UK government to introduce new passport fees next month
On January 11th, 2023, The UK’s Home Office and HM Passport Office announced that, for the first time in 5 years, the UK government will propose to increase an increase in passport fees to reduce “reliance on funding from general taxation”.
The new passport fees are expected to be applied on February 2nd, 2023, and they will affect both people who need to renew their passport and people who want to obtain it for the first time.
Although the proposed changes to passport application fees are still subject to Parliament scrutiny, the UK government has already published a “preview” of what these modifications would be like:
- Fees for standard online application for UK passports will rise from £75.50 to £82.50 for adults and £49 to £53.50 for children (provided that all applicants are in the UK)
- Postal applications for UK passports will rise from £85 to £93 for adults and £58.50 to £64 for children.
More than 95% of standard applications are processed within 10 weeks. That is why the UK government offers the 1-week fast track option for those who need their passports urgently.
Apart from the aforementioned changes in the online and postal application fees, this priority service will have its fees standardized. According to the UK’s Home Office and HM Passport Office, the goal is to “make all customers pay the same”.
The UK’s Home Office and HM Passport Office have clarified that “the government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications” and that the passport fees will be increased to “move towards a system that meets its costs through those who use it”.
The new passport fees will not only cover the cost of processing passport applications but also the cost of consular assistance provided to British nationals overseas, who might have lost their passports. The new fees will also cover the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders, enabling the UK government to “improve its services”.