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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Who can apply for a first adult passport and when

Find out who can apply for a first adult passport and how long it takes. The application process now includes an interview with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). You should allow six weeks to get your passport.

Who can apply


You can apply for a first adult passport if you are 16 or over and one of the following:

  • British citizen
  • British overseas territories citizen
  • British subject
  • British national (overseas)
  • British protected person

The rules can be complicated. You can find more detailed information on each category in 'Nationality groups who are eligible for a British passport'.

If you are unsure about nationality and British citizenship you can find more information on the website of the UK Border Agency

When to apply

Best time to apply

Allow at least six weeks to get a first adult passport. If you have never before held a full British (five or ten year) passport as either a child or an adult, then you may need an interview

If you are applying for your first adult passport, you should apply at least six weeks before you want to travel. You can't use the Fast Track one-week or Premium one-day services. This is because, as well as completing the form, you may need to have an interview as part of the application process. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will contact you to arrange an interview after they have received and checked your application.

If you had your own British passport as a child you will not need an interview, as your application is classed as a renewal.

Young people and adult passports

Application for a young person over the age of 16

When a child reaches 16 they can apply for a first adult passport if either of the following is true:

  • they never had a child passport
  • they were included on a parent's passport rather than having a child passport of their own

If they have a child passport they can continue to use it until it runs out. The next passport they apply for should be an adult passport renewal.

Application for a young person under the age of 16

If the application is for a person under the age of 16, you should apply for a child passport (which is valid for five years). But if the child is likely to turn 16 before the passport is issued you should:

  • apply as though they are 16
  • send IPS the adult fee for a ten-year passport

Non-UK residents and those temporarily outside the UK

If you do not live in the UK, you can apply for a passport in person while visiting the UK.

IPS cannot accept applications sent from overseas. If you would like to apply for a British Passport while outside the UK, you should contact your local embassy, high commission or consulate.

Next steps - first adult passport

To get an application form, check the fee and find out what supporting documents you need to provide, follow the link below.

Making a note of the application barcode number

Make sure you make a note of the application barcode number before sending it to IPS. You will need this if you want to make enquiries about your application or track its progress.

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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