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British expatriates will benefit from a reduction in the fees charged to UK citizens overseas for renewing or replacing their passport.
Among the changes overshadowed by last week's headline Budget announcements came a small piece of news that will be welcomed by all UK citizens who have moved abroad.
The government indicated that from April 7th, the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport from an overseas address will be cut by £45 for adults and £28.50 for children.
Changes have been underway to the repatriation process for some time, with the UK's Regional Passport Processing Centre in Washington closing last November. As of March 7th, Her Majesty's Passport Office in the UK is now the only provider of passports for British nationals around the world.
The efficiency savings made by centralising passport services to one location have allowed the government to reduce the price and ensure that fee payers are receiving better value for money.
John L Smith, consular regional director for North America and the Caribbean, said that the price reduction will be welcomed by all British expats living in this region.
"With the cost of an emergency travel document at £95, it makes even more sense for British nationals to keep their passports up to date rather than dealing with the stress of having an expired passport when there is a sudden need to travel and relying on an emergency document for a single journey," he added.
Once the new rates are in place, a 32 page passport for adults will cost just £83, down from the current fee of £128, while a children's 32 page passport will cost £53 instead of the current £81.50.
Veterans will continue to pay no fee for a same sized passport, while jumbo passports with 48 pages will now cost £91 for all ages. Again, that marks a significant reduction of £63.50 on the current rate of £154.50.
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