Posting this blog post for my sister who now lives in UK and someday, this article will be of big help to her: When Will My Child Need Their Own Passport?
Travelling on your own can be exciting and life changing. Travelling with children? Now that takes travel planning to another level. We take a look at the child passport requirements for your jet setter in training.
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Until October of 1998 it was possible to have your child included in your own adult passport. However in 1998 the rules have changed. Nowadays you will have to apply for a child passport (regardless how young your child might be) if you plan to travel with your family. The good news is that the child passport is valid for 5 years.
To qualify for a UK child passport your child should be under 16 years of age and one of the following three: a British citizen, a British overseas territories citizen or a British overseas citizen. You will also have to have parental responsibility (which is automatic if you are the child’s mother, the child’s father and you are married to the child’s mother, were married to the child’s mother at the time of birth or have adopted the child).
It takes up to 4 weeks (or longer during certain periods of the year) to be issued a child passport so do plan ahead especially if you have a holiday booked.
To apply for a child passport you will have to either fill out the online passport form or request one online. The price of a child passport is Ł45 or Ł55.75 if you use Post Office’s Passport Check and Send Service. If you are pressed for time you can use the Fast Track Service. The cost of a child passport issued via the Fast Track Service is Ł87.
How to fill out the passport application form
The sections of the form that need to be filled out are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 (and section 6 if applicable). Countersignatory will have to fill out section 10 and certify and sign one of your child’s passport photos.
If you child is between the ages of 12 and 15, they will have to sign the passport application form themselves. If your child is not able to sign the form themselves, you will need to explain the reasons why in a cover letter.
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Apart from the passport application form you will also have to submit additional documents most notably your child’s birth certificate and the British passport details belonging to the child’s mother and father. However in some circumstances (for example if the child is in foster care, has been adopted, has been born of a surrogacy, if there is a court order relating to the custody in case of a divorce, etc) some additional documents might have to be submitted or you will have to fill out some additional sections of the passport application form. Do bear in mind you can only submit original documents and no photocopies are accepted.
Child passport photos
You will also have to submit 2 photos with your child’s passport application form.
- 45x 35 mm in size.
- White or light grey background.
- Sharp and clear image.
- Whole of your child’s face should be visible in the photo.
- The child should be alone in the photo (if the baby’s head need to be supported, your hand should not be visible).
- The child should not have any toys in the photo or dummies in their mouth.
- If a child is younger than five it is not necessary for them to look directly into the camera or have a neutral expression.
- Babies younger than one do not have to have their eyes open in the photo.
If your child is close to 16 years of age or has already turned 16, they will have to apply for an adult passport and they can do so without the parental consent. If your child held a child passport previously, they will have to follow the procedure for renewing an adult passport. If you never applied for a child passport and your child is 16 years of age or older, it is considered that they are applying for an adult passport for the first time.