Passports: Travelling made easy

Are you planning a vacation outside your country with your family? Do you visit other countries frequently for Business trips? Do you need to get passport ready? British-passport is a document which proves that you are a citizen of the United Kingdom. There are various classifications under British Nationality right from being a British Protected Person to British Subject to a normal British Citizen and hence, the passports too vary accordingly and are issued based on the category of nationality you fall into. For any questions regarding the passports you can reach out to the passport helplines 0300-222-0000 (from within UK) and +44-(0)-300-222-000 (while calling from outside UK). The passports are issued from Her Majesty’s Passport Office, established in 2006 with head-quarters in 2 Marsham Wall Street, London. Passports have been issued since medieval times.

Peep into History

In yester years, there used to be requirements to carry a proof of safe-conduct as documents while travelling. These documents used to be an indication from the concerned authority, testifying the person for his conduct. In medieval times foreigners and British subjects used to be issued with the so called safe-conduct documents usually signed by the then monarch. From the mid fifteenth to the late sixteenth century the passports used to be issued by the Privy Council, a body which recommends to the monarchic government. 1794 onwards, the Secretary of State could sign the passports instead of the monarch in the rule of Charles II. Till 1772, the passports used to be written in English or Latin languages. Afterwards till 1855, they used to written in French. Since 1855 English was used as the language in passports with only certain portions having translations in French. 1914 onwards, the passports used to be issued with holder photographs, on a single-sheet document made of paper. It was during the outbreak of the First World War that the single-sheet now became folded into eight with a cardboard cover to make it sturdy.

Design Changes

With passage of years, as per the growing needs and security aspects, certain modifications were made to the contents included in passports like removal of name of Secretary-of-State in 1954, extension of validity from the five years earlier to ten years in 1968, removal of holder’s country of residence and his occupation and so forth. 2006 onwards the passports were made biometric and in 2015 the Her Majesty’s Passport Office revealed the new theme and design of the passport featuring British cultural-icons.


If you have to register any grievances or seek guidance regarding your British-Passport you could either write to Her Majesty’s Passport Office through post, mailing it to “Her Majesty’s Passport Office, PO Box 767, South Port, PRB9PW” or simply call at passport contact numbers 0300-222-0000 from within UK or +44-(0)300-222-0000 while trying to reach out from outside the United Kingdom. The phone lines are accessible on all week-days from morning 8am to 8 in the evening, on weekends or public holidays the lines are available from 9am to 5:30pm.