Passports are valuable, there’s no 2 ways about it. They involve detailed paperwork, they cost a considerable amount and let’s not get into the photo requirements. However, should you decide that Googles image search is no longer satisfying your wanderlust, they are a necessity and you will not be getting anywhere quickly, or easily for that matter.
We have complied a list of some of the lesser known facts about UK passports – perfect for those times you are kept waiting for delayed flights.
You can get a new passport in as little as 4 hours
You must be inside the UK to use the 1 day Premium Service as it requires a face to face appointment. This service allows you to collect the passport 4 hours after the appointment.
The next fastest service is the 1 week fast track service, this still requires a face to face appointment but the passport is sent to your home address within 1 week of the appointment.
You should be aware that not all passports are available on these Fast Track services – so check the Gov.co.uk to see the guidelines.
The UK is the 3rd Most Powerful Passport
Having a UK passport gives you visa –free access to a whopping 174 countries across world. Its sits at 3rd position with Finland, France, Italy and Spain.
The UK currently sits behind Germany in 1st place and Sweden 2nd place, with access to 177 and 176 countries respectively.
Although Its Low Cost To Produce
A UK passport costs just £12.25 to make. The cost of an adult passport is £72.50, the 11th most expensive in the world. That’s over 500% mark up.
(Although £72.50 is fairly reasonable when compared to a Turkish passport – that will cost you £215!)
17% of the population in England don’t have a passport
The Office for National Statistics reported in 2011 that 83% of the resident population in England and Wales held a UK passport.
4.2 million Residents had a foreign passport, of which only 372,000 were Irish passports.
This an extremely high percentage when compared to America, where only 36% of the population have a passport.
The Queen is in that 17%
UK passports are issued in “The name of her majesty”. This renders it unnecessary for her majesty to have one.
Although all the other members of the Royal Family need one, sorry Charles.
No Hats Please
According to the UK Passport Office, the most common reason for a passport to be rejected is because the photos are incorrect.
There are strict guidelines that should be adhered too – this means to hair in front of your face, no hats or head coverings (unless for religious purposes) and you must be looking directly at the camera.
Don’t worry girls – you can trowel as much make up on as you like, just as long as it represents your natural skin tone.
Although Glasses Are Fine
Although not sunglasses, tinted glasses or reading glasses that cause a glare. Actually take them off altogether, just in case.
No One Wants Britain’s Oldest Passport
It dates back to June 18th 1641 and bears the signature of Charles I. It belonged to Captain William Bradshaw and is currently owned by a couple from Silksworth in Sunderland. When they bought it along to Flog It! on BB2 it didn’t receive a single bid at auction.
The Latest One Is Super Secure
The latest UK passport has been declared the most secured passport ever issues in the UK, printed with UV and Infrared light, watermarks and inks, it has also been designed in a way that prevents the page that hold personal details being tampered with.
But it’s Sexist
The theme of the new passports is “Creative United Kingdom” and features the icons of British Arts and Culture. Among the icons are William Shakespeare, John Constable and Ada Lovelace.
However, it has already faced criticism as out of the 7 icons, only 2 women are depicted.