Changes to passport services for British nationals

The British embassy in Rome has asked Wanted in Rome to publish the following announcement about changes to the passport services for British nationals living overseas:

The British Government is making important changes to the passport service for British nationals living overseas. From 3 June 2013, the application process will be centralised and British nationals in Italy and San Marino 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 have enhanced sophisticated security features designed to reduce the likelihood of identity theft and passport fraud.

Before 3 June, British nationals living in Italy and San Marino submitted passport applications to a regional processing hub in Paris, France. From 3 June, 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 here. 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. That is why the decision to repatriate the issuing of passports to British nationals overseas to the UK has been taken.  Once this has been completed Her Majesty’s Passport Office will be seeking to create closer alignment between the two sets of fees.