What kind of questions will I have to answer during the passport interview?
If you are 16 years or older and are applying for a British passport for the first time, you are required to interview as part of the process to apply for a passport. The interview process is not required for applicants under 16 or adults that have already held passports as children.
If you are applying for the first time, you need to submit your application along with the required documents. From there, you will be reached by letter or phone to schedule an interview at a nearby office. There is an interview office in most large towns or cities, and the interview will be held at a location that is convenient, factoring your commute options.
Before attending the interview
The Passport Office has regulations and rules regarding entry, since it is an agency regulated by the government. Make sure that you do not carry sharp things such as scissors, nails, metal nail files, weapons, or liquids. Please dispose of these before your arrival, or even better, leave them at home.
In addition, please secure that you have all the required documents on you. You will need passport photos and a valid form of identification with your phone. You will not be allowed to enter the building without a proper form of identification.
Expectations upon arrival
Passport Offices are located throughout the country, including offices in Liverpool, Glasgow, Durham, Belfast, Newport, London, and Peterborough. The security systems are the same throughout the offices, so the information you read here is applicable to all the sites.
Since the Passport Office belongs to the government, there will be security similar to that which you encounter at the airport. There will be x-ray machines and metal detectors that will scan you and the items you carry with you for any potential hazards. When you clear security, you will be assigned a ticket. Look out for the number on the ticket, since that is what they will call when it is your turn for the appointment.
After clearing security, you will take a seat at the waiting area that is lined with TV monitors on the walls. The monitors show numbers that refer to the tickets being attended, and the numbers that will come after. Make sure that you are attentive so that you don’t miss your chance when your number is called. If you do, this will result in delays.
Passport Office employees can be found around the waiting areas. They can help you with questions, which can range from where to find the restrooms to waiting estimates. If you have special needs like wheelchair assistance, they are also there to help with that.
When it’s your turn, you will be taken to a Passport Officer who will conduct the interview. During this part of the process, a lot of people can catch nerves about what seems like a nerve-wrecking process. Just keep in mind that the officers are not out to get you, rather they are trying to protect you from those trying to achieve illegal passports.
You will be asked a series of questions during the interview. So that you come prepared, we have compiled a list of things you will have to answer.
Questions regarding name
- State your full name
- Spell your name
- State any name changes, including your maiden name
Questions regarding address
- State your address
- Confirm your current residence
- State previous residences
- State your postal code
- Describe your property
- State the number of bedrooms in your house
- State how long you’ve lived at your residence
- State whether you own or rent
Questions regarding home bills
- State your gas/electric supplier
- State your car insurance provider
- State your telephone company
- State your bank and how long you’ve been with the bank
- State any additional accounts you might hold
Questions about your spouse or partner
- State if they are a citizen of Britain
- If they aren’t, state when they moved
- State their occupation
- Describe when and how you met
- Date and place of marriage (includes civil partners)
- Length of marriage
Questions regarding your kids or potential kids
- State whether you have kids
- State how many kids you have, if any
- State their birth dates
- State their age
- State the schools they go to
Questions regarding parents
- Give their names
- Give their birth dates
- State whether they are British citizens
- State their residence
- State the number of siblings you have
Questions regarding yourself
- State where you were born
- State when you came into the UK
- State what you do for a living
- State your place of work
- State the length of time you have been there
Questions regarding naturalization
- State whether you’ve been naturalized
- State when you’ve been naturalized
- State the number of people at the ceremony
- State the place of the ceremony
Questions regarding prior passports and nationality
- Place where your old passport was issued
- Length of time you’ve had this passport
- Whether you will continue to use the passport or not
Questions regarding your passport’s co-signer
- Give their occupation
- State where they work
- Provide their name in full
- Describe their relation to you
- State the length of time you’ve known each other
These questions cover what you will be asked during your interview. Note that if you do not know an answer to a question, it is best to not guess or lie, since this can count against your interview. Honestly is the better policy here – simply state that you do not know.
Answer all the questions as best as you can. If anything is not clear you do not know what the officer is asking, you can ask for a clarification. They will help.
You won’t get your passport immediately after the interview. The new passport is sent through a safe courier in 14 days. If you need to track the status of your passport and application, you can call the advance line at the HM Passport Office.