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Congratulations! You’ve had a baby… or you’ve had one for a while - Yay! Are both or one parents British? If yes, then you’ll be wanting to get a British Passport for them at some point.
Don’t stress, you probably are enough already if your child is young and you’re sleep-deprived, it’s pretty easy to do even from Koh Phangan.
There is no rush to get your child a passport unless you want to travel. However, emergencies can happen so it is always worth having in case you need to fly somewhere as a family quickly or in an emergency.
There are certain things that are a bit different when getting someone’s very first British Passport.
Translated Birth Certificate. We will assume that if you are applying for a child’s first passport then they were born here, meaning their birth certificate will be in Thai. You will need to have a translated version made.
Like adults, babies and children will need passport photos. You just have to hold them in the seat if they’re small.
You will need both parent’s birth certificates, these must also show their parents full names. If you don’t have yours you can order a new copy from the UK. You can get someone in the UK to do this for you.
You will also need the Grandparent’s birth certificates (if alive) and sometimes their marriage certificate, only for either the Mother or Father at least of the applicant.
These bits of paperwork can be annoying to get hold of, many of us lose or misplace birth certificates. But don’t worry, if you are having to order new copies, these can be sent to the corresponding office in the UK. Meaning, you can still apply and start the process in Thailand and send in all the rest of the paperwork once you have it. Passport applications get sent from Thailand to the UK to be processed and made anyway.
Apart from all the above, the process is pretty much the same as for an adult.
You have the two options of going yourself to Bangkok or using an agent to go on your behalf.
You will need to get all of the forms to fill out, you can do this on the Passport Website. You’ll need passport photos which you can get here and also someone to sign the form and sign your photos to prove they are a true likeness, this can be a friend with a British Passport.
Once you have everything ready you can then make your way to Bangkok but it might be worth making an appointment with the British Consulate first.
Once you have handed in your papers and paid they will then send this to the UK. You can now enjoy Bangkok or come back to Koh Phangan. Passport renewals take on average about 4 weeks.
They will let you know when your passport is ready for collection and then you can go to Bangkok again to collect your new one.
The agent should send you all the documents you need to fill out with instructions. This includes writing a brief cover letter stating they can go on your behalf. In the documents, there is a payment form where you fill out your card details to pay for the passport. You pay the agent separately for their service.
Then you send everything to the agent (usually based in Bangkok) and they go to the office and apply for you. It’s very very easy, you just get on with your life whilst being kept in touch through the agent and also the passport office by email. Once you have received the email saying your passport is ready you tell the agent and they go collect it for you and send it back to you on Koh Phangan!
Phanganist recommends Mark Jacob's Sending Machine if you wish to use someone to apply on your behalf and not have to travel to Bangkok.