Cost Of British Passport Set To Rise

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

The price of travelling is likely to rise for expats as the cost of postal applications for British passports is set for an inflation-busting increase.

The move is part of a campaign by the Home Office to shift passport applications online, together with the aim is to shift the cost of processing passport applications away from support by the taxpayer to those who use the service.

The Home Office also wants to beef border security in advance of Brexit and sees the money saved by increasing passport processing fees will go towards the £100 million needed for the improvements.

The fee also contributes towards the cost of providing British consular support for expats and tourists.

Fees down since 2012

The proposal is for the price of online applications to increase in line with inflation, taking the cost up from £72.50 to £75.50 for adults and £49 for children.

Postal applications will see a £12.50 increase to £85 for adults and £58.50 for children.

Adults applying online would still pay less after the increase than they would have in 2009, as passport fees have decreased since 2012.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “The passport is an invaluable document that allows millions of British people to travel around the world for business and pleasure.

“Our priority is to ensure that UK travellers have a secure, effective, and efficient service from the point of application to the time they pass through the UK border and it is only right that we should look at this whole process when setting our fees.

Changing passport colours

“These proposals will ensure that those people who don’t travel abroad are not footing the bill for those who do.”

If the passport price increase is approved by Parliament, the new fees will come into force from March 27, 2018.

The Home Office also explained the proposal has nothing to do with plans to change the passport cover colour from red to blue, which will start in 2019.

“As well as ensuring that the process of getting a passport is funded by those who use them, the proposals reflect the differing amounts it costs to process online and postal applications,” said a Home Office spokesman.

“The Passport Office is continually developing its online application services, with everyone over the age of 16 now able to renew their passport using the latest online system where applicants can upload their passport photograph digitally.”

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