Close to half of British passport applications from Australia are rejected because expats send certified copies of documents rather than the originals.
Thousands of applications are delayed or turned away because photocopies or copies certified by a justice of the peace are not accepted by the UK passport authorities unless guidance on the British government web site says otherwise.
If the wrong documents are with the application, HM Passport Office will write to the applicant requesting original documents and if no response is received, will reject the application.
“This will make the application longer to process, but there is a work around that will allow you to continue to travel,” said a spokesman.
He explained that Australian citizens can send a colour photocopy of each page of their non-UK passport rather than the passport.
“This lets someone continue to travel while the application is process, but we may ask to see the original passport later,” said the spokesman.
Another wrong document problem is filing a certificate issued by a marriage celebrant s proof of British nationality.
“Unfortunately the documents are not acceptable proof of nationality,” said the spokesman.
Cyprus tweaks passports for sale scheme
The Cyprus government has tweaked the citizen by investment program that allows migrants to settle on the Mediterranean island.
The main change is expats can pay less to move to Cyprus – the investment requirement has dropped from between 2.5 million and 5 million euros to 2 million euros.
Investors can also move to Cyprus with their parents under the upgraded scheme, providing they buy or own a home worth at least 500,000 euros.
Although Cyprus government bonds were the most popular investment under the former rules, now the amount held in bonds is capped at 500,000 euros.
Lastly, to qualify for citizenship, the investor must hold a residence permit.
The rules change from November 1, 2016.
The Cyprus scheme also allows expats to buy a passport in just three months.
Ana Gomes, the EU parliamentary Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee member called the scheme “outrageous.”
“I’m really appalled to see that these programs are proliferating, it really is outrageous. Selling passports is unacceptable,” she said.