New rules were announced this week… which affect those of us that live in Spain, but are British Nationals.
We no longer apply for our passports via the office in Madrid. Now all applications need to go via Belfast.
Press release: 7 May 2013
CHANGE TO PASSPORT SERVICE FOR BRITISH NATIONALS
British nationals in Spain wanting to apply for a new passport are advised of an important change in the way they will need to make applications. From Monday 13 May, all applications will need to be sent directly to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast in the United Kingdom, instead of the regional passport processing hub in Madrid.
All the necessary information about the new passport application process, including a new IPS overseas application form, can be found at www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.
Andy Hamilton, head of the regional passport processing centre in Madrid, says: “In real terms, all that this means is that British nationals living in Spain now need to send their applications to a different address.”
“Current passport processing times remain the same. If you are renewing your passport, 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 you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.”
The only other change is that the current passport helpline call charges are being removed. Instead of paying for a premium rate phone line, customers will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK.
British nationals who lack internet access or want advice are able to call the IPS Customer Service Centre on +44 (0) 300 222 0000.
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@example.com . Your local Consulate may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document to help you travel.
Fees charged for overseas passport applications are based on the cost of providing the service. Because the number of overseas applications is smaller and efficiency gains are harder to achieve, the issuing of all British passports is being repatriated. Once this has been completed worldwide in 2014, IPS will seek to more closely align overseas and UK passport fees.
This change also applies to British nationals living in Andorra.