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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Passport interviews

Passport interviews are a new part of the application process if you are applying for a first adult passport. This means your application will take longer than in the past – you should allow at least six weeks. Interviews are held at offices around the country and each one takes around 30 minutes.

Why interviews were introduced

Interviews were introduced by IPS as an extra security measure to stop people getting passports with false identities.

Who needs to be interviewed?

Adults who have never before had a full British (five or ten year) passport in their own name need to attend an interview.

If you had your own passport as a child you will not need an interview, as your application is classed as a renewal. If you didn't have a passport as a child (or were only ever included on a parent’s passport), you'll need to attend an interview.

If you were born on or before 2 September 1929, you may not need an identity interview. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will decide whether they need to interview you after they receive your completed application.

Call for advice if you have any questions

For further advice on the passport interview process, call the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000. The line is open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am and 5.30 pm on weekends and public holidays.

How the interview affects your application

You need to apply for your passport in the usual way, using the standard application form and sending it to IPS.

Staff in IPS Customer Service Centres will establish that your identity exists and that you are entitled to a British passport. This will include checking independent sources such as the electoral roll and address histories. In this way, they build up a ‘biographical footprint’ that will be used in the identity interview.

You will then get a letter asking you to phone IPS to make an appointment for an interview at one of their offices. You can choose any office, but you may not always be able to get the exact time or date you want.

In some remote areas, IPS can arrange local interviews. If you live in one of these areas, a member of IPS staff will explain this when you phone to make an appointment.

You should allow more time when applying

First-time adult customers should allow more time than in the past to receive their passport. IPS recommends you submit your application six weeks before you need to travel.

Do not book any travel arrangements until you have received your new passport.

No Fast Track or Premium services for first-time adult passports

Because you must attend an interview for your first adult passport, you can't use the Fast Track one-week or Premium one-day services.

What the interview is like

The interview takes about 30 minutes and is done in a friendly manner. Mostly you will be asked to confirm facts about yourself – facts that someone trying to steal your identity may not know.

IPS destroys any personal information used in the interview shortly after the passport is issued.

IPS offices and how to find them

IPS has a network of offices across the UK. The IPS offices are for interviews only - they do not issue passports.

If you are asked to attend an interview you should make sure you go to the right office. If you do not, you risk missing your appointment and your application may be delayed.

Additional links

Need passport advice?

For help, call the IPS Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.

The Adviceline is open:
- 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday
- 9.00 am to 5.30 pm weekends and public holidays

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