How long does it take to get or renew a UK passport from Spain?

3 months ago 2063
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What happens when you need to renew your UK passport from Spain? How do you do it and how long does it take?

Published: 1 November 2022 13:29 CET

How long does it take to get or renew a UK passport from Spain?

How to renew your UK passport from Spain. Photo: Ethan Wilkinson / Pexels

It may seem like a daunting task to renew your UK passport from abroad, but actually, it’s a very simple process. If you’re an adult your UK passport will typically be valid for 10 years, after which time you’ll need to renew it. 

The best way to renew your UK passport from Spain is to do it online via the UK government website. Remember that some countries require you to have six months of validity left on your passport to be able to visit, so you’ll want to apply for your renewal at least six months or more before it expires.

You will need to click on this link and then make sure to follow the steps.

The first step will be to answer some simple questions, like where you’re applying from and fill out your date of birth.

READ ALSO: How to apply for or renew your US passport from Spain

Get a digital photograph

You’ll need to go to a photo shop or booth that provides photo codes that can be used in UK passport applications. This may be difficult in Spain so your best option is to take your own digital photo at home with your camera or phone.

If taking your own photo, you’ll be provided with several rules you’ll need to stick to, plus a short video that shows you how. Your photo will go through a basic technical check, so you’ll know right away if it’s accepted or not. You can always upload another one if it’s not.

Fill out your application 

Next, you will need to fill out all your application and personal details, such as the number and place of issue of your old passport and your address. If you’re applying for someone else, such as your child, you can also do it the same way, just fill it out using their details instead.

Gather your documents to send through the post

Thirdly, you’ll have to send some documents through the post. You’ll be told exactly what you need depending on your application, but it will typically be your old passport. Remember that you can’t travel anywhere while your passport is being renewed because you won’t have your old one. If it’s urgent, you will have to get an emergency passport document instead.

Pay your passport fees

A standard passport is £86 for an adult, and £56 for a child. Plus, a £19.86 courier fee. You should be able to pay for this online.

If necessary, get someone to confirm your identity

If some details have changed since your last renewal such as your name, you may have to get someone to confirm your identity, but you will be told online if this is the case for you. They can confirm your identity online without a printed photo.

What if I am applying for my passport for the first time?

If you’re applying for your UK passport from Spain for the first time and not just renewing it then the process is similar.

You’ll still go through the online processes mentioned above, however, you may need a passport interview. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to return to the UK for this, it will be an online video interview, where you’ll be asked questions to be able to confirm your identity.  

How long does it take?

According to the UK authorities, the current passport processing time to renew your passport is around four weeks, but this does change depending on the time of year. For example, if you’re applying before a busy travel period, such as just before the summer or just before the Christmas holidays, it’s likely that your application will take a bit longer because of the sheer number of other passport renewal applications.

If you are applying for the first time, it may also take slightly longer, depending on when you and the authorities have time for your passport interview. You will be told if you need an interview and will have to phone up to make an appointment, so the quicker you make the call, the quicker you will be assigned a day.

What if it’s taking too long, how can I track my application?

You will be able to track your application online with a code that you’ll be given when you apply. You will also get updates by email or text messages so you know where your passport is in the process and how much longer it’s likely to take.

You will also be able to check if something is holding your application up and if you need to send any more documents.


Unions have called off their planned strike action on Spain's state rail network Renfe after making progress in negotiations with company bosses, avoiding delays for thousands of passengers across Spain in October and November.

Published: 27 October 2022 10:58 CEST

Train strike in Spain called off after unions reach agreement with Renfe

Trade unions representing workers on Spain’s state-operated rail network Renfe have called-off planned strike action that was set to delay thousands of passengers across Spain on walk-out days in October and November.

The unions representing rail workers, the General Union of Workers (UGT), the Workers’ Commissions (CC.OO) and the Spanish Union of Railway Drivers (Semaf), stopped the proposed strike action after their latest round of meetings with Renfe bosses had a breakthrough, with the company committing to step-up negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement and setting a schedule for future meetings.

This comes after a year of what the Spanish media has called a ‘block’ on progress, and the President of Renfe, Isaís Táboas, announced last week that following new government measures, the company is able to increase salaries by more than 2 percent.

READ ALSO: Spain’s national rail calls train strikes: What you need to know

“The company [Renfe] is committed to intensifying the negotiations, setting a schedule of meetings to develop points of the Third Collective Agreement on which agreements have not been reached, which added almost a year of delay to the dialogue,” CCOO announced in a statement.

Strike action was called initially for three reasons, according to unions – the lack of trains, the lack of drivers, and the fear that Renfe will transfer its powers first to Catalonia and, later, to other regions across the country.

In future talks, how salary increases put forward in an agreement signed recently on behalf of Civil Service workers by CCOO and UGT with Spain’s Ministry of Finance are implemented will be discussed. The agreement outlines a salary increase of 3.5 percent for 2022, applied retroactively from January 1, 2022, as well as pay increases for 2023 and 2024, which could amount to 3.5 percent and 2.5 percent respectively, and the regularisation of the application of the 35-hour working week on an annual basis.

According to unions, Renfe has also committed to eliminate income categories, which includes a double salary scale, and agreed to extend the temporary hiring of workers, mostly commercial staff, that were brought in to enable to roll-out of Spain’s free travel on Cercanías and Media Distancia train lines.

READ ALSO: GUIDE: How to get free train tickets in Spain

CC.OO claimed that the planned walkout dates were to be part of a “series of protest actions” to show Renfe that they are not listening to their workers, and were scheduled for Friday, October 28th, from midnight to 11pm, Monday, November 7th, from 6am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm, and Friday, November 11th, from 6am to 9am and from 6pm to 8pm.

The cancelled strike action comes as the Spanish aviation sector faces yet more walk outs, with workers at budget airlines Vueling and Ryanair planning industrial action that could last until the end of January.

READ ALSO: Spain strike woes continue for low-cost airlines Vueling and Ryanair

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