British expatriates living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now apply for a new passport online, as opposed to posting a paper form to the UK.
This should make the process easier and allow applicants to track each stage, but it will still be necessary to send supporting documents via post.
A spokesperson for Newland Chase, which specialises in immigration, told Emirates 24/7: "It is now expected that the new online service will make passport replacements and renewals more efficient for applicants based in the UAE."
As well as applying for a passport that has expired, British citizens will also be able to report one that has been lost, stolen or damaged.
Expats can use the online service to securely enter their personal information and pay for the new document.
Once the online section has been complete, a declaration form will be issued by HM Passport Office, which must be signed and returned to the authority along with the supporting items.
Despite being more convenient, it is unlikely that passports will be issued to those living in the UAE more quickly as the system still relies on elements being posted.
Tom Grainger, a British expat, said: "This is good news. I generally do not like doing things online very much, but if this saves me time it will definitely benefit me."
As well as the UAE, the online system is also available to expats living in a number of other countries abroad. At present, this is not universal.
When using the system, expats are encouraged to save their application and make sure they take note of both their user name and password.
The website can be found here.
Users should be aware that maintenance work on the site is due to be carried out today (February 24th), so the service will be unavailable between 9pm and 2.30am tomorrow.
This will not affect any applications already inputted into the site.
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