British Passport Fees Will Soon Increase By More Than 7%

| March 25, 2024
British Passport Fees Will Soon Increase By More Than 7%

The United Kingdom (UK) Home Office announced its proposal to increase passport fees both for new applications and renewals by next month.

A standard online application within the UK will rise from £82.50 to £88.50 for adults.

A standard online application for children aged 16 and under will increase from £53.50 to £57.50.

This means that adults will have to pay an extra £6, and the cost of a passport for children under 16 will increase by £4.

The cost of passport applications and renewals made by post will increase from £93 to £100.00 for adults and from £64 to £69.00 for children.

This represents a total increase of more than seven percent for all categories.

Meanwhile, British online passport application fees for overseas applicants will increase to £101.00 for adults and £65.50 for children.

For overseas applications by paper, the fees will hike to £112.50 for adults and £77.00 for children.

The changes, which are still subject to parliamentary approval, are due to come into force on 11 April.

Home Office does not profit from passport fees

The new UK passport fees followed its previous nine percent hike in 2023.

The Home Office said that the new fees will ensure that the revenue from these applications covers the costs of passport services and related operations.

The fees help cover the expenses of processing passport applications and providing consular support abroad, such as for lost or stolen passports.

It will also help fund the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders.

With increased fees, passport services will reduce the need for funding from general taxes and help the government continue improving its services.

Passport applications are typically processed and issued within three weeks of applying within the UK.

However, UK citizens are advised to apply for a new passport or renew their current one before booking their trip.

The UK Home Office statement said, “The Government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications.”

British passport ranks 4th most powerful worldwide

British passport holders now have visa-free access to 191 destinations compared to only 188 a year ago.

It makes the UK passport the fourth most powerful globally, climbing from 6th in 2022 to 4th in 2023 going into 2024.

This is according to the Henley Passport Index, which has been the authority in ranking passports for the past 19 years.

Singapore, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain secured the top spot for its citizens, being able to visit 194 out of 227 destinations without a visa.

South Korea has achieved visa-free travel to 193 destinations, placing it alongside Finland and Sweden in second place.

Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands share third place with visa-free access to 192 countries.

Finally, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and the UK are tied for fourth place.

UK passport is 12th most expensive

Along with a powerful passport, the British passport is also one of the priciest.

The UK passport ranked 12th most expensive, according to a list based on data from the Global Passport Fees 2023.

The list only ranks the 38 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Australia topped the list, charging its citizens £192 for an adult passport. Mexico came in second, charging its citizens £142.

Switzerland ranked third, with passports costing £117 per adult. Italy was fourth, with an adult passport costing £113.

The United States (US) came in fifth, closely followed by New Zealand, Chile, and Canada.

Completing the top ten most expensive passports are Japan and Turkey, and tied with the UK’s 12th place is Greece.

The cost of visiting the UK

The OECD research also ranked the 38 countries’ average tourist, student, and work visa costs.

When the list was published in May 2023, the UK ranked sixth most expensive, with an average visit visa fee of £39.

The British government has since increased its visa fees starting from October 2023.

The standard visitor visa for a short stay of up to six months now costs £115, while the visit visa for a stay of up to two years costs £400.

Other costs of UK visas have also increased, such as the cost of study visa applications from outside the UK rising from £127 to £490.

Starting February 2024, the increase in immigration health surcharge will also hike UK visa fees.

The annual surcharge will be increased from £624 to £1,035 for adults.

The fee for children under 18, students, and applicants for the Youth Mobility Scheme will also be raised from £470 to £776 per year.

According to the UK government, visa cost increases aim to maintain a sustainable immigration and nationality system.

It also seeks to balance the financial burden on taxpayers through price adjustments.