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Renewing British passport


Olivia2021
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Hi: 

 

I just wrote to the British Consulate BJ asking for an appointment to renew my British passport. Can people recently had the similiar experience enlighten me on how long do I need to wait for an appointment? and how long does the whole process take? I need to renew my Chinese work permit by the end of Jan. 

 

All advice appreciated!!!!!!! thx thx thx ! 

 

Olivia

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I can't answer your question I'm afraid, but I can confirm that sending documents (at least with Royal Mail/China Post) between UK and China is currently taking 2-4 weeks due to lack of flights, so if this is part of the process then I would factor that in.

 

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Additional point.

 

Once you do the online application, wait a few working days for an email reply. Passport office may write to you saying you only need to send photocopies of your passport. That happened to a relative of mine living outside of U.K. in another country on a visa. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 12/27/2021 at 2:14 PM, chengdudad said:

Does anyone have an update on this topic - if you have to send passport with visa has does this work with traveling in China


Did you read the post I made two months ago?

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You might be sent an email saying no need to send the original passport but to send photocopies instead

From what I understand, there is no online application - you download an application form and then book a date with the nearest Vfs.Global Visa Application Centre who now deal with all visa and passport matters, and they check the paperwork and send the process the application - do you have experience of the application process?

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were talking about renewal - the topic of the thread

This is from the That's Shanghai - https://www.thatsmags.com/shanghai/post/32307/5-more-questions-to-the-uk-government-in-china-answered

Quote

Her Majesties passport office (HMPO) are responsible for all passport renewals. If you need to renew your passport you can find more information here. The UK Visa application centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing manage HMPO applications.

you download the application form - fill it out - and then book a time with one of the above application centres who are outsourced to VFS Global, and also handle UK visa applications - these are the guys who check, send and receive back your documents. Unfortunately there seems to no way of coming in contact with one of these centres to ask on present waiting times for passport renewal - which we have been warned is now much delayed - and if your passport needs to go with the application. Without finding someone to give a recent first hand account its all very confusing! 

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Ahh. I see your quotation.

 

There are two perhaps contradictory pieces of information.

 

If you follow the HMPO website at start your application, I very much think it won't mention anything about applying through a visa centre. It certainly didn't for an application for passport renewal through Hong Kong nor Malaysia. 

 

However, you just have to go through the application  for the HMPO website with China as your present location. Whether it will ultimately say the Visa centres handle the application I am not certain of. I would go through the instructions on the official website rather than the news article. 

 

Do you need to download an application form? Early this year when I was doing my renewal I did everything online. Submitted a photo online (no need for someone to verify).

 

Sent in a proof of address and current passport. I honestly can't remember if I filled in an additional application form. If I did, it certainly did not need a counter signature, no Visa centre and it was couriered directly to HMPO in UK.

 

 

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Flickserve - did you renew your passport from HK/Malaysia or mainland China?

When going through the HMPO website on renewal and you tick the box that tells you are renewing from China it most definitely gives you a PDF to fill out and tells you that you have to book a time with one of the approved visa application centres - who then check and handle the rest of the application. These centres are outsourced to a private company - just like UK government has outsourced many other functions - even some prisons and military operations - to private companies. This might be a special situation in China - but this from my understanding the only way to get a passport renewal here.

If there is anyone out there who has recently renewed from China (not Malaysia, HK or any other country) - please butt into this conversation - and give us the heads up on the process.

By the way I picked up my new resident permit today from the PSB and asked about what happens if you have to send your passport away for renewal - we were told that on receival of an official receipt that the passport has been sent away for that purpose they will, after a list of documents have been provided, give a covering paper, I suppose a bit like the travel paper/receipt you get when your passport goes in for Chinese resident permit renewal that covers you for one month but can be renewed if your passport has not been returned before that time.

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@chengdudad - I've been looking into applying for my son's first passport and my reading of it is the same as you, we do seem to be expected to rock up to the cash-farm visa centre for an interview in person. Not actually gone through with the process yet.

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@Jim - my son has the  UK right of abode certificate - that's a de facto dual nationality. You run into extra problems when a kid born in China has a foreign passport - Chinese wont accept dual nationality, and unless you revoke your son's Chinese nationality the will only recognize Chinese issued travel documents - while Brits wont give any form of travel visa in a Chinese passport, which Chinese immigration need to see before they let your son bord a flight,  if he holds a British passport. There are some ways around this problem - it used to be (and still may be)some "blue travel  book" that can be issued in China which aids Chinese born kids who are travelling to the country where their second passport has been issued - but for kids with a British parent the the right of abode certificate, in my opinion, is the easiest solution, since it works like a visa, means only one passport, but also gives the kid the full right to live in the UK with schooling and NHS.

 

And yes - like UK visas and passports - you have to go through the HMPO's outsourced China agents - VFS Global!!!!! That's how my son got his certificate.

In some ways they actually do a good job since they check all the application material before sending - with earlier visa applications for my wife we have been told that certain things in the application should be changed before it would be accepted for processing - so you have that level of insurance that what you send has already received a first round of approval - which must be part of the reason they use this company in China, since you could otherwise imagine the amount of tripe HMPO would wading through from the sea of Chinese visa applications if they did not already receive an in-country vetting.

 

One thing to note with that certificate is that it only lasts as long as the passport - once that expires you need to get a new one which is pain with my kids 5 year passport

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On 12/28/2021 at 7:22 PM, chengdudad said:

When going through the HMPO website on renewal and you tick the box that tells you are renewing from China it most definitely gives you a PDF to fill out and tells you that you have to book a time with one of the approved visa application centres - who then check and handle the rest of the application. These centres are outsourced to a private company - just like UK government has outsourced many other functions - even some prisons and military operations - to private companies. This might be a special situation in China - but this from my understanding the only way to get a passport renewal here.

 

Noted. 

 

A different application process for people based in China. 

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UPDATE

2 days ago I sent an Email to the VFS Global office asking if we have to hand in our passports - only to get an immediate reply saying that the email address was only in use for booking an appointment. Then today - although I made no mention of booking an appointment - they wrote back about what happens with the old passport - all very confusing!!!!!

Apparently you do keep your old passport while waiting for the new one to arrive  - at least that's what I understand from their answer

Quote

After that you also can keep your old passport as the same, the Chinese visa is still available

Not very clearly written - but I guess that is what it means.

The lack of clear information from the HMPO website on exact processes is a bit of a disgrace - everywhere they talk about sending in your passport together with other documentation.  

I think the information earlier in the thread about an 11 week waiting period seems to be quite accurate - so, with COVID uncertainty, I think you need to start the process 3 or 4 months before your old passport's expiration date

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