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CHANGES TO BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

We are making important changes to the way we deliver British passports. The UK government’s goal is to ensure that all British nationals living overseas receive a consistent, trusted, secure and efficient service whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. In order to do that responsibility for issuing passports overseas passed from the Foreign Office and its posts overseas to Her Majesty’s Passport Office – an Agency of the Home Office, which already handles all passport applications from people living in the UK.

From 9 September 2013, British nationals in the United States of America will submit passport applications to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing.  All the information needed to complete the passport application process will be available on the website at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.  You should avoid leaving applying for your passport until the last minute.  You can apply to renew your passport at any time.   Any remaining validity up to nine months will be transferred from your old passport to your new one.  If you are 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.   If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.  Your application may take longer if Her Majesty’s Passport Office needs to request further information.  Travel should not be booked until the new passport has been issued and received by the applicant. The British Government cannot accept responsibility for costs incurred if travel is booked and subsequently cancelled before the passport has been received.  The new passport and supporting documents will be delivered separately by DHL to the address you provided in your application. 

If you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should contact the nearest Consular Assistance team in Houston on 713 659 6270.  In certain circumstances our staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. So the best course of action is to apply as early as possible, and to make sure that you follow the new guidelines.

Please note that our Embassy is not able to take calls about individual passport applications and Consular staff cannot countersign passport applications.  If you cannot find the information you need on the gov.uk website, please contact the Passport Advice Line on +44 300 222 0000.