Reply To: Applications whilst locked down

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Grantham Traveller

My research about my son and his children in Vietnam threw up this interesting revelation.

If you are abroad and your UK passport has expired or is about to do so and you are freaking out about the lack of any progress here, this may help – but I think only if you still have your expired or about to expire passport. It seems some countries have agreed with the UK to accept such passports up to the end of 2021 as evidence for renewing things like work permits and visas.

This is the information on the Foreign Office’s website for people in Vietnam:

Recognition of extended expiry of passports
The British Government has agreed with the Vietnamese Immigration Department that any passport held by a British national which has an expiry date of 1 January 2020 onwards, or has less than 6 months validity, will now be recognised as expiring on 31 December 2021 when submitted for the purpose of renewing a visa or residence permit.

This is because British nationals in Vietnam are unable to renew their passports at this time due to the closure of the UK visa application centres due to COVID-19 and the limited processing of passport applications in the UK. The extended expiry date will temporarily enable British nationals with an expiring UK passport to apply for a visa or residence permit renewal in Vietnam without having to apply for a new passport.

I’d suggest you check the pages for the country you’re in and see if a similar deal has been struck. This might mean you can hold back from applying until things have returned to normal. If that ever happens