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Thu 18 Mar 2010 01:18 PM

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UK expats to face passport costs hike

EXCLUSIVE: Embassies to stop processing passports; applicants must pay for return courier to Europe.

UK expats to face passport costs hike
NEW PLAN: From August 1 onwards, UK passport holders in the Gulf will have to send their documents to Dusseldorf for processing.

The UK embassy in Abu Dhabi has confirmed that from 1 August 2010, applications for full validity passports for British Nationals will no longer be processed in British embassies in the Gulf.

Documents will instead be sent to Dusseldorf in Germany, as part of a push to streamline the UK’s overseas operations. The passport holder will be expected to pay for the secure transfer of their documents to Germany, and back to the Gulf.

“There are no plans to increase the cost of a passport in sterling, though changes do occur overseas according to fluctuations in exchange rates,” an embassy spokesperson told Arabian Business.

“Customers will however pay for the cost of the postage or courier service when the new arrangements are introduced.”

Currently, the UK Foreign Office charges $190 for a 32-page adult passport, and $230 for a 48-page 'jumbo' adult passport.

The new process could mean passports are away for up to four weeks, according to the embassy. It added that it will aim to process straightforward passports within 10 working days upon receipt in Dusseldorf of the correct documentation and payment.

However, applications from first time applicants will take longer and holders are warned to allow extra time for delivery at both ends of the process.

“The UK remains one of the few countries printing passports in Embassies and Consulates abroad,” the embassy said.

“This is expensive to do and is less secure as we have to transport blank passports around the world,” it continued. “Our aim is to reduce the cost of running the operation, while improving security and maintaining a high standard of customer service.”

Until August 1, passport applicants are advised to continue to submit their passport applications at British embassies across the Gulf, and to check the website ukinuae@fco.gov.uk for updates.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

DXBHeadhunter 10 years ago

My British Passport will be processed in DUSSELLDORF?! Yet another indicator of Broke Britain and its surreptitious step forward to a United States of Europe.

adam 10 years ago

If they are sending them all the way to Dusseldorf, why not send them back to ... oh I don't know ... maybe the UK to be processed ? Why on earth are they processing them anywhere other than in the UK ?

Faisal 10 years ago

I am surprised that they are processing them in Germany instead of Inida (would have been even much cheaper). Why not create more jobs for people in the UK lets say Newport in South Wales.. where there is a big Passport Office or Liverpool....

Jason 10 years ago

This is not only happening in the middle east. I agree with DXBHeadhunter, that they are broke! They are moving operations out of Singapore too and asking passports to be sent to Hong Kong, taking another 2 weeks to process and a significant amount more in money. It is a little annoying that they call this 'streamlining' when in fact it takes longer, and is more complicated and stressful for all involved, government employees who need to handle an extremely higher capacity of applications, the payee who may not feel as secure having their foreign documents being sent overseas and it costing more, but i suppose it's a boost for the transport market!

Hear my words! 10 years ago

Can't think of a bigger disgrace then printing the passports for the Brits in Germany! Oh, wait... loosing to Germany in the world cup in the semi final on penalties, hahahaha...

Paolo C. 10 years ago

they process and pubblish passport in "the holy land"

Greer 10 years ago

Just checked the UK Embassy in Bangkok web site - they are also processing all passports in Hong Kong! Blast! I should have got mine renewed before this. How damned idiotic - extremely frustrating and costly.

Joe Bazooka 10 years ago

What is the difference between the actions of the British Embassy and that of the Somali Pirates? Perhaps the Somali Pirates do it out of necessity, which can not be said of the Brit's Embassy. Daylight Robbery+ Night Robbery+Train Robbery - All Rolled into One

disturbed of dubai 10 years ago

wonderful piece of double speak and rubbish from the F.O. regarding rationale for the change in issuance policy. If we didn't suck before when we changed the old blue passport to our red euro sticker book, then we certainly do now. What a shame on our nation....

Gazza 10 years ago

My grandad used to fly regularly to Dusseldorf about 70 years ago; never landed but did a lot of deliveries. Now it's having it's revenge. C'est la vie ... Blighty propels itself inexorably down the tubes.