We are making important changes to the way we deliver British passports. We are writing to your organisation to make you and your members aware of these changes.
It has been the UK government’s goal to ensure that all British nationals living overseas receive a consistent, trusted, secure and efficient service whilst keeping the costs as low as possible. In order to do that, responsibility for issuing passports overseas passed from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its posts overseas, to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) – an Agency of the Home Office, which already handles all passport applications from people living in the UK.
From 14 January 2013, British nationals living in Germany will submit passport applications direct to the IPS in the UK for processing, not via the Passports Section at the British Consulate-General in Düsseldorf, which is closing. All the information needed to complete the passport application process will be available from week beginning 7 January 2013 on the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport-abroad. You should avoid leaving applying for your passport until the last minute. You can apply to renew your passport at any time. Any remaining validity up to nine months will be transferred from your old passport to your new one. 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 if you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks. Your application may take longer if IPS needs to request further information. Travel should not be booked until the new passport has been issued and received by the customer. The British Government cannot accept responsibility for costs incurred if travel is booked and subsequently cancelled before the passport has been received. The new passport and supporting documents will be delivered separately by DHL to the address given by the customer.
If you need to travel urgently but your normal passport is not available, you should contact the nearest Consular Assistance team either in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg or Munich - further information is available on the website at: http://ukingermany.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/. In certain circumstances our staff may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document, but this is not a substitute for a full UK passport. So the best course of action is to apply as early as possible, and to make sure that you follow the new guidelines.
Please note that British Diplomatic missions in Germany are not able to take calls about individual passport applications. If you cannot find the information you need on the gov.uk website, please contact the Passport Information Contact Centre or the IPS Customer Service Centre. Details for both will be published on the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport-abroad
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