Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kezia's Passport

I need to renew Kezia's UK passport which expires in July. I started making enquiries in January thinking this would be well in advance ... but am now beginning to doubt it.

The principle complication that the UK Embassy in Luanda, Angola cannot issue passports and applications have to be forwarded to Pretoria, South Africa. A further complication is that we live in São Tomé e Príncipe, a long way from both Luanda and Pretoria.


From: Angus Gascoigne

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 10:19:07 +0000
Subject: Attn Jorge Cen re passport renewal
To: luanda.consular at fco.gov.uk

Dear Jorge

Thank you for your help on the phone this morning.

I (Angus Robin Gascoigne) am a UK citizen resident in Sao Tome for
many years. I am sure the consular section has a big file on myself
and my family.

My daughter, Kezia Lima Gascoigne, aged 6, is also a UK citizen and
has a UK passport (issued in the UK) that expires in July. I am
wondering how to renew it. So various questions ...

a) is there a renewal process separate from applying for a new passport?
b) what form needs to be completed?
c) do we need to send the existing passport?
d) I do understand that passport processing is now in Pretoria (my own
was issued there) - from your website I understand that the
application/passport can be sent to Luanda and you would forward it by
diplomatic pouch to Pretoria. I think I can send documents from here
to you via the STP Min of Foreign Affairs to the STP embassy in Luanda
who could hand it to you for forwarding.
e) Payment? Is renewal fee the same as a new passport? Can I pay you
in Angola or do I have to pay Pretoria?

etc etc

From STP it is always complicated!

I look forward to your reply asap.

Best wishes


From: Angus Gascoigne
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2011 16:18:06 +0000

Subject: Fwd: Attn Jorge Cen re passport renewal Kezia Lima Gascoigne
To: "luanda.consular"

Dear Jorge

fyi just some more details that might help:

Me father Angus Robin Gascoigne: British Citizen, passport no.
7xxxxxxxx1, issued by FCO (i.e. Pretoria) 30/08/2007

Daughter Kezia Lima Gascoigne: British Citizen, passport no.
4xxxxxxx1, issued by UKPA 26/07/2006, Exp: 26/07/2011. DOB: 14/04/2004

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Angus Gascoigne

I was then told by the UK Embassy Luanda to consult the UK High Commission Pretoria website or by email. So this morning I wrote an email copying my correspondence with Luanda and got this reply:


From: Angus Gascoigne
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:54:45 +0000
Subject: UK passport enquiry from Sao Tome e Principe
To: pta.passportenquiries@fco.gov.uk
Cc: luanda.consular at fco.gov.uk

Dear BHC Pretoria

Please see messages to the UK Embassy Luanda below.

I would very much appreciate knowing

a) if renewal of a UK passport for a minor is different than applying
for a new passport
b) if the fees are the same
c) what form to use and where to find it
d) whether routing suggestion is acceptable.

Best regards

... and got this reply:


Gmail Angus Gascoigne
Out of Office: UK passport enquiry from Sao Tome e Principe

PTA.PassportEnquiries@fco.gov.uk Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 8:54 AM
To: angusgas

British Consulate, Passport Section, Pretoria

Thank you for contacting the British Consulate, Passport Section, Pretoria. This is an automated response. We have compiled the information sheet below to answer the most commonly asked questions for both prospective and current applicants. We hope this is useful to you. In the event that we consider that this automated reply has not addressed your specific query we will respond as soon as possible and within a maximum of 20 working days, this is a global policy.

1. Am I British?

We cannot tell you if you are British or not until you submit an application with the correct fees. You can visit www.ukba.gov.uk website for guidance on determining whether you may have a claim to British Nationality.

A recent change in UK law allowed children of UK born mothers to register as a British National. We accept applications for registration and will forward them to the Home Office who make the final decision (not the passport section). This can take between 3-6 months. We will not accept a passport application from an applicant who is applying to register as a British National until the registration process is complete.

2. How do I obtain passport application forms?

Passport application forms can either be found at our website address: www.ukinsouthafrica.fco.gov.uk. Alternatively, you may visit our offices in Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Durban or Cape Town Consulate to obtain them. Veteran application forms are not available on-line and must be collected from one of our offices or applied for by post and a stamped addressed envelope is required.

3. How do I apply?

Application forms can be submitted by courier. We have negotiated a preferential rate with Fedex.
(http://www.supaswift.com/fx/OnlineServices/Shipping/tabid/56/Default.aspx). They will deliver next day and collect and advise you by e-mail that your documents are being returned.

4. Where are you situated in Pretoria?

Our physical address is: Liberty Place Building, Block B, 1st Floor, 256 Glyn Street, between Pretorius and Schoeman Streets, Hatfield, 0028

Our postal address is: British Consulate, PO Box 13611, Hatfield, 0028

5. What are your operating hours?

We open for applications between 8:00am to 1:25 pm Monday to Thursday and on Friday 8:00 am to 12 noon. Passports can be collected between 8-11 am only.

6. Telephone calls?

Our telephone enquiries have been outsourced to Careline in the UK. Careline answer calls from 08:00 to 5:00 pm Monday to Fridays. The telephone number is 0044 208 082 4743. You will be charged for this call and need a credit card to access the information required.

7. How long does it take to issue a passport?

4-6 weeks. The vast majority of passport renewals (over 90%) are issued within 4 weeks. You should advise your courier to collect after this time frame. Customers using FedEx will have their passport despatched immediately it is ready and receive an e-mail notification from FedEx. First time applications or where there are problems can take longer. If there is a problem we will usually contact you.

8. How much does it cost for the passports and what method can I use to make a payment?

The fee for passports and methods of payment are found on www.ukinsouthafrica.fco.gov.uk - follow the links for fees.

9. How do I find out the progress of my application?

You will need to contact Careline. See details above.

10. Do I qualify for a free Veteran's passport?

British nationals born before 2 September 1929 are now eligible to receive passports free of charge. You'll need to use a different application form, and thes are available from our office. Veteran applications are received in PTA but are forwarded for issuing in London and take 6-8 weeks due to not being processed locally.

11. Can someone collect a passport on your behalf?

An authorisation letter will be required signed by an applicant. For children under 16 of age, the parents who completed the form must write the letter. A photo I.D. document must be produced along with the letter for security reasons.

12. How do I get my passport back?

You can pay return postage or courier fees with your application (fee link gives further details). If you do not pay we will retain your passport in our Pretoria office until you collect it in person.

13. How do I find out more information?

For more information such as directions, documents required etc. can be found on our website address: www.ukinsouthafrica.fco.gov.uk

CARELINE IN THE UK (who the fuck are they?) ... "You will be charged for this call and need a credit card to access the information required."

You need a credit card to be a British Citizen?!!!

So I've now written back to Luanda ...

Our Kafka novel begins!

Watch this space!

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