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Click here to visit the Identity and Passport Service website

Make sure your passport is valid for your travel dates.

Don’t leave it at home, bring it with you and keep it safe.

Passport photos- you should not be smiling, and if you wear glasses in the photo the application is usually rejected.

Photos should be taken on a white background.

Samples of acceptable and unacceptable passport photos. IPS passport photo guide

It is recommended that your passport has at least six months validity when you travel. This is not necessary for all destinations. To check out the minimum passport validity for your destination, go to the Registration section of the website access the Visa Search facility and input your details. You will be advised of the minimum passport validity for your nationality to the destination of your choice. Remember if you are visiting more than one country check the requirement for each, it may be different.

What condition is your passport in?

If the film has separated from Photo page (biographical page) of your passport, then this will be regarded as damaged. You will need to apply for a new passport and include a birth certificate as proof of identity.

If your passport with your clothes has been laundered in the washing machine, you will need to apply for a new passport. It will be damaged and not accepted by any Immigration Authority. When you apply for a new passport include a birth certificate as proof of identity.

What should I do if my passport is lost or stolen in the UK?

You must report the loss or theft of your passport as soon as possible to the Identity and Passport Service. To reduce the possibility of anyone else using your passport or your identity, you will need to fill in and sign a lost or stolen declaration form (LS01) and return it to us.

All cases of theft must also be reported to the local police, as the crime reference details must be inserted in the relevant section of the LS01 form.

Click for form LS01


Update on Biometric Passports in the UK

What are biometric passports?

Biometric passports use technology to read the uniquie biological features of each person. This is the most advanced way of verifying an individuals identity. Biometric identifiers include facial recognition, fingerprints and iris recognition. Biometric data can be scanned and matched against information stored on a chip in a passport.

All new UK passports are biometric.

A machine readable passport (MRP) has 2 lines of characters across the bottom of the photograph page (click here to view a sample). All current passports which were issued in the UK are machine readable. Some passports issued by British consular posts abroad have a blank space instead of these characters and are not machine readable. From 26 October 2004, only travellers with machine readable passports will be able to enter the USA without a visa. Children, whose names are included on an adult’s passport, even if that passport is machine readable, will need visas to enter the USA.


Click here to visit the UK Passport Office website

Click here for passport advice for other nationals

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