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UK changes passport rules

The British Government is making important changes to the passport service for British nationals living overseas.

From August 12, 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in Barbados and the independent countries of the Eastern Caribbean should submit their passport application to Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the UK.

This important change follows reviews by the National Audit Office and is designed to achieve economies of scale, greater security and consistency in decision making.

All British passports now have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.

Before August 12, British nationals living in Barbados and the independent countries of the Eastern Caribbean submitted passport applications to a regional processing hub in Washington, United States.

Now, information on the UK Government website will advise British nationals on the new passport application process.

All the information required to make an application will be found at Applicants will be required to send their applications to the Passport Customer Service Centre in Durham. There will be no change to processing times.

Fees charged to British nationals applying overseas are based on the current costs of providing the service. As overseas volumes are much less than UK volumes, it is harder to gain efficiencies overseas, a statement from the British High Commission in Bridgetown said.

That is why the decision has been taken to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK.

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