The British High Commission has announced its Wellington office will no longer process passports for British nationals in New Zealand.
From this week, British passport applications will need to be posted directly to the United Kingdom, as it is expected to be more efficient to process all passports together in the UK, a Commission spokeswoman told Fairfax Media.
Applicants can complete the paperwork and payment online. They must then print and sign a declaration sheet which must be sent, with photographs and supporting documentation, to the Liverpool Application Processing Centre.
"In simple terms, all this means is that British nationals in New Zealand will need to send their applications to a different address," British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell said in a statement.
"Current passport processing times will remain the same. If you are renewing your passport you should allow at least four weeks from the date the free is taken and all the correct documentation has been received.
"Don't leave it until the last minute; if you apply up to nine months in advance, unexpired validity will be added to your new passport. Most countries need at least six months remaining validity to allow you entry.
"If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks."
In addition, passport helpline call charges will be removed. Instead of paying for a premium rate phone line, applicants will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK, the commission said.
All the necessary information on the new passport application process can be found at https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports.
- The Dominion Post
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