Renewing a Pakistani passport in the UK
[Public service info post]
A few easy steps to minimise the amount of hassle that you have at the High Commission for Pakistan in London, when renewing your passport:
High Commission for Pakistan
34-36 Lowndes Square
Nearest tube station: Knightbridge (Sloane street exit)
10.00AM-12.30PM for submission (get there early)
3.00PM - 5.00PM for collection
- Current passport with a valid UK visa [Original]
- CNIC (Computerised National Identity Card) or NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) [Original]
- 1 photocopy of CNIC or NICOP (both sides)
- 1 photocopy of passport page with UK visa
- 1 photocopy of passport front page (the one with your picture and information)
- (only in case of work permit) 1 photocopy of work permit
- Cash - The embassy does not accept cards or cheques [£28 for normal, £48 for urgent - this includes the bank surcharge of £2]
- A full morning
- Yourself (You cannot apply for someone else)
(No photographs are required)
- Behind the embassy, in the lounge there is a marquee/tent. There are signs pointing to there.
- Go to counter labelled M.R.P. (machine readable passports), where you will get a set of slips after the administrator look at your documents
- Tell the administrator on the counter whether you want an urgent or a normal application
- Take slips and your documents to the building next door and go all the way to the basement following signs that say 'Bank'. Make sure that you again tell the cashier whether your passport is urgent or normal
- Take remaining slips and documents upstairs and go to counter #1 - Here you will be issued a token with a number on it - you need to present your CNIC/NICOP and passport as well as give your fingerprints at this stage. Make sure your token has the correct name and information and says Urgent or Normal
- Go to the next counter to get your photograph taken - if it's horrible, as the person to take it again
- Go to the next counter called 'Data capture'. Check all the details on the computer with the person there and make sure they are all correct. A form will be printed out and you just have to sign it. The person will attach the rest of your photocopies and slips to that form. Make sure you check all the information on this form and get anything changed that is incorrect.
- Final stop - the officer. You will go into a room after this where your form will be attested by a public officer and he may ask you some basic questions. He will take your forms and photocopies, but will give you back the token with a collection date on it. He will also return your passport and ID card to you.
- Be happy, you've done it!
(Note: Unless you're a diplomat or from the military you have an 'Ordinary' passport)
- Get there early - If want the process of waiting to shortest (funnily enough) make sure you get there early. I got there at 9AM and had completed my entire process by 10.45AM. If you're ahead in the queue, you wait less, even though you wait to start with.
- Make 1 friend, preferably the person right ahead of you in queue. While this helps pass time, it will also mean you will know where to go because you can simply follow him. Make a smart friend, not someone that looks clueless. Do not socialise otherwise. Mindless chatter delays things for everyone.
- If you can afford it, it is completely worth going for 'Urgent', which takes 6 working days (8-9 calendar days). While the 'Normal' process is supposed to take 3 weeks, in reality it can take between 5 and 8 weeks, probably because everyone is trying to get ahead by giving urgent applications.
It's relatively painless if you've got everything and know what you're doing, and the staff is actually quite courteous.