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Child first passport stress !

(43 Posts)
CandyKane10 Sun 09-Apr-17 15:18:29

I'm planning a pretty last minute trip to SA with my DD (2)
I feel I've just done everything the bloody wrong way ! I've applied online so can't even upgrade to fast track nor can I at least use the check and send process ! Ah well
I'm currently looking for someone to countersign a few of the things and I've asked my local newsagents owner and he has agreed although he did warn me that twice the ones he's signed for have been rejected

I phoned the advice line three times to double check he was okay to do it and they said as long as he is VAT registered and has valid British passport it will be fine ! Has anyone else used a small business owner to counter sign and been fine ? And if not what was the issue ?

Also how long did it take for the passport to arrive when doing it online ?

Thank you !

Joffmognum Mon 10-Apr-17 02:13:43

A first passport can take a long time. Usually passports are a couple of weeks but a first one can take anything up to 6 weeks.

If you need it before then a one week one is about £90 and you will need to make a face to face appointment. You will have to pay again but may be able to claim a partial refund afterward (to make up for paying twice)

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:20:03

Have you seen the list of "recognised professions"?
If you know someone with a job on the list, ask them instead, to be on the safe side. (They must also be a British or Irish national and have known you for at least 2 years.)

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:23:29

Also the website says it takes 3 weeks, not 6:

When do you plan/hope to go to South Africa, OP?

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:38:29

Recent threads suggest you could get it in less than 3 weeks.

Just make sure you send the full birth certificate (not the short version)!

AnnoyedByAlfieBear Tue 11-Apr-17 08:49:33

I got both my kids first passports a couple of months ago. Both took around 2 weeks and that time included me having sent off the wrong paperwork and then forwarding the correct ones on.

GloriaGilbert Tue 11-Apr-17 08:51:36

I don't understand how you could be in this pickle if you haven't countersigned - surely you can scrap the existing one, since it's incomplete, and submit a fast-track one?

Or, have you already paid?

I just had my son's renewed via fastrack and it was about a week.

GloriaGilbert Tue 11-Apr-17 08:52:46

I'd scrap the newsagent. Do you know an accountant, head teacher, police officer, etc?

My neighbour used to work for Hammersmith and Fulham in some capacity and she signs for me.

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:55:42

I've just done an online application - you submit the application and pay, and then you have to send the supporting documents by post. It's very straightforward and the advantage is that you can then track the progress online.

GloriaGilbert Tue 11-Apr-17 08:57:14

When's the trip?

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:57:30

(But it does mean you can't cancel and apply a different way, as the application is already submitted and paid for.)

Starla268 Tue 11-Apr-17 08:58:20

No experience of getting a business owner to countersign but I applied online and messed up my the form so just redid it on a paper form and paid again for check and send which was fine. I put it in around a week and a half ago and had the passport within the week so turn around seems pretty quick at the moment.

GloriaGilbert Tue 11-Apr-17 08:59:03

(But it does mean you can't cancel and apply a different way, as the application is already submitted and paid for.)

Ah, so they won't allow duplicates?

I'd be very worried that your newsagent's applications had been rejected in the past. The Home Office might take the position that a newsagent can't really know his customers all that well.

Melfish Tue 11-Apr-17 08:59:17

I did DDs renewal the other week by check and send and got the passport back in about 8 days. The countersignature was done by a friend who is one of their approved professions so I didn't foresee a delay. I've done mine online (no countersignature needed- it's taken about the same time) out of interest how does the countersignature work if you're doing them online as normally they sign the back of the photo.

NameChange30 Tue 11-Apr-17 09:00:44

Melfish See my post above (08.55)

SoulAccount Tue 11-Apr-17 09:02:48

It doesn't have to be a head teacher, any teacher.
But yes, look at the list of approved professions.
And don't use someone whose counter-signature has been rejected!

Wtfdoipick Tue 11-Apr-17 09:05:47

I did my did first passport this time last year and got it back in a week. Does the newsagent know why they were rejected, did the passport office contact him to confirm details? If he has confirmed they are customers they will be rejected as they wouldn't class as personally not professionally known.

Melfish Tue 11-Apr-17 09:07:23

Cheers NameChange30

allegretto Tue 11-Apr-17 09:09:24

Why would you choose to use someone who has already told you they have had their applications rejected?!

snowgirl1 Tue 11-Apr-17 09:20:16

If the newsagent has had countersignatures rejected twice, I'd look for a different counter-signatory. Have a look at the list of professions again - is there someone from your old work (assuming you're a SAHM) that you keep in touch with who could counter-sign? Are your friends in any of the professions mentioned? Or your DH's friends?

Naturebabe Tue 11-Apr-17 14:09:50

I feel your pain. I got through about 3/4 forms before I had it all correct. The stress was unbelievable. I used the check and send. The PO man said that 95% of the passports sent this way are immediately processed as it's v rigorous.

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 14:11:23

Get someone else not the newsagent!

2014newme Tue 11-Apr-17 14:12:23

Check and send is best, obviously you can't do it now but fir future

Squidgling Tue 11-Apr-17 14:19:39

I got DD's first passport last month. We did the check and send at the post office and received her passport within a week! Hopefully this means that they are processing them quite fast at moment and you won't have to wait too long.

Did you go somewhere to get the photos taken properly as that was our biggest headache. DD (just 2) would not keep still so the woman had to take 40+ photos until we got one that was suitable. I didn't realise how strict they are for toddlers photos.

For the countersigning do you have any friends who are teachers or social workers or anything? There are lots of recognised professions on the list so I would try to find someone else to do it.

Good luck!

steppemum Tue 11-Apr-17 14:43:39

1. ask the newsagent WHY they were rejected, was it his signature, or the quality of the photo etc? If it was him, don't use him.
2. First passports can be extremely quick, my friend recently got hers back by return of post! If the documents are striaght forward, tyr not to panic
3. The counter signature has to have known YOU not the child, which means you can use someone from work, or old work colleague etc

goog luck

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