Applying for a British Passport: Step 6: Another chapter in the “Diaries of an Immigrant”

The passport interview is a relatively new process, brought in in 2007 to try and cut identity theft and passport fraud. Unlike all the other fun hoops I’ve had to jump through, this particular pleasure is not just reserved for immigrants but for anyone applying for a first adult passport.

After submitting your passport application, you will receive a letter that asks you to attend an interview. This doesn’t happen in every circumstance but it is relatively common. I received my letter two weeks after submitting my application and managed to make an appointment within a week of that.

My interview took place at the Passport Office in London, which is very close to Victoria Station. On arrival I went through am airport style security scan and then received a number, which first gets called for you to register at the information desk and then to a booth for your interview. Oddly the numbers are not called in sequence so you have to pay attention.

My interview was with a lady called Carla, who asked me an array of expected and totally unexpected questions. These are the ones I can remember, not in any particular order:

  • How did you get here?
  • What tube line did you take?
  • Did you have to change trains?
  • What is your full name? Spell it.
  • What is your date of birth?
  • Where were you born?
  • What is your full address?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • Who do you live with?
  • Do you know who lived in your house before you?
  • What were their names?
  • Do you live in a house or flat?
  • What storey do you live on?
  • Are the walls very thin?
  • Can you hear the neighbours?
  • Are you on the electoral roll at your address?
  • Where is your local electoral office?
  • Have you ever voted?
  • How long does it take to walk there?
  • Where did you live before?
  • How long have you been in the UK?
  • What was your route to citizenship?
  • Did you have to write a test for your citizenship?
  • When did you have your citizenship ceremony?
  • Where was it held?
  • Was it a private or group ceremony?
  • What job did you do when you first got here?
  • Who do you work for now?
  • Where is your office?
  • How do you get to work every day?
  • Have you ever changed your name?
  • What was your name before?
  • Are you married?
  • What is your husband’s name?
  • Where did you meet your husband?
  • When did you get married?
  • Is your husband British?
  • What is his date of birth?
  • Did you get married in the UK?
  • Is your family in the UK?
  • What are your parents and siblings names?
  • Where were they born?
  • Where did your parents meet?
  • Do you have a bank account?
  • Do you have any credit cards or loans?
  • What bank accounts do you have?
  • What credit card do you have?
  • Where did you get your passport form?
  • How did you submit your application?
  • Which post office did you submit your application at?
  • Have your documents been returned to you?
  • What is your counter signatory’s name?
  • How do you know him?
  • What is his job?

I think I managed to competently answer all of the questions, although I think Carla let herself down a little by giving me quite a few clues along the way. Apparently know I should receive my passport in the next ten days, following a few more background checks. I’ll keep you posted.