Passport Office fuck up (1st child passport) means Christmas is cancelled...

(130 Posts)
Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 17:47:40

... and DSs Christening.

He was born at the end of September. Knowing it would take 6 weeks to apply for his passport I rang the passport office before his birth to triple check what we would need. Was given a list over the phone.

Rang back after his birth to confirm again as was ready to send everything off. Was told to add his four grandparents' birth and marriage certificates to envelope. As these now had to be ordered urgently they were at a cost of 25 pounds each (Spoke to 2 different people at both gave a different list of required contents, but went with the longest list.)

Obtained birth certificates exactly 6 weeks before our flights home for Christmas. Rang a fourth time to go through everything. Everything ticked off and ok to send, hurrah!

Yesterday we get an email to say they need his Spanish birth certificate as well as the international one the previous four people said was the correct one. This needs to be officially translated first which takes 3 days. By the time its done there will be 3 weeks until our flights, not to mention the one week postage time either way..

We're not going are we. Our friends and family aren't going to meet DS, all DHs (and my!) Christmas presents are there, I'll have to cancel his Christening... The total costs of the palaver comes to over a grand now taking the flights, passport crap and car hire into account.. Plus my grandfather is pretty ill and I'm not sure he'll even get to meet his first and only great grandchild now..

How do I complain? On the phone they keep fobbing me off. I'm really upset. I know its a first world problem, but still!

OddBoots Tue 12-Nov-13 17:49:46

You might still get it but it is a bit tight. Is it really a week postage each way? That seems a long time these days.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 17:51:43

It took a week to send the first lot, I paid a tenner for the quickest postage and tracked it. I could use DHL but its 50 pounds for a letter!! From Spain...

123bucklemyshoe Tue 12-Nov-13 17:52:19

Can you go to passport office - isn't there some sort of fast track:

Gigondas Tue 12-Nov-13 17:52:47

Can you not courier it to uk and get it sent to family in uk who can courier it back. Yes it's an expense but better than missing all Xmas Etc.

Or is it feasible to get someone in uk to do pick up on day service? We did this for dd2 - more expensive but got passport back on named day.

Was there No website guidance? I am not sure I would rely on person on

Gigondas Tue 12-Nov-13 17:53:37

There is a pick up on day service.

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-13 17:54:00

If you are abroad, can an embassy help sort it out?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 17:55:02

The website guidance doesnt mention they need the second BC. Its pretty difficult to follow which is why I rang the helpline as well.

They wont let you apply via the uk, if youre overseas you have to apply from the country you are in. I asked a few times. For the same arbitrary rule they also wont send it to the UK.

There is no passport office abroad anymore, everything now has to go through Belfast, whatever country.

Beccadugs Tue 12-Nov-13 17:57:17

Friends of ours got a one day appointment for their child's first passport (I think flew to Glasgow as this was were an appointment was a available) could you do this once birth cert is translated?

If you are abroad might be worth flying to UK to "save Christmas"? Assuming you can leave DCs where you are.

Beccadugs Tue 12-Nov-13 17:58:20

Oops cross post. My idea doesn't sound like it'd work!

mumbaisapphire Tue 12-Nov-13 18:09:35

Just throwing this out there as a suggestion, but appreciate you may have already considered this and decided against it. If your child was born in Spain, would it not be quicker to apply for a Spanish passport for him assuming he is entitled to one? You can then apply for the British one at your leisure.

I had a quick check on the Spanish website and it states that a child born to foreign nationals (unless you are there for military or diplomatic reasons) is considered a Spanish citizen. So surely he is eligible?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 18:29:48

Thank you! Mumbai I'd love to, it is SO easy to get a Spanish passport, but when we tried we were told you have to have lived here a year. Thanks so much for looking though, that was really kind!

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 18:36:36

The instructions are on the HM Passport Office website saying original certificate with translation.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 18:39:16

My friend took 3 months to get a first passport and didn't book her holiday 2 months after birth. She did exactly as the official instructions said. That's life I'm afraid, it's not nice, it's awful, but complaining is not going to make any difference other than to your level of anger which is fully understandable. It's not good enough, but that is the way passports are now issued. It's austerity measures. Civil servants working harder than ever, less of them, even more work, things take longer.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 18:41:37

Yes but that is what the international birth certificates are, they are the official thing we were given when we registered him. They asked if we wanted the Spanish one as well (we said yes just in case luckily). Then when I spoke to the passport people they told us they only wanted the international one.

eightandthreequarters Tue 12-Nov-13 18:44:05

Are you sure the embassy can't issue emergency travel documents? Had this with one of my DC (though not in Spain) and although passports are done centrally, of course they need a way to let UK nationals travel at short notice if passport is lost/stolen. Might be different of course if you have never had a passport, because you're a baby.

My sympathies!! Are you sure the Spanish one-year policy applies to EU nationals?

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 18:44:17

Can an embassy help? That is ironically not funny. Has anyone recently tried ringing a British embassy? I did, got a lovely chap in Malaga, was so so jealous, talked about the weather then got on to the subject about how crap it is to be employed by FCO abroad but at least he wasn't sitting where I was phoning from, he answers calls from all over Europe, emergency ones at that too, they have like 72 hours to reply to an emergency. I then got a pathetic excuse of an email from FCO who knew less than me about my enquiry.

So now all UK passports are just that, issued only in the UK, unless you already have one which is lost/expired/stolen, in which case you can get an emergency one.

Oh great civil service. Don't blame those unfortunate to be one, write to Cameron and ask why he thought to take "great" out of the name of the country of the UK of GB and NI, or is in now a joke to say great?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 18:44:48

Do you think it won't make a difference? I was hoping it might at least make sure the customer service people don't tell other people the wrong thing, or make sure there is a standard list for what everyone should include sad

I understand the passport office has recently rearranged its foreign passport dept and hoped this was teething problems they could learn from.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 18:47:29

I might be able to get an emergency one, I haven't really looked into it as I know they are 100 pound each way! Might be able to ask for it as am Xmas present though from dmil and fil... I hope it's possible, I'll ring the embassy in the morning...

Takver Tue 12-Nov-13 18:50:43

Can you not get the passport from the Embassy in Madrid? Long time ago (dd is 11!!!) but we got her baby passport from Madrid. Even if you had to travel there, it might be cheaper & easier?

Do you have Spanish ID card for baby? Any chance you might be able to travel with that?

Takver Tue 12-Nov-13 18:51:30

Sorry, just saw from runningmad that they don't do that any more. How crap is that sad

hairymonkey Tue 12-Nov-13 18:52:52

We had real problems getting ds's passport renewal in the summer after following all the info on website and left plenty of time, they only sent a letter saying photo wasn't valid on the day it was due.

I think you have to have a 'no surrender' attitude, try and remain calm, and speak to the Belfast office as most queries get sent to a call centre where they can't offer assistance only tell you what the status of your application is. They may say there isn't a phone number for the Belfast office, there is, but you have to really press them for this. Good luck! We managed to get them to ok the passport and sent next day after 2 days of phone calls.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 18:53:02

We have to have the passport to apply for his Spanish ID card. Grr!!!

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:01:10

I have NEVER seen an ETD issued as a first document to a baby, only to those who have lost passports, their application in the UK for a renewal has taken so bloody long that they have been allowed to apply for a ETD. It's not straightforward to check for British citizenship when born abroad and they have to get the recording right, whether "otherwise than by descent" or "by descent" which is why you're often asked to supply full birth certificates of grandparents.

So in all these years of staring at British passports and British ETDs, never yet come across an ETD in the hands of a baby.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:07:28

Or of course you try the roundabout route, entering the UK as a Lille loopholer or via Ireland? There are ways and means of doing it.

zipzap Tue 12-Nov-13 19:08:49

It's definitely worth ringing up the embassy in tears bs asking what the blazes can be done to get your ds his first passport and if they could help, emphasising poorly grandfather etc. They might even be able to advise you about a Spanish passport or some other solution.

Good luck - there's 6 weeks until Christmas so hopefully they can sort something out for you.

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-13 19:08:58

How does a baby born abroad by accident get home?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 19:09:58

Oh fuck. Really?

What do people who have babies abroad, say prematurely, do?

Emergency Travel Documents are your best bet imo.

I just got my own passport renewed and after reading up on it and talking to the PO, I decided it was probably safer to go to the UK and get the 1-day fast track service. I didn't fancy getting stuck for 4 -6 weeks without a passport (and indeed any way of identifying myself).

I do think they've made it ridiculously complicated. I don't think it's really feasable to expect UK nationals abroad to be without any travel or id documents for that length of time.

There must be babies born abroad all the time - on holiday, or while travelling etc. They must be able to get back to the UK, surely?

x-post with everyone! :O

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:23:58

It must be tempting to get into a car and drive, and hope the ferries don't check.

NOT that I'm advising it, but it must be tempting.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 19:26:16

Haha MAryz I just got a marketing email from euro tunnel and I said the same thing to DH!! Could wrap him up as a Christmas present and pretend he's a furby I already put the batteries in...

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-13 19:27:09

I thought technically you didn't need a passport to enter the UK as a British citizen it just speeds up the process...

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:27:28

The 6 week processing time is mostly just waiting to get to the front of the queue though - so if you can send the Spanish bc off now, along with a letter explaining the situation plus your flight reservations, I think you should just have enough time.

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:23

You could just turn up innocently and say "oh, we are picking up his passport in London when we get there".

And pray.

Rosa Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:29

Many years ago there was a British lady who gave birth in Italy 6 weeks early. I am sure that they applied for some kind of emergency travel document that was issued for them to travel one way only . I know that the father went to the embassy / consulate which was a representative office only and then he had to go to the main one in Italy to collect a document to travel . Maybe ask about that and then get the passport sent to your Uk address.

TeamSouthfields Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:36

do it... it might come... mine took a week.after they had received everything

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:28:46

Also it is true what Randommess says. But I personally would not want to have an argument about this with Easyjet/BA/ someone at immigration.

Maybe try phoning the Passport Office and asking what if you've had a baby while you happen to be abroad (ie don't mention that you live there). I'd imagine that you can enter the UK with your and your DH's passports and the baby's birth certificate?

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:13

But it might come - I only realised my driving licence was out of date a few days before I went on holiday. I had resigned myself to long convoluted train transfers and blow me didn't it turn up the day before I left.

Miracles happen [hopeful]

galwaygirl Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:17

Hi OP, ring the embassy.
We got an emergency Swedish passport from our local consulate as DD's first as we hadnt time to get any of the three to which she was entitled. Different country but still EU so would assume rules might be similar? It's definitely worth a try, don't give up yet!

starkadder Tue 12-Nov-13 19:29:56

And (final post!) a good translator should be able to do the birth cert translation same day for you.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:33:22

MaryZ if you try to enter the UK without a passport at juxtaposed controls, yes even a baby, the answer is NO for very good reason. And if travelling by air, it's again NO. Having encountered trafficked babies, I do have to agree with this rule, no matter how cruel it is.

Technically YES you need to prove you're British to enter the UK without a passport and you can only do this at a port, not if flying, and without a passport and having never had one and being born abroad too, there is no automatic right to be British so it is a non starter to think a baby can enter the UK without a passport.

No ETDs for babies.

No-one actually works at the British embassy in Madrid you know!

PLEASE read the replies.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:34:21

and no-one at Swedish embassies either which are also being closed down at the same rate as British ones, Galwaygirl you are either lucky or applied over 2 years ago.

Alanna1 Tue 12-Nov-13 19:34:35

OP, are any of the grandparents in the UK? Ask them to contact their MP. IUKBA has a MP liaison unit and can sometimes move faster for MPs. And keep asking nicely. Passports can come quickly. Particularly if any if the grandparents are active in their local constituencies, but any MP can write on behalf of their constituent. They should go and see the MP, with all the supporting evidence, and ask the MP politely if they could help.

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-13 19:35:35

What gives a baby born abroad the right to be British?

SoupDragon Tue 12-Nov-13 19:37:31

British parents.

Maryz Tue 12-Nov-13 19:37:49

That was tongue in cheek, running. I distinctly said I wouldn't advise it.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 19:38:46

Hopeforthebest, a baby's nationality is not determined by showing parents' passports and a birth certificate. British nationality is immensely complicated, however wikipedia has a very informative page on it and by reading it, you'll conclude that you cannot enter the UK without a passport for a baby hoping to individuals showing their passports and who could be anyone and not necessarily the parents will suffice as to entering the UK as a baby.

Trafficking babies is rare but it is terrible when it happens. I once had a Polish baby with staples in her chest trafficked, no passport, just told was Polish, trafficked by a stranger who dumped her on board and scarpered. done so that the baby could get better treatment for free on the NHS, hence staples in chest after heart operation. Imagine doing that, parents gave their baby to a stanger to leave on board a ferry heading to the UK hoping the baby'd be found and taken to hospital - baby contained instructions on heart defect hidden in covers.

ETDs are always issued by local embassies/consulates though, aren't they? I was told (when I was still deciding how to renew mine) that if I needed to travel in the time my passport was in the UK being renewed, I could apply in person for an ETD - in my case that would mean travelling to Berlin.

Still want to know what happens if you have a baby while travelling abroad - surely someone must issue an ETD?

RandomMess Tue 12-Nov-13 19:44:08

I seem to remember a case being on breakfast TV where some parents had a complete nightmare even getting a birth certificate for their child born abroad and had huge problems bringing her back to the UK?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 19:51:46

That's horrible running puts my wanting to get home for Xmas worries to shame really. At least we will all be together.

DH is now saying if we miss the flights but the passport still arrives before Xmas we can just drive through France as soon as it arrives and fly back, although I don't know when we could get the car back! The drive costs about 200quid each way so it's twice the price of two emergency travel docs, so I'd rather those.

If we can't get an emergency travel doc there must be something for the babies born on holiday for example. Do you know what happens in those scenarios running ?

One of the grandparents is matey with someone fairly high up in govts spouse and is going to chat to them, but doesn't think it'll do much good!

HepsibarCrinkletoes Tue 12-Nov-13 19:56:31

My youngest DD was born in Spain and I needed her passport pretty urgently. I spoke to a lovely lady called Helen (I'm sorry, I cannot for the life of me remember her surname) in the passport office at the British Embassy in Madrid, faxed her through flight bookings, my BC, and her Dad's, along with her Spanish BC, and copies of our British passports. (I never bothered with registering her at the local consular in Malaga) She got the passport turned around and sent to me within five days.

I was on the verge of jumping in the car and driving the 5 hours to Madrid to sit it out, but she was brilliant.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 20:02:38

Aw hepsibah she sounds lovely! Really pleased they sorted it for you. Were 5 hours from Madrid the other direction, I'd happily go there!

However the embassy can't do passports anymore. They changed it fairly recently so now all passports have to be done via post to the uk. There is no quicker option. It's shit!

HepsibarCrinkletoes Tue 12-Nov-13 20:07:28

Oh bollocks. What an arse. Sorry, I should have read your OP properly. blush

Hmm, yes I would go for the emergency travel doc then, followed by an appointment at whichever passport office is best for you. Make it now for when you're here and you'll be able to have one after 7 days.

Why did they stop doing them? Seems a bit bloody stupid, no? Although the outrageous cost of DD's passport only 4 years ago was €150 shock

Good luck, Umlauf, I hope you all manage to make it back in time.

peppapigmustdie Tue 12-Nov-13 20:25:10

A childs first should only take 3 weeks not 6 they say to allow 6 for a first time adults to cover the interview they need to conduct. If yiu have the granparents details and the translated bc, it should only take 3 weeks. I used to work at Newport and generally we processed all applications straight away and as soon as we received the requested documents etc it was a matter of passing it straight over for issuing the passport.

peppapigmustdie Tue 12-Nov-13 20:26:18

I mean it will have already been inputted and just waiting for the bc.

SolomanDaisy Tue 12-Nov-13 20:34:45

You can fly to the UK and get a one week turn around appointment at the passport office. They say you should apply from abroad, but they don't actually implement that. Though my DH recently got a lost passport application returned within a week to us in Europe, so you might be fine anyway.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 20:35:29

Oh thank you so much peppapig you have given me hope! The BBC is with the translator now and dhl can do a next day courier service (for 40 quid shock ) so they might just be able to get it to us in time?!!

Keeping everything crossed. Luckily ds is the only child we have and he doesn't know what's going on, he won't care whether or not he gets presents!

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 20:40:40

Thanks solomon I would but all the documents I'd need are now with the passport office.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 20:48:19

babies born on holiday I imagine wait around for their passports.
In most cases they do indeed arrive within 3 weeks. I know lots of people who've had them done in the last year. My friend was very unlucky with her parents' immigration status, so every single certificate was needed, however hers was one of the last applications which went via Paris before it closed, so they accepted a non translated birth certificate, given the French actually tend to be able to read French and locally engaged staff did the checking before the application was forwarded to the UK, but according to rules, she should have had the French birth certificate transalated for the French staff in Paris so they could read the English!!! It was novel at least to see 2012 written in French words, I had trouble reading it, every single date in words!!!!! Even French people rarely write dates in words and get the rules of "s" or no "s" wrong.

As for the non EU baby needing a life saving heart operation, well they did trace the parents, imagine being so desperate to do that. She had Downs Syndrome too. Not a baby I'll even forget. Crazy but brave of parents and I'm sure many would do the same.

peppapigmustdie Tue 12-Nov-13 20:48:27

Good luck

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 12-Nov-13 20:49:30

I had an issue with renewal of DS and DH's passports when the application paperwork couldn't be found after 12 weeks.

I called the Embassy in Switzerland - we had a really expensive holiday to Florida booked And only had 6 weeks left.

I was in floods of tears to the woman there - I certainly didn't have time or permission to sit in work hanging on a Premium rate helpline via Paris via UK. I was being passed from dept to dept and getting nowhere.

She investigated it on my behalf , found the relevant people and chased it up for me.

We received the renewed passports less than a week later.

I know this is a different application, but if I hadn't called the Embassy we'd have been stuffed.

somersethouse Tue 12-Nov-13 20:52:58

Sorry, I am not sure I understand. Posting from Spain here. I am English. My DD is Spanish, born here. I went to the local pólice station and had a Passport (Spanish) within 2 hours. She was a few months old.

It is easy peasy. Costs 20 euros.

Why do you need an English Passport.
Apologies if I have missed something.

peppapigmustdie Tue 12-Nov-13 20:53:24

Have they given you a ref number to quote?

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 20:53:25

You CANNOT use the one day or one week turnaround service for a baby unless you leave the baby behind and apply for it with a parent going to the UK. So either you or husband needs to travel to the UK and baby cannot go. Then comes back with passport.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 20:54:39

Maybe they need a British passport because the baby only qualifies for British nationality and not Spanish. You cannot assume because someone else has a baby in Spain and the baby is Spanish, that the OP's baby is Spanish too.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 20:56:19

Look please everyone, the embassies might have actually had staff in them when you phoned but Cameron has reduced overseas postings for FCO by 80%, it is useless and inaccurate to post your stories unless they were last week, as so much has changed in the last few months.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 20:58:29

somersrt is your dp Spanish? They said we couldn't do that as he doesnt count as Spanish until he's lived here a year. DH and I are both british. confused

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 21:00:19

Yes peppa I have a ref number...

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 21:00:25

Ok do you know exactly which passport office all the docs are at and do they have all of them? Withdraw the application, obtain docs, apply at same officer in person on one day service and Easyjet flight???? Then back to Spain with passport reunited with baby. Take photos and send it all back to Cameron or to anyone interested in showing just how bloody difficult they make it for Brits.

We're in the centre of Europe. Some nationalities can walk into their embassies and 10 minutes later get new national ID cards, others like Brits and Swedes have this farce of a service, my Swedish friends are grateful that they also have the nationality of country of residence and no longer renew their Swedish passports unless on holiday back there.

runningmad Tue 12-Nov-13 21:03:14

Baby can naturalise as Spanish in a year look. A bit late for Christmas.

Spanish nationality by naturalisation and residence[edit]

Spanish nationality can be acquired by naturalisation, which is given only at the discretion of the government through a Royal Decree, and under exceptional circumstances.[8] Any individual can request the Spanish nationality by naturalisation, as long as he or she is 18 years or older, or through a legal representative if he or she is younger.[9]
Under Article 22, Spanish nationality can also be acquired by residence in Spain. To apply for naturalisation by residence it is necessary for the individual to have lived in Spain for:[10]
ten years, or
five years if the individual is a refugee, or
two years if the individual is a national of a country of Iberoamerica, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, or
one year for those individuals:
born in Spanish territory, or

peppapigmustdie Tue 12-Nov-13 21:07:52

Make sure you put it on the envelope and attach a note outlining your situation. You might get someone very sympathetic.

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 12-Nov-13 21:18:21

If you are going to try and get back to the UK for a one day application the office in Newport is quite flexible for fairly last minute appointments and easy to get to from Cardiff or Bristol Airport.

My help with the Embassy was very recent, I would assume if they were busy they'd have redirected me or told me they couldn't help.

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 21:21:26

The passports in Belfast, but will ask tomorrow for a despatch date, and of not within a couple of days of receiving translated BC then will ask whether can make an appointment for the following week, and DH gets an Irish adventure!


NomDeClavier Tue 12-Nov-13 21:29:58

I think Spain now has minimum residency rules on jus solis nationality applications, which means you must have been born in Spain and resident there for 1 year before applying for Spanish nationality and therefore a Spanish passport. Also if the parents are there for military or diplomatic reasons nationality may be denied.

I feel for you OP, but you just need to ring the numbers again and again and again. You are at the front of the queue, they're just waiting for paperwork. You should be able to find someone to notarise a translation on the spot, courier it to the passport office and ring and bug them until they have the passport done.

I'm not sure why you needed grandparents' birth and marriage certificates unless only one of you is British and born outside Britain?

Umlauf Tue 12-Nov-13 21:34:34

me neither, nom, indeed the first person we spoke to was sure we didnt need the grandparents`birth and marriage certificates at all, insisting their passport numbers were more than enough, which delayed the application by 4 weeks.

The BC is with the translator now and I'm hoping she will have done it by tomorrow as she knows how urgent it is and we will courier it as soon as we have received it.

Do you know for sure they keep you at the front of the queue while they wait for paperwork? I had a horrible feeling we would be put to the back again.

They wont speak to me as its DHs name on section 8 of the application, but he is going to ring up 1st thing tomorrow and ask them for more accurate timescale and about the possibility of him going to belfast for a one day appointment.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 12-Nov-13 23:20:08

Unfortunately none of the staff in the UK are used to handling passport applications from overseas and are quite clueless on how to deal with them, especially if it's something as complicated as a baby born overseas to British born parents.

We got our passports back in two weeks, Umlauf, applying via Paris before they shut the passport office, but while they were issued in the UK. So the Paris staff did all the checks and the printing was done in UK. It is a ridiculous situation, I agree.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Nov-13 08:03:28

We applied for dd's 1st passport from here (Australia) & it came quicker than all of the renewals for me, dh & dd1, by about a week. So they can be quick.

Our post office check every application though, and if there is something wrong, it won't get sent, so we don't have to move heaven & earth to sort out issues once it has been sent.

Once the post office have checked it, they send all info to New Zealand who process it & send details to the UK. Passports are sent direct from UK.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Nov-13 08:13:33

If your child was born in Spain, would it not be quicker to apply for a Spanish passport for him assuming he is entitled to one? You can then apply for the British one at your leisure.

The issue with this is that they could get held up entering the UK if baby has a different passport. We were told by immigration here that easiest was to get dd 2 passports. Australian one & UK one, so she could travel in & out of each country easily on the corresponding passport.

We offered up all our UK passports at border control on return from hols recently & because dd2 doesn't have a visa in hers, it looked liked we were in for a long wait (we would have got through on the UK one eventually, but after they checked her status, which would have taken time). I told dh to give them her Oz one (he forgot about it as we have been travelling for sometime & were exhausted) and we sailed through. As a UK citizen, she doesn't have a right to be here on her UK passport. Hence, she has both!

Gigondas Wed 13-Nov-13 08:19:31

I don't know about front of queue but it was very quick when we has to resend dd2 application with an additional document. It was back in less than a week.

NomDeClavier Wed 13-Nov-13 09:24:42

I've not been held up travelling on a different passport to DS - within the EU it's unlikely to be a problem. I have had to provide scads of extra documents but I travel with a file of stuff anyway including copurs of my birth cert and marriage cert, his birth cert, the livret de famille and authorisation from DH to travel alone with DS stapled to a copy of DH's passport. All those notarised copies you get done for other stuff have to be put to good use somehow wink

differentname my kids have German passports and I have a UK one - its never, ever been a problem.

differentnameforthis Wed 13-Nov-13 11:11:12

Well I am in Australia, so perhaps that was why I was recommended to get her both?

different that is probably why, for the visa reason you explained - as Umlauf is in Spain and therefore the EU she wouldn't have the same problem.

However it seems a Spanish passport will be just of much of a problem to get in a rush, simply because the documents have been sent off to apply for the UK one!

Our kids are on German passports mainly because they only cost €14 and you go in with the birth certificate and your own passport (even if not German) and registration certificate, and fill in one form on a Monday and pick them up on Friday, at your local town hall - the up side of everyone having to be registered with the town hall where they live!

HotCrossPun Wed 13-Nov-13 11:30:08

You cannot get a childs first passport on the one day premium service.

The quickest service you can get is the one week service. But you have to be in the country to submit the application and while the application is processing. Which helpline number are you calling OP?

runningmad Wed 13-Nov-13 13:30:21

Well OP's baby is NOT Spanish nationality, so it will indeed be a problem getting a Spanish national ID card or passport!!!! In a year it can happen.

No problems at all travelling on a 2nd nationality, if it's EU, if a "controllable" national like USA, not a good idea if you're also British and don't present the proof of it on entry to the UK, as you get treated only as USA. But for EU nationals, fine, problem is the OP's baby only has one nationality and it's the worse arguably to have if trying to get proof of it as a foreign born of that nationality.

runningmad Wed 13-Nov-13 13:34:44

The need for grandparents' certificates is on the instructions for all overseas born first passport applications now, I'm sure of it, and it was not there a few years back, because I remember a thread about it last year, I had to go and read the instructions myself I didn't believe it and from where we live in the EU, indeed it is there. It's due to the "British otherwise than by descent" and "British by descent" which can differ and is absolutely crucial to get right, for the baby's future in passing on British nationality, I bet it is also there because of fraudulent applications.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 13-Nov-13 13:46:18

They've closed the Paris passport office? shock Ffs. I'm going to flounce from Britishness and finally get French nationality like my kids have. I was going to get them UK nationality but looks like far too much faff. Sorry OP that you are going through this I have nothing useful to advise, I hope you find a solution. Could your family come to you?

Umlauf Wed 13-Nov-13 14:05:09

The grandparents birth certificates are needed if the parents are born after 1983. It did say that in the supporting documents form but we were told by a customer services person just to put the passport numbers in (I now know not to listen to customer services people!!!) Could have sent the whole lot a fortnight earlier otherwise!

Another stupid rule is the countersignatory, who should hold a British or commonwealth passport and have known you for 2 years. Was have lived in Spain only one year, and as the baby can't travel, nobody back home had met him. So mil had to have a couple of days off work to fly out just to sign his photos not that she complained much about meeting her new grandson

We spoke to the passport office and we are still at the front of the queue like you said nom so it looks like they will do it as soon as the new birth certificate is received and not take a further 6 weeks. I can't quite relax yet but nor have I relinquished all hope!

It could be a Christmas miracle yet!!

Hope you get it. It's so stressful.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 13-Nov-13 14:25:26

Umlauf - the countersignatory can't be related to you. So they might ask you for another c/s if they notice that MIL has done it.

Janek Wed 13-Nov-13 14:27:57

Is the counter-signatory allowed to be related to the baby? Sorry for the wuestion, it may not be helpful...

peppapigmustdie Wed 13-Nov-13 14:37:09

Your mil will not be allowed to countersign. No relatives. On the form where it asks how they know your dh if she has written mother you might be back to square one.

galwaygirl Wed 13-Nov-13 14:41:25

Wow it all seems very complicated!

runningmad yes it was two years ago we used out local Swedish consulate to get an emergency passport for a baby. Didn't realise things have changed so much.
I have to say I find the Swedish system great when applying from within especially for the baby as they take the photo there and then and it's turned around within the week.
Although in the UK DH had to travel from Scotland to London to apply for his passport renewal - and get his fingerprints taken. So that was a total pain!

Umlauf Wed 13-Nov-13 14:46:18

Oh no they're not, but she came with her friend and DHS godmother who did it. Sorry wasn't clear! That would've been really shitty!

Oops. Didn't notice you said MIL signed. Yes - agree with others that relatives can't sign.

And they do sometimes phone to check. DH has signed a few and been phoned to check.

You might be back to square one.

titchy Wed 13-Nov-13 14:49:46

You could have just posted the photos to the counter-signatory though couldn't you? It's someone who has known YOU for 2+ years. Doesn't matter whether they've seen the baby or not!

Umlauf Wed 13-Nov-13 14:53:11

Yes could have, but due to time constraints didn't want to wait for post there and back. And mil really wanted an excuse to visit the baby! And the godmother was up for a little holiday!

The photos were the least of our worries in the end. They do have to swear the photos are a true likeness of the baby though so I think technically they are meant to have seen the baby even if all babies look pretty much the same

Do you or any of the grandparents hold Irish nationality too? When we last looked the passports were still being issued at local embassies - although this was a few years ago. Could be quicker.

MrsMills Wed 13-Nov-13 15:00:06

Just to add a glimmer of hope, I applied for dds first passport in the summer and got it back (albeit from Liverpool) 8 days after sending it. We are in Scandinavia. All is not lost!

bizzieb33 Wed 13-Nov-13 15:02:45

Could you fax them the translated document?

Would save courier cost & be with them quicker.

Umlauf - did you pick up on posts that said relatives can't sign?

Umlauf Wed 13-Nov-13 15:09:24

Yes thanks cider I explained just after my mils close friend signed! they came out together for a quick city break here. She's DHS "godmother" (although he's not christened) not related. I didn't explain properly. Sorry. Drip feeding

Sadly no fax, they need the originals.

Thanks mrsmills 8 days is great, and during busy summer period too! I really really hope well get it in time and I'll let you all know!!!

Yes, Irish passports still sent from local embassies. DD's Irish one arrived within a couple of weeks, with the UK one arriving a few weeks later. They also let you track progress of the application online.

Umlauf Wed 13-Nov-13 15:14:34

Alas, not Irish! There's an exotic sixteenth of me that's Scottish but other than that completely English on all sides as far back as we know, both for DH and me.

Stevie77 Wed 13-Nov-13 15:19:13

Apologies if this has already been suggested, can't you enter the UK with his Spanish passport then sort the Britush one while you're here?

There's obviously no visa issue, as an EU citizen he can travel here and stay. Just get an urgent Spanish passport out and deal with the rest later.

Ah - ok - phew! Missed that.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 13-Nov-13 19:42:24

Hope you get things sorted.

If it's any consolation, we're in the same boat. DC born here in the US three weeks ago, his birth certificate and social security card have his name spelt incorrectly and so until those mistakes are rectified, we can't get him a passport. And we don't have a timeframe, hence no flights to the UK for Xmas for us.

There's a slim chance we could get everything in time, but don't want to spend the best part of £2000+ only to find we can't use the flights.

On a more positive note, once we have a US passport for him, we can get a British one from the embassy here relatively quickly. It costs way more than applying via the UK but it's quick.

runningmad Wed 13-Nov-13 20:10:08

No baby cannot enter with Spanish passport 1) because baby doesn't have one and 2) baby is not Spanish and cannot be until a year old when can naturalise! how many people do not read the facts???? No you're not automatically Spanish cos born there, same goes for the UK.

Umlauf is getting to know British nationality law quickly, lots of ifs and buts which means those born abroad get the extra scrutiny.

Sorry Wibbly you'll never get a British passport from a British embassy anywhere, they haven't been made abroad for a few years and the "via" service stopped in the last year. It all goes directly to the UK now. Full birth certificates including grandparents ones etc etc, at least you don't need translations though. Please tell me you don't need to translate US birth certificates :-)

Funny how nationality laws vary so much. DS was born in the Netherlands and has only ever lived here. He goes to school here, speaks Dutch, sings Dutch nursery rhymes and celebrates Dutch holidays and has Dutch friends. He can't have a passport until he is 18 though. He can have an Irish passport despite never having set foot in Ireland, but is currently on a British one. confused

Umlauf Thu 14-Nov-13 11:29:04

Things are looking up a little! Collected the translation and couriered it off this morning. The courier cost £40 shock on top of £60 for a translation. You pay per word and they count names as word. Cheeky!

So it will arrive at the passport office tomorrow, and I have exactly a month until we fly...

Not too bad! Keeping positive.

somersethouse Thu 14-Nov-13 12:05:18

I think you'll get it within a week OP, I certainly hope so.
I got mine within a week, although it was a renewal, but you have plenty of time and they are aware of your case.

Best of luck!

chloeb2002 Thu 14-Nov-13 17:45:30

Hope you get it! Obviously things are different here in aus. Only recently we needed a passport urgently for dd. it was eventually courier delivered by fco to the airport! It was a one year temporary passport as they needed " proof of further identity"but on the grounds that I am a British citizen they granted it! Fingers crossed for you!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 14-Nov-13 17:49:55

You could drive and ferry though depending where in Spain you are it could be a long journey.

I've been to France twice on the ferry with no passport. I just argued that we're all in the EU and don't need passports.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 14-Nov-13 19:18:20

Running - that's not what the embassy here told me the other day - but then we do have quite a few friends who work there so who knows which strings they can pull? I've known quite a few people get passports in an afternoon here...

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 14-Nov-13 19:20:06

Posted too soon...

Glad things are looking up Umlauf - fingers crossed for you.

runningmad Thu 14-Nov-13 20:42:28

Hmm not everyone living in the EU are EU nationals, and the only way to prove you are an EU national when you're a British citizen is to have a British passport, for most other EU nationalities, they are lucky to have national identity cards, so they get a choice of document to prove their EU nationality.

The ferry companies at non juxtaposed ports are legally required under Carriers Liability, same way as airlines are, £2000 or whatever it is these days fine, for bringing in anyone without documentation, in reality the fine is only imposed for asylum seekers who then become a cost on the UK (they should all be returned to where they came under Dublin but France signed up to that one and then almost always ignore that convention in practice). For juxtaposed ports like Calais and Dunkerque, UK Borders check at the border, only British citizens can plea with good reason to enter the UK without their passport, but they'd be held up and the passport database checked. Now if you've never been issued with a passport, a baby British born at birth is going to have immense difficulty proving their nationality, unless carrying full birth certificates for 2 dozen family members!

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 14-Nov-13 20:57:27

Wibbly - at the moment, I think you can still get a British passport issued in Washington. But not for much longer, as all passport operations are transferring to UK. And I think the instructions now, as it is in transition, are to apply via the UK rather than in Washington. Unless, of course, you know someone at the Embassy who can pull strings. But once it has gone, it has gone, and it won't matter who you know - they won't have the machinery at the Embassy to do it.

WestieMamma Fri 15-Nov-13 20:41:22

I applied for DSs first passport in July. We got it back 2 weeks after sending it all off to Liverpool. We're in Sweden.

HepsibarCrinkletoes Sun 17-Nov-13 18:05:43

I was told that DD3 could Not have a Spanish passport until she was 16, at which point she will be eligible to hold both at the same time. Is that because both ex-P and I are British? I have the Libra Familia which was issued with her birth certificate that would allow her to get her NIC without jumping through hoops, but both the Guardia Civil and Policia Nationale said no Spanish p/port until she's 16.

Not that I'm fussed particularly, just interested to know what is actually the case.

Umlauf Thu 21-Nov-13 12:32:55

ITS HERE!! After my very dramatic OP I feel a bit sheepish that it's come with 3 weeks to spare! Very pleased! Still a bit angry about the extra costs but alls well that ends well.

Thank you for all your help and advice!

SolomanDaisy Thu 21-Nov-13 12:41:07

Yay! Glad you get to have the Christmas you planned.

OddBoots Thu 21-Nov-13 15:52:10

So pleased. smile

Clutterbugsmum Thu 21-Nov-13 16:52:14

So glad you have the passport, and can have the christmas and christening you have planned.

PontyPants Thu 21-Nov-13 16:55:12

Enjoy your christmas

smile Yay!


Tonixx97 Tue 10-Dec-13 14:59:28

I have the exact same problem with the passport my little cousin has got cancer hes only 7 i have tried for a spanish passport they told me i hes not entitled to a spanish passport unless me or my partner are spanish i now have to wait till after christmass for his passport he was born 23 september after getting his libro de familia an bc sort have finally sent off for a passport i rung the embassy up 5 times i was getting told diffrent things by everyone at the embassy they told me i can get an emergancy passport i went for 1 an got sent away i also have to get back to see doctors as the spanish hosspitals are now refusing to see i had a really bad time in labour i had an epedural they gave me to much wich caused me to have a fit since having the babby i have been blacking out everytime i go to hospital they send me away its awfull the way they treat people

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