No passport or ID card? Provide alternative evidence of your identity and nationality!
A valid application is made where the required proof of identity and nationality has been provided. In the case of an EEA citizen making an application within the UK, the required proof of identity and nationality is their valid passport or their valid national identity card. In the case of a non-EEA citizen making an application within the UK, the required proof of identity and nationality is their valid passport or their valid biometric residence card or permit.
But there are circumstances where the applicant is unable to obtain or produce the required proof of identity and nationality due to circumstances beyond their control or due to compelling practical or compassionate reasons.
Take for example the case of a child from an EU Member State who needs the signature of both parents on the passport application. The parents separated, they no longer talk to each other, and the parent with whom the child lives failed to obtain a court order allowing him to apply for a passport without the consent of the other parent. The child cannot obtain a passport before 30 June 2021 and cannot provide the required proof of identity and nationality due to circumstances beyond child’s control.
Or take the example of a consulate in London of an EU Member State that simply fails to adapt its procedures so that children born in the UK and who are by birth citizens of that state could obtain a passport in the first 3 months of their life, within which they must apply for settled or pre-settled status.
Such personal or bureaucratic problems worsened in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, successive lockdowns and the fact that many national authorities closed their consulates or restricted their activity.
If you are in such circumstances, where you cannot provide the required proof of identity and nationality, the Home Office may accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality. You may provide, for example, an expired passport bearing your name and photograph, or an emergency travel document, or your birth certificate, your marriage certificate, your driving licence (issued by either the UK or the authorities of your country of origin), your National Insurance number card or a tax or pension statement. This list is not exhaustive, and more than one piece of evidence can be requested by the Home Office, which will consider each case on its own merits.
The most important thing to understand is that, where you provide alternative evidence, you also need a good reason why you did not provide a valid passport or national ID card. If the reason is that you did not notice that the old passport expired or you did not want to travel to your country of origin and get a new ID faster than you can obtain one from the consulate in the UK of your home country, it is very possible that the Home Office will not accept your circumstances as being beyond your control. Your application may be considered invalid, in which case it is as if it was never made. The consequences can be terrible. If you are in the UK after 1 July 2021 awaiting a decision on such an invalid application, you do not enjoy the rights granted to a person who has submitted a valid application on time. If your application is invalid, you are in the UK illegally after 1 July 2021, in violation of immigration rules, which has very serious consequences for your current status and for your future applications to enter or remain in the UK.
Contact me or other qualified immigration lawyer as a matter of urgency if you are in such a situation!