Need to get an emergency UK passport outside the UK? If your passport is lost, stolen, or expired, there’s a way you can apply for an emergency one.

Emergency passports are temporary travel documents that allow you to travel to your destination urgently when you do not have your UK passport. It’s valid for one single or return journey, and you can use it to travel through a maximum of 5 countries.

In this article, we’ve covered all the possible questions you might have about obtaining an emergency UK passport for yourself or your child. Enjoy the reading!

Who Can Apply for Emergency UK Passport?

First of all, you must be a British national, someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong and was able to register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997.

British national is different from British citizen in that the former is the criteria to register as the latter.

After understanding the prerequisite, let’s see what other eligibility criteria you need to meet:

1. Your passport has been damaged, lost, stolen, or expired.

2. You’re outside the UK.

3. You have changed your name and your passport is in your old name.

4. You need to travel within 6 weeks.

5. You can’t renew or replace your UK passport from abroad before you travel

6. You have had a valid UK passport in the last 10 years

7. You have the urgent travel documents. (We’ll talk about the documents in the next section.)

Contact the nearest British Embassy or Consulate for the latest information. If you’re eligible for applying for an emergency UK passport, they will give you an application form for you to submit along with the required documents.

An emergency UK passport is a temporary solution for urgent travel. When you finish the travel and return to the UK, you must apply for a full-validity passport and cancel the emergency one.

You can’t renew the emergency UK passport. Plus, some countries do not accept emergency UK passport if you do not have a visa. Check if the country you’re travelling to accepts an emergency passport here.

What Documents are Required for Application?

UK has strict requirements towards the emergency passport application. If you have checked the boxes that we’ve listed above, prepare these required documents to ensure that your application will not be rejected. All documents must be original.

  • Proof of travel: You must submit documents that can prove you’re travelling to your destination. It could be your flight tickets, hotel booking information, or even a detailed travel plan.
  • Proof of identity: The proof of your identity can be a driver’s license or a national ID card. If these documents are not with you, you can provide other forms of identification, such as a birth certificate or a marriage certificate.
  • Proof of citizenship: This is similiar to proof of identity. If you were born outside the UK and do not have a birth certificate, you must have your registration certificate or naturalization certificate.
  • Completed application form: Fill out the emergency passport application form is also a must, whether you’re going to apply for the emergency passport online or offline. You can download the form from the UK government’s website. If there’s a British embassy or consulate nearby, you can also go there to obtain a copy in person.
  • Two passport photos: You will need two identical passport photos that meet the UK government’s photo requirements. The photos should be taken within the last month, in color, and on a plain, light-colored background.

When taking your passport photos, make sure to follow the UK government’s guidelines to avoid any delays in your application.

Since the government has a lot of rules regarding the passport photo. For example, the photo for an emergency passport should not been used in a previous passport.

If you’re going to apply for an emergency UK passport online, you will need to prepare a digital passport photo that meets the guidelines. Your photo must be:

  • clear and in focus
  • in colour
  • unaltered by an app
  • at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall
  • at least 50KB and no more than 10MB
  • be taken against a plain light-coloured background
  • have a netrual expression and your mouth closed
  • have your eyes open and visible
  • no head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)

If you’re applying for an emergency British passport online for your baby, here’re some rules you must know:

  • a baby must be on their own in the photo.
  • a baby doesn’t hold anything in her/his hands.
  • a baby under one does not have to open their eyes.
  • a baby under six does not have to look directly at the camera.

If you need printed photos for offline applications, either for yourself or for your baby, you can follow the rules for taking digital photos. Apart from that, the two identical printed photos must:

  • measure 45 millimeters (mm) high by 35mm wide
  • not be a cut-down version of a larger picture

Now get the prepared documents and let’s learn how to apply for an emergency British passport online or in person.

How to Apply for an Emergency UK Passport?

When you are outside the UK, applying online is more convenient. Follow these steps:

Online Application

1. Visit the GOV.UK website, scroll down to the middle of the page and click on the “Apply now” button.

2. Click the “Start now” button on the page to answer the questions one by one with your details, including your full name, and date of birth.

3. Upload a digital passport photo that meets the UK government’s photo requirements.

4. Pay the fee using a valid debit or credit card.

It will take you about 15 minutes to fill out the form. After that, you will receive an email that guides you on how to collect your emergency travel document.

In-Person Application

To apply for an emergency UK passport offline, follow these steps:

1. Find your nearest British embassy, high commission, or consulate by visiting the GOV.UK website.

2. Contact the embassy or consulate to make an appointment.

3. Take the required documents with you to the appointment.

4. Pay the fee using a valid debit or credit card.

It usually takes about 2-7 working days to get your emergency travel document. But it depends on the service you choose (which we’ll talk about in the next section), the location, and time when you’re going to apply. 

If you are in a country where there is no British embassy or consulate, you may need to contact the nearest embassy or consulate for assistance.

Sometimes it may take you longer when the office is dealing with high demands.

Be patient and ask the embassy or consulate for advice to quickly obtain the emergency UK passport.

How Much and How Long to Apply for an Emergency UK Passport?

The application costs £100 and you cannot get a refund even if you didn’t make it.

To get your emergency UK passport faster, you can choose the Online Premium service which costs £193.50 (or £204.50 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport).

Note that you can only choose Online Premium for an adult passport that was issued after 31 December 2001.

If you don’t need your emergency passport that urgently, you can choose Fast Track service. The office will deliver your passport to your home within 7 days of your appointment (excluding bank holidays). 

The costs are lower, which is:

  • £155 for an adult passport (or £166 for a 50-page frequent traveller passport)
  • £126 for a child passport (or £137 for a 50-page frequent traveller passport)

No matter which service you choose to use, you’ll need a credit or debit card to pay for it. If you cannot use the online service, call the Passport Adviceline to book an appointment and pay for the emergency British passport.

Passport Adviceline

Telephone:  0300 222 0000

From outside the UK: +44 (0)300 222 0000

Textphone: 18001 0300 222 0222

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

Saturday, Sunday and UK bank holidays, 9am to 5:30pm

Travel Restrictions with an Emergency British Passport

The emergency UK passports look different when compared to a normal passport. They do not have an embedded electronic chip. 

Bear in mind the two things when you’re using an emergency passport:

1. It’s valid for a limited period. You can travel through a maximum of 5 countries.

2. Some countries may not accept an emergency passport, and you could be denied boarding by an airline company. 

We highly recommend you refer to this article and get in touch with the embassy of the country you’re traveling to for the latest requirements.

Ready to Get Your Emergency UK Passport?

To obtain an emergency passport, make sure that you’re qualified and prepare the necessary documents before making an appointment. The cost for an appointment is £100 and you cannot get a refund.

If you are outside the UK and need an emergency passport, you can apply at the nearest British embassy or consulate. However, some countries do not accept emergency passports. Don’t forget to check the restrictions of the country you’re traveling to. 

Apply it in advance and providing all the required documents will speed your process of  emergency UK passport application. Good luck!

By Dolores Xiao

I am a content creator and marketer with over 5 years of professional writing experience. I hold a bachelor's degree in communications and have a natural curiosity about technology, as evidenced by my technology blog. As an avid traveler, I draw upon adventures in over 10 countries to inject unique cultural perspectives into my articles and social media campaigns. I thrive on developing engaging content that informs and inspires audiences.