Previously, when an ex-pat, living in Spain, had to renew their British passport, the application was sent to, and processed at the British embassy in Madrid. However, as from 13th May, renewal applications for UK passports will have to be sent directly to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast in the UK.
All UK passport applications, both for new passports and renewals, be it from within the UK or abroad are now processed in one place. Don’t panic though, processing times remain the same… If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks and if you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.
Current cost for a UK passport from Spain is £128 plus £19.86 courier fee….considerably more than the £72.50 paid by a UK applicant. However, it is hoped that following these changes, the service will become more efficient allowing the costs to be reduced (I’m not holding my breath though..)
A further change is that the helpline is no longer charged at a premium rate, customers will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK.
You can call the IPS Customer Service Centre from Spain on +44 300 222 0000.
All the necessary information about the new passport application process, including the new overseas application form and a step by step guide can be found at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports
People who need to travel urgently but whose normal passport is unavailable should contact their nearest British Consulate via 902 109 356 or email [email protected] . Your local Consulate may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document to help you travel.