What can I expect from a passport interview?

Becoming a British Citizen is a significant event in one’s life. In order to fully enjoy the rights as a new Brit, following the approval of a Naturalisation application, it is a mandatory requirement to attend a Citizenship Ceremony, and then apply for a first British passport. On a remark, children are granted a Certificate of Registration instead and are not required to attend the Citizenship Ceremony, unless have turned 18 during the application process for registration.

It is a common misconception that a British passport confers a right to British nationality. The British Nationality is conferred by the Certificate of Naturalisation, which is issued during the Citizenship Ceremony. The passport is merely a travel document, but an important one if one needs to travel abroad or prove their right to reside in the UK.

As a part of the application procedure for a first British passport, it can be expected that an applicant is invited to take part in an identity interview.  The invitation for an interview is usually sent to those, who are 16 or over, or likely to become 16 before they are issued with a British passport. Nowadays, it is extremely rare that adult applicants are invited for an interview, therefore, this article aims at children aged 16 and over.

Many fear this process; however, there is nothing to worry about. The interview merely helps the passport issuing authority to confirm the applicant’s identity and that the passport application, in fact, belongs to the applicant. The interview is an important part of the process to help reducing identity fraud. In other words, if you are who you claim to be, there is nothing to be afraid of.

The British passport interview lasts approximately 20-30 minutes during which the applicant is expected to answer the following set of questions (which may vary):

  • Their full name and spelling of their name
  • The full name of parent(s) and their current occupation
  • Their current and previous residential address(es) in the UK and abroad
  • The name and address of their school(s) and the name of their teacher(s)
  • The full names of their closest friends in the UK

Naturally, the answers to these questions should be familiar to the applicant and they are expected to answer these questions without overthinking.

If the interviewer is satisfied with the information provided, the British passport should then be issued without delays.

If you are concerned about your prospective passport interview or you may have questions regarding your visas, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team. At Chan Neill Solicitors LLP, we understand the nuances of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures well. Across our team, we speak many languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Gujarati, Russian, French, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish. With access to our solicitors at two locations, one in City and one in Mayfair, we cover a very broad spectrum of varying clients needs.

Please note that requirements may vary from case to case based on the nuances of your situation, and the information on this page is not intended to replace legal advice.