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Passport question for American Mumsnetters

(22 Posts)
expatkat Mon 14-Feb-05 19:25:10

Ds's passport will expire while we are in America for 3 months. Can I get him a passport there? Can I expect any problems? And does it take any longer than it does here, i.e. will 3 months be enough time to get it? I'd get it here, but we've left it too late, and there won't be enough time before our departure. TIA

Caribbeanqueen Mon 14-Feb-05 19:29:06

TBH I don't think they will let her in if her passport is going to expire during the trip. You definitely need to get one before you go. You can get them in a rush if you go and queue. I think the PO also do a rush service.

Caribbeanqueen Mon 14-Feb-05 19:29:29

Sorry, I mean him not her!

expatkat Mon 14-Feb-05 19:44:50

Are you sure, Caribbeanqueen--it won't be clear to them, I don't think, that the passport will expire during the trip. As far as they're aware, they'll think we're re-entering America. In fact, they always say, "Welcome back!" to us when we go there.

He's already on a temporary passport, so we can't get another, and we checked--there's no way we can get a passport in time. You may well be right, but I hope you're not!

expatkat Mon 14-Feb-05 19:46:09

Oh--did I make it clear that ds is an American citizen, as I am?

jabberwocky Mon 14-Feb-05 19:47:55

It took about a month I think for me to get a new passport two years ago. There is also an extra fee taht you can pay I think, to get it expedited.

milward Mon 14-Feb-05 19:51:11

Think you have to get your passport in the country you're living in - this might apply to the US. If you're living in the US then no probs but if you live in another country then I think you'll probably have to renew in that country. Call the embassy if you live out of the us to check.

Ameriscot2005 Mon 14-Feb-05 20:14:54

It took us 3 weeks to get a first British passport in the US.

expatkat Mon 14-Feb-05 22:18:55

But are we "allowed" to do it this way, Ameriscot? (Thanks for the time frame, though.) Does anyone else know for sure?

Earlybird Mon 14-Feb-05 22:27:33

expatkat - does your ds have a UK residency stamp in his passport? Any other official stamps that show he lives in the UK?

We flew from the US to UK in January, and I was told that US passport control are now so strict that they question any passports with less than 6 months validity. Don't know that anyone will stop you travelling, but they might give you a hard time. You might be wise to check with the US embassy just to be sure. I think if you are willing to go to the embassy personally (might need your airline ticket with you), they can expedite/issue new passport on the same day - or could perhaps give you an extension.

SofiaAmes Mon 14-Feb-05 22:29:26

expatkat, I assume you've already looked on the american embassy website? You can always call them for info. if there isn't enough info on the website. I've found them to be quite helpful (and friendly) once I managed to get a human being on the phone. They quote 15 days for processing. But I don't see why you can't renew it in the usa.

Caribbeanqueen Mon 14-Feb-05 22:40:12

sorry expatcat, didn't realise you were talking about US passport!

Agree with earlybird that the US embassy/ consulate is probably your best bet.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 15-Feb-05 07:33:08

I don't know if you are allowed or not, Expatkat. They do want to have evidence that you (the parents as well as the child) are legally resident in the US - green card, US passport, but they don't go as far as asking for a utility bill or anything like that. I'd say that if you are on holiday in the US, then you shouldn't be getting a passport from the Embassy (and it's horribly expensive).

I'm not totally aware of your situation, but from what I can see, it appears that you are soon going to the US for a long holiday and will be returning to the UK afterwards. You are all going to the US on US passports and you are worried about your child being let back into the UK as a resident, given that his British passport will be out of date at the time.

Do check with the IND, but I would be surprised if he were denied entry into the UK - your PR stamp (or British passport, if you have one) and his expired British passport should be proof enough that he is resident here (it's also worth carrying the documents that entitles him to a British passport - your passports, marriage certificate and his birth certificate). You'd get a small slap on the wrist, though. Saying that, I cancelled plans for a day trip to Calais last Easter holidays when I discovered at the last minute that my daughter's UK passport had just expired.

BTW, it takes less than two weeks, by normal processing, to get a British passport. Fill out the form on the Passport Agencies page, and you'll have a printed version the next day. Beyond that, you just collect what you need (photos, old passport) and line up a counter-signatory and you can put it straight back in the post. Because you entered the data yourself, they do minimal processing to actual produce the passport.

expatkat Tue 15-Feb-05 07:46:04

Ameriscot thanks for that incredibly knd response. Actually, ds is a Dutch citizen, so we always re-ente him on a Dutch passport (which is allowed), so re-entry isn't actually a problem.

I was more worried about whether or not it would be difficult or impossible to get him a passport in the US, because the US embassy website specifically says that if you live abroad, you should get your passport in the country where you live. But as we have a secondary residence US (I spend a pretty big portion of each year there) I am thinking of saying we live in the US, which isn't exactly a lie.

I was also worried about how long it will take to get a passort there (here it's 15 working days) and you answered that (thanks).

I've just emailed the passport help desk at the US embassy, and will ring them if I don't get a response.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 15-Feb-05 07:51:17

OK, I'm a bit confused after reading the other posts.

Is it an American or British passport you require?

I did the trek to London (with five kids in tow) for their American passports in the October half-term. This was a Tuesday morning, and we received the passports the following Thursday.

The Embassy in London does issue temporary passports. You can email them with any query at - you could ask them if you need a temporary passport from them, or if it will be OK to apply for one in the US. BTW, it takes about 6 weeks to get a passport by the normal method in the US, but you can get it down to 2 weeks by paying for an commercial expediting service.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 15-Feb-05 07:52:03

Crossed posts, but I think I answered the last part of your question.

ihavebeenthere Tue 15-Feb-05 08:44:26

Message withdrawn

SofiaAmes Tue 15-Feb-05 09:05:17

ameriscot2005, the rules have changed for american passports. You can no longer get them quickly abroad as they now have to send them back to the usa for digital something or other. This adds 7-10 days to the processing time.
expatkat, it's important to note that they have changed the rules as well regarding travelling with your us passport and it is REALLY IMPORTANT that you plan on entering AND leaving the usa with your us passport. Everything is computerized and it could cause trouble. In addition, if your ds tried to leave the usa with his uk passport, the airline would want to see his visa (or visa waiver) in it that allowed him to be in the usa. It's a minefield and not worth messing with as it's very possible you will be denied entry to the plane if it's not all in order. The government has placed the burden (including possibilities of fines) on the airlines to make sure your papers are in order.

Having said all of that, I don't see why you can't say that you live in the usa as well as in the uk and get it renewed in the usa. You do need to make sure that you have all the relevant paperwork with you. I'm not sure what you need, but doublecheck in advance (it may include uk long form birth certificate and consular report of birth abroad).

Ameriscot2005 Tue 15-Feb-05 09:20:19

We got our American passports this past October and they did go to North Carolina and back. I guess it only takes a day to get there and a day to get back, and everything is pre-sorted by the Embassy.

In the past, it has only taken a couple of hours to get the passports. But 9 days isn't bad either.

expatkat Thu 17-Feb-05 16:54:10

Just to say thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.

We got an email back from the US Embassy saying that it IS OK to travel to the US even though ds's temporary passport is ready to expire. They didn't address the question about whether we can get him a new passport over there, but I can't think of any reason why not.

I'll make sure I have all the relevant paperwork, include dh's waiver form (he won't be with us in the US) and I'll make an appointment for the beginning of our trip, thereby ensuring plenty of time for the processing. Thanks again, everyone.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 17-Feb-05 17:00:25

You don't need to make an appointment for a passport in the US - you just go to the County Clerks, Post Office or wherever accepts passport applications in your state. They will accept the package, checking that your photos are in spec. and that the child has claim to US citizenship. Also you need a letter from absent parent saying that it is OK to get a passport (is that the waiver you mentioned?).

expatkat Thu 17-Feb-05 17:14:16

Yeah, Ameriscott, it seems to be an actual form they require, not a letter. Maybe it used to be a letter--who knows. But now there's a form that the absent parent has to fill out. Thanks for the further clarifications.

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