make sure they are willing to do this. Some adult passports also require a countersignatory if they are not recognisable from their last passport photo.
Renew an expired UK passport in Australia
What happens when you realise you’ve forgotten to renew your British passport in time? Suppose you look at your passport, only to discover that it has already passed its expiration date. Luckily, you are still allowed to renew an expired passport up to ten years after it has expired.
The process for renewing an expired British passport is exactly the same as the process for renewing a passport that is still valid, as long as it is done within the 10 (ten) year window after expiration. You will need to go online to the UK Government’s website and click through the passport section until you have reached the overseas applicant renewal page. Then you will have to fill in all the information required on the form and provide any documents required:
- The passport number from your expired passport as it will act as proof of citizenship, and therefore prove that you are eligible for a new passport.
- Passport photo – digital photo or an ID Photo Code taken within the last month to show your current appearance.
- Credit/Debit card – you will need to have one of these handy to pay the passport renewal fees online.
- Additional documents – depending on your circumstances, you may be required to provide other documents to prove your identity. If this is the case, you will be informed of what to provide and where to send it.
- Identity confirmation – in some cases, you will need to provide a countersignatory to prove your identity.
After this, all that’s left to do is wait for your renewal application to be approved, and your new passport to be delivered to you.
Urgent UK passport renewal in Australia
Sometimes, you may be faced with an urgent situation requiring you to travel overseas immediately. In these scenarios, the standard processing time just isn’t going to cut it. If this happens to you, and you haven’t got a valid passport, then you may consider applying for an urgent renewal via the fast track services. However, these are only available in the UK, so your best bet is to apply for an emergency travel document.
The emergency travel document will allow you to travel through up to five previously agreed-upon countries per an established itinerary. Border control will use this document along with your itinerary to identify you when you land. If your travel plans end up changing, you will be required to get a new document.
You will be eligible for an emergency travel document provided that:
- You have UK citizenship and are currently living abroad, (in this case in Australia).
- Your passport has been lost or stolen.
- Your passport is damaged, full or expired. The first case may be a result of an accident, for example your passport being dropped into water, a result of more minor damage caused by wear and tear or any other damage making important personal information unreadable.
- You are in an emergency situation that does not leave you with enough time to apply through regular processing.
- You can provide proof of your travel itinerary.
If your passport gets lost or stolen, you must make sure to report it to the HM Passport Office, either by contacting an embassy or consulate or by submitting a report online. This way, it will be cancelled and you will be free to apply for a replacement passport once your emergency travel is over and you are back in Australia to fill in the application form online. If you filed your application for the emergency travel document before you reported your passport lost or stolen, then you will be able to report it in the process of applying for the emergency travel document.
How much does it cost to renew a British passport in Australia
As we stated above, you will need a credit or debit card to pay the passport renewal fees. The cost will depend on whether you are renewing an adult’s or child’s passport, although there is a courier fee that will be the same for either passport application.
The costs for British passport renewal in Australia are as follows:
- adult passport – £86
- child passport – £56
- courier fee – £19.86
The prices are listed here in GBP, as this is how they will be written on the passport renewal portal. If you want to know how much it will cost in Australian dollars, you will need to check the currency exchange rates on the day you apply.
Renew British passport in Australia – replacement passports
Whilst 9 times out of 10 a passport renewal will mean you’ve either run out of validity, you’ve run out of blank visa pages or your passport has been lost, stolen or damaged, you may wish to get a replacement passport for a number of other reasons. These can include:
- The holder’s name has changed.
- The holder has changed gender.
- The original passport has suffered some minor damage (we would define minor damage as general wear and tear, e.g. faded writing).
If a British national is planning to change a passport for these reasons, the Passport Office will be happy to help. As usual, the application form will require a digital passport photo. Applicants must also submit their old passports to the Passport Office.
Renew a British passport in Australia with Passport Photo Online
When planning a UK passport renewal in Australia, one of the most important parts of the process is getting a new passport photo. Passport photos for a British passport need to have been taken within the last month – they cannot be older than one month. This is because the passport photo has to reflect your current appearance. Being in Australia, it might be a challenge to get a new passport photo that meets the UK passport office requirements. Luckily, we have a solution for you and it’s called Passport-Photo.online.
Passport Photo Online is an application that enables you to effortlessly take a new passport photo yourself, anywhere you want, anytime you want. All you need to do is select the document photo you need – in this case, a British passport – and the app’s advanced AI can tell you whether or not your photo will be accepted and flag any changes you need to make. The app has three main features:
- Background correction – it will change the background into the correct colour.
- Resizing and cropping – it will change the photo into the correct size and crop it.
- Verification – it will check whether or not your photo fits the official requirements.
Thanks to the verification system, the app will scan your photo and our AI system, coupled with our human inspectors will give it their seal of approval. You can download the app for both Android and iOS. To get a stunning passport photo from a dependable app with a 100% guarantee, download it by visiting the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
UK passport renewal Australia: FAQ
Now, it’s time to answer all the questions our readers may still have about UK passport renewals in Australia.
Can I renew my British passport online in Australia?
Of course! The UK Passport Office has procedures in place for UK citizens living abroad. British people can apply online for a renewal through the government website. An application for an Emergency Travel Document can be submitted through the embassies and consulates.
Where can I find a British passport renewal form in Australia?
To apply online, simply go to the UK Government website and choose the option to renew it from overseas. You will need:
– Your current or expired passport so that you can provide the passport number.
– A digital passport photo that conforms to the official requirements, or a digital ID Photo Code.
– A credit or debit card in order to pay for the renewal.
How much will it cost to renew my UK passport in Australia?
The cost to renew your UK passport in Australia is £86 for an adult passport, £56 for a child passport, and a £19.86 courier fee. The website lists the prices in British pounds, so you will need to check the currency conversion rate on the date of your application submission to know how much it will cost in Australian dollars.
How do I renew a child’s UK passport from Australia?
To renew a child’s British passport, parents or guardians must visit the UK Government website and complete the online application form. Details will include the child’s current name and date of birth. Be careful to give accurate information about the child only. All applicants will need to provide the following:
– the child’s current UK passport
– a compliant digital passport photo
– a form of payment, such as a debit or credit card.
Can I renew an expired UK passport in Australia?
Yes, as long as you are applying within ten years from the expiration of the passport, you can apply for a renewal.
How long will it take to renew my British passport in Australia?
It usually takes between 3 (three) and 6 (six) weeks to process a British passport renewal in Australia. However, it’s always recommended that a person travelling overseas in the nearest future allow more time for passport renewal processing.
How do you carry out a British passport renewal in Sydney?
Whether in Sydney or anywhere else in Australia, no one needs to travel to apply for a new passport! All an applicant will need to do is go to the UK Passport Office website and fill out the online application form. When looking for an Emergency Travel Document, people will be able to obtain one from the nearest consulate.
Where to renew a UK passport in Melbourne?
When living in Melbourne or Australia in general, the best place to go for a new passport is the UK Government website. The online application portal will allow people to apply for a new UK passport over the internet. The Passport Office will even deliver it to a home address without needing to go to an embassy.
Where to get a British passport renewal form?
Renewal forms for British passports are available online. They can be easily accessed on the gov.uk website under the “Get a passport if you’re outside the UK” tab.
Can I renew my UK passport online if I live abroad?
Yes, renewing a UK passport online from abroad is possible. Visit the UK government’s website and follow the step-by-step instructions to renew a UK passport while living abroad.
Can I get UK passport photos at Australia Post?
Yes, Australia Post outlets offer UK passport photos for individuals wishing to renew their UK passports. No appointments are necessary for passport photos.
Where to send a British passport application?
The British passport application will be submitted online. Applicants will need to submit the supporting documents to the Liverpool Application Processing Centre to be checked.
Do I have to send my old UK passport when renewing?
Yes. Sending an existing UK passport will allow HM Passport Office employees to verify the holder’s identity. Passport officials will also need to compare it with the online renewal form to ensure there are no discrepancies.
How do I contact the UK Passport Office from Australia?
Call 0011 +44 (0)300 222 0000. The UK Passport Adviceline can be reached for passport details and guidance on weekdays from 08:00 to 20:00 (UK time) and from 09:30 to 17:30 on weekends. Calls are charged at standard Australia to UK rates.
UK passport renewal Australia: summary
The process to renew a British passport in Australia is done entirely online, meaning you don’t have to leave your home to do it. If you are filling in the application as an adult, then you simply fill in your own details. If you are applying for the renewal of a child’s passport, however, you need to fill it in with their information. After filling in the form, you will need to wait around 10 (ten) weeks, although this may be subject to change. You can track the progress of your application through email, text or by logging on to the government website.
Holding a degree in Business and Information Systems, Furkan is a specialist in the field of passport photography. Prior to entering the industry, Furkan worked for over 30 international companies.