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PASSPORTS UK –New and renew

BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES IN THE UNITED STATES.   Official statement supplied to this website by the British Government:   “In September 2013 we made important changes to the way we deliver British passports. You should now submit all passport applications  [new issue and renewals, adults and children ] to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK for processing.   [NOT  via the British Embassy website in Washington anymore].  All the information needed to complete the passport application process is available on the GOV.UK website    https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.   You should avoid applying for your passport at the last minute.  Any remaining validity on your current passport [up to nine months] will be transferred to your new one.”   
NOTE:  If you want to apply for a new UK passport for a baby/child, go to same website and click around to find that section. Ditto if you are American with British parents and want to apply for a UK passport.   Or you were born in UK and want to see if you qualify consult that same UK Goverment.  In Florida no UK passport applications are handled in person anymore.    [Lone exception–scroll down to see how to MAYBE get an Emergency Passport from British Consulate in Miami]  

►►  If you are renewing, 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  replacing a lost or stolen passport, allow at least six weeks. Your application may take longer if HM Passport Office needs to request further information.

►►   You should not book travel until you have actually received your new passport.  The British Government cannot accept responsibility for costs incurred if travel is booked and subsequently cancelled before the passport has been received.

►► You will receive your new passport and supporting documents separately.  

►► [2018]  OR –WANT TO SAVE HASSLE?  Use this service to handle it all for you:   UKABROAD offers the following service:  We assist British citizens living in the USA & Canada with their passport applications, offering a comprehensive A – Z service. We assist step-by-step with completion of all British passport application forms. We carefully review your application/s before submitting. We arrange for the shipment of your documents with our registered international courier for delivery to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the United Kingdom. Your new passport & documents are delivered back to you. You are advised of any additional documentation requirements, which may change from time to time.  UKABROAD is a Miami-based company which services all of Florida and 49 other states, as well as Canada. Call Toll Free 1-800-806-0975 or email passports@ukabroad.net   COMPANY INFO on www.ukabroad.net  

If you live in the USA and have an enquiry about eligibility for British citizenship or whether you can qualify for  a British passport in the first place,  information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/british-passport-eligibility.   QUESTIONS ONLY:  [They do NOT issue passports unless it is a proven emergency].  Phone the British Consulate in Miami [305] 400-6400   

►  URGENT TRAVEL—GET AN EMERGENCY PASSPORT from Miami British Consulate–phone to ask them.
If you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should phone the British Consulate in Miami on [305] 400 6400.
In certain circumstances they may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document, but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. 

  PASSPORT PHOTOS:    Get your passport photos taken for a few dollars at any Walgreens or CVS in Florida, nowhere else. .In Walgreens and CVS ask the passport photographer to change the settings to “UK size” in his computer before shooting. But you can also submit the US ones—these are accepted now by the UK Government. They know expat Brits can’t find a dedicated British passport photos place in an American city. Don’t cut your US photos down to UK size–just enclose them with your application form and let UK passport officials handle your photos as they see fit.  


► IMPORTANT TIP to be on the safe side :    When mailing back your completed forms and photos,  on the top of page one,  IN RED INK,  write  “Any problems with this application reach me on my cellphone [xxx] xxx-xxxx or my email .  That way,  embassy staff can just reach you quickly rather than mailing things back to you and delaying matters for weeks .

►  NEED TO OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR BRITISH BIRTH CERTIFICATE?   OR MARRIAGE OR DEATH CERTIFICATE?    FOR ANY BRITISH CITIZEN you must apply to The UK Government’s General Register Office, where all public records are kept. Records of all births, deaths, marriages in the UK since 1837 are kept at St. Catherine’s House in London. You can go there in person to order a duplicate certificate [for a small fee]:    St. Catherine’s House, 10 Kingsway, London WC2B 6JP England or write there.   Their website www.gro.gov.uk  will reveal all the info.    There is an Overseas Department shown on the website too.  Click around and see what you need.   AFTER THAT not before,  if you still have questions about such documents, call the British Consulate in Miami [305] 400-6400.  They do NOT issue any UK replacement documents, but will be able to answer your questions.

►  AMERICAN PASSPORTS—-FOR BRITS WHO HAVE BECOME UK-USA dual nationals and need to obtain an American Passport:    Phone the US Government’s passport info line:   1-877-487-2778 or get passport info and forms from their website www.travel.state.gov 


£   TIP:  WANT TO SAVE WHEN TRANSFERRING over UK CURRENCY?   DON’T USE YOUR BANK!  Use Moneycorp.  [ I use Moneycorp myself–FABB President.]   The pound is shaky.  That affects all expats in Florida who still have UK dealings. To transfer your precious funds, we highly recommend you use the services of Moneycorp.  At lower rates than any bank!  This will save you fees and grief, as we Londoners say!  What your own bank won’t do is save considerable  exchange fees, like Moneycorp.   NOW is an advantageous time for you to transfer any funds you have.  THE BEST WAY:   Moneycorp, the UK company with an office in Florida and droves of satisfied Florida clients. It is the only UK currency exchange company licenced to deal in 50 states.   Many expat Brits here have used this currency service for years and report huge savings and satisfaction.   TO FIND OUT MORE:    Phone Moneycorp’s Kelly Cutchin on  [863] 207-6616 at their USA HQ in Orlando to ask all your questions.  Or email your query to Kelly Cutchin  kelly.cutchin@moneycorp.com for details.  Moneycorp’s HQ is in England.   Posted by the Florida Association of British Business [FABB].  Moneycorp have been trusted members since 2005.  


►►►   ARE YOU OVER 55?  DID YOU PAY INTO A UK COMPANY/PRIVATE PENSION?  Do you know whether and how you can access your lump sum and bring it over to the USA?  For a FREE review of your UK pension contact Mark Solomons in Florida with Florin Pensions direct on  [561] 793-1311 email  msolomons@florinpensions.com  On Subject line put:  “To Mark Solomons—UK pension query”.    Include your name + city + phone + a sentence about the type of company/private pension you paid into.   NOTE: The UK’s decision to leave the EU has resulted in Gilt yields reaching all time historic lows,  pushing up the transfer values of UK defined benefit pensions schemes.  That means your unfrozen pension is worth MORE since July 2016.  Mark is a longtime member of the Florida Association of British Business [FABB].  As FABB’s UK pensions expert he has unfrozen many pensions for USA expats over the years.


► ARE YOU A BRIT LIVING IN FLORIDA?  OR UK BRIT WITH PROPERTY THERE?  Sign up for our eBritnews email—invitations to local British events and info relevant to expats.  Send email to  britishbusinessflorida@gmail.com  On subject line put:  Receive Florida eBritnews. IMPORTANT:  Must include your Florida city + contact phone.