How to apply for your child’s passport in UK?

Passport is one important document that you need to have as early as possible to avoid any issues while making travel plans. It is good to start the process even when you don’t have any travel plans as the entire process will take time. Starting will help you plan better as there would be many other essentials that may need your attention. You may also have various queries like “Do both parents have to sign a child’s passport UK” and also about the documents to be submitted, time taken for passport, and many such queries that will take some time to decode. However, if you will read this article till end then all your queries will be addressed and you will be able to begin the application for your child, fully prepared!


You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

When to start the passport process for the baby?

If you are looking for a passport for your baby then it can be done from the very first day of the baby’s birth. The validity of the passport for babies is five years and hence it is good to keep a track of the passport renewals too. If you have more children, then better check their passports for renewal needs, as this will make your task easier.

How long before the travel you need to plan for the passport?

Passport is the key document and will be required all the time for travel and identity purpose. It is good to get started even without any travel plans, however if you have travel plans then it is always good to be safe. The expected time taken for the passport to get ready is about three to ten weeks. Emergency passports can be received in one week with the fast-track passport service. If you want to be safe then always consider couple of weeks more than the standard timeline. For those applying from outside of UK, the timeline will change.

How to apply for the passport?

Passport application for your child can be made online or by post. Online application is easier and quicker. The application fee for the online passport application is the cheapest. If you want to do it by post then you will have to pay little extra for the same. Here are some key points to note before you decide on the application process.

-          You will be required to fill paper application form in case of post-office application, while online application can be filled online.
-          You can opt for application and document checking services offered by the post office staff in both types of processes.
-          Paper application will take extra time for processing, hence better opt for the online application if you want your passport early.

What are the documents required for UK child passport?

The list of documents is usually longer in case of application being made for the first-time passport. The key document in case of renewal of the passport is just the old passport and the photographs. However, we have given here the complete guide for those applying for their child’s passport for the first time. Some key points regarding the documents for the UK passport are given here.

-          All the documents will be required to be submitted in original. No photocopies, even when verified are not accepted. Certificates will also be accepted as their official copies.
-          Documents must be in English or Welsh language. If otherwise, then it is mandatory to get the documents translated by official translator. Both the original and translated copies must be submitted along with the application.
-          You will have to give your permanent address where all these submitted documents will be returned along with the passport.
-          None of the documents would be accepted in laminated form. Make sure that you remove the lamination before submitting the documents to avoid any discrepancies further.

Now when you know how to submit the documents, let us see what documents you will require for this process!

You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here

List of documents

-          British nationality certificate for the child like registration certificate. Passport details of the parents and also the birth certificate.
-          Birth certificate of the child. Adoption certificate of the child if applicable.
-          If holding passport from other country, then also need to submit the details of the passport.
-          Extra documents will be required to be submitted if the child is born through surrogacy.
-          Any other court orders about the residency arrangements or nationality details.

Apart from the above original documents, you will have to submit two latest identical passport size photographs of the baby. These photographs can be easily clicked by the professionals at Passport Photo Digital centre as you won’t be able to click the correct format picture at home or at photo booth.

Above list of documents is for paper application. Online application will also require similar documents; however, it is good to take a note of the required documents after the completion of the application process. 

All of the above documents will be sent back to you by post. If you want secure delivery then it is possible at nominal extra fees.

Countersignatory or Application Verification

Application verification by third person is the important requirement for the new passport and passport renewal for those below 11 years of age. In this requirement, a third person will have to confirm the child applicant’s identity. The person verifies the details in the application to the best to his/her knowledge and confirms that all the information is true. This person is called the countersignatory. 

Countersignatory must have known the parent or guardian of the child for two years or more. He must be able to confirm that the person is having the parental responsibility of the child and the photograph of the child is true to his knowledge. This part of the application is important as it will be key identification for the applicant. Some of the key eligibility points to be considered while deciding on the countersignatory are given here.

-          The person should not be related to the parent.
-          He/she must not have lived at the same address as the applicant.
-          He/she must be British national.
-          Must be residing in UK.
-          Must have British passport or Irish passport.
-          Must be a professional.
-          Not employed by HM passport office.

Any person who fits in the above criteria can be appointed as countersignatory. In case of the paper application, the signature would be required on the back side of the child photo. While in case of online application, signing instructions will be sent by HM passport office. 

Photograph Requirements

In case of child passport application, two identical passport size photographs must be submitted. You will have to submit unedited photographs that are not cropped from the larger photograph. Quality of the picture should be 750 pixels X 600 pixels. The size should be 45 mm X 35 mm. The picture should not be larger that 10MB or may not be smaller than 50KB. Some other key requirements for the picture are –

-          Clear face should be seen without any cover.
-          Baby must face upwards with eyes wide open. However, this condition is relaxed for babies under 1.
-          You can use your hand to support the baby’s head, but make sure that your hand is not visible in the picture.

There are professionals specialising in taking such baby passport photographs. You will get good support from Passport Photo Digital if your baby doesn’t cooperate. Their service is much better than photo booth as they have good experience in this sector.

Now when you have all the details about the child passport application, we will now look at some most common queries raised by the parents from time to time.

Frequently asked questions

Can single parent file an application for child’s passport?
Single or both parents having the parental responsibility of the child can apply for the passport on the child’s behalf.

Can one of the parents be countersignatory to verify the application if another parent is applying for the passport?
The person appointed as the countersignatory should not be related to the child or either of the parent. Hence, parent cannot be a countersignatory.

Do both parents have to sign a child’s passport UK?
Not mandatory. A single parent can also apply for the child passport if another parent is not available to sign the application. It is important that the person applying for the child has parental responsibility of the child.

What will happen to the original documents submitted for the application?
You will be submitting all the documents in original and the same would be returned to you once the passport application is processed. You will have an option to receive these documents via standard post or you can also opt for secure delivery service at an extra fee if you want your documents early and in its original condition.

What is the validity of child’s passport?
Child passport is valid for 5 years from the date of issue till the child attains the age of 15 years.

Will I need so many documents for the passport renewal as well?
No, the documents required for passport renewal are less and mostly you will have to submit only old passport along with application form.

If you are still not sure about the application process for your child’s passport then look for the professional having expertise in this area. You will receive end to end passport application support at nominal charges. This will ensure that your passport application is smooth and without any unnecessary delays.



You need a digital photo code to apply for a UK passport online

For online and printout passport photo for any country, please click here