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  #21  
Old 07.01.2015, 23:34
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Re: Vaud Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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hi

Seems you have had some odd replies by the forum.

If I understand you right is that you require by your post, is someone with British Citizenship, who holds a position such as of a recognised profession accountant, dentist, lawyer, nurse etc to verify the likeness of your child to a photograph that you have yet to take.

So I reach out to people in Vaud if you know a British Citizen who is a legal person to reply either here or by pm!

By the way, congrations on the birth of your child & hope all goes well.
Thank you! First decent reply!
Will target the neighbour first, armed with box of chocolates and some homemade shortbread, crying baby and picture and I'm sure he will agree.

After all, he must have a decent job and be of "legal" profession to be able to afford living in Switzerland...lol just another dig!

Last edited by Ace1; 29.01.2015 at 14:41. Reason: Remove name
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  #22  
Old 07.01.2015, 23:40
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

Hey, do what you think is best but maybe consider the rules in the following link .. I am a British lawyer and happily sign many UK acquaintances' photos over the years I have lived here but I will not sign for anyone who I have not known for 2 years because that is what the rules say. In your case, they need to have known one of the parents for two years.

https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications
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  #23  
Old 07.01.2015, 23:42
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

And I get a groan for explaining the rules to you. My pleasure.
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  #24  
Old 07.01.2015, 23:49
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

ECB,

I appreciate your comments but don't need to be taught of "rules"!

As our daughter, God bless her, was born with difficulties and we spent 3 months in the intensive care of the hospital, and are wishing to take our daughter for specialist treatment, and family support, we need her passport pretty urgently.
I very much doubt that any of the Doctors or staff at the hospital would hesitate to countersign her passport declaration, knowing us very well by now, and understanding our situation, albeit with the usual 2 year "knowing" the parents. However, the team caring for our daughter are mostly Swiss or French.

The only completely legal way around this would be that i go to the UK and ask solicitor friends / our doctor etc to sign this, but then, who would look after our daughter

Many thanks
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  #25  
Old 07.01.2015, 23:52
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

Just checked this: https://www.gov.uk/countersigning-passport-applications

So the buggers have changed it. It used to be a Swiss national could sign it.

It makes applying for a red one all the more attractive.

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If you’re applying from outside the UK, they must have a current British, Irish or other EU, US or Commonwealth passport. But your application will be processed more quickly if they have a British or Irish passport.

I spoke to the passport office about the above instructions and they told me that it had to be one of the above, a friend of mine who is a swiss lawyer would not be suitable! I could hardly believe my ears but yes, the entire process took 5 months. Incompetence that would be hard to beat.
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Old 08.01.2015, 00:10
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

You could always do it by post - send the photos and form to a friend in the UK you know will do it in good time.

Otherwise call the passport office and explain the situation. Maybe there are exceptions like in your case.

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ECB,

I appreciate your comments but don't need to be taught of "rules"!

As our daughter, God bless her, was born with difficulties and we spent 3 months in the intensive care of the hospital, and are wishing to take our daughter for specialist treatment, and family support, we need her passport pretty urgently.
I very much doubt that any of the Doctors or staff at the hospital would hesitate to countersign her passport declaration, knowing us very well by now, and understanding our situation, albeit with the usual 2 year "knowing" the parents. However, the team caring for our daughter are mostly Swiss or French.

The only completely legal way around this would be that i go to the UK and ask solicitor friends / our doctor etc to sign this, but then, who would look after our daughter

Many thanks
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Old 08.01.2015, 00:14
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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You could always do it by post - send the photos and form to a friend in the UK you know will do it in good time.

Otherwise call the passport office and explain the situation. Maybe there are exceptions like in your case.
I was going to suggest that you try telephoning the disabilities unit of the passport office. They were fairly helpful for us when we had a problem with the photo requirements for our disabled son. They not only help people with disabilities to actually make the applications (which is clearly not your case) but also assist where due to disabilities, you are having problems in meeting the requirements for an application.
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  #28  
Old 08.01.2015, 00:23
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

Yes, like pics without the nasogastric tube!

Thanks Nick, but haven't lived in the UK for 10-11 years, so any friends are school or Uni friends and other option is family, but they are not allowed as per the list.

Back to that neighbour...!

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  #29  
Old 08.01.2015, 10:08
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

I would contact the passport office and ask them directly. They will be able to tell you exactly what is required and save you from wasting time approaching neighbours, doctors etc.

Your British neighbour is not eligible to sign it for you as it's impossible for him to have known you for the required 2 years given that you haven't lived here that long. He may agree to sign it for you but he would either have to lie on the form ( and say he knew you for two years) which I would not recommend or he would have to put the true length of time which would probably prolong the processing time.
Personally I wouldn't lie on a passport application for anybody.

Good luck with the application and your little one.
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Old 08.01.2015, 10:31
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

You could post the baby photo (with complete application?) to your friend in the UK, and using Skype, show them your baby.
They could then counter sign with a clear conscious.

If they are a good friend, they could take the complete application to a UK post office, and receive the passport at their home
address, which is much cheaper than applying from here.
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  #31  
Old 08.01.2015, 15:24
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

+1 for what ecb and Belgianmum said. You can't be the first person ever to have a unique situation that requires some flexibility. Rather than doing your own thing and risking a delay (or worse) due to false paperwork, just see what they can do for you. It doesn't hurt to ask. Most authorities have exceptions/protocols in place for unusual situations; they just don't broadcast them online for everyone to try.
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  #32  
Old 08.01.2015, 15:29
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

Firstly, the list of "respected" professions is a load of nonsense. Who is more respectable in most people's eyes, the local loo-cleaner or the banker? I've signed plenty of UK citizen's passports and applications (and no I'm not a loo-cleaner, but am also not on the list of "respected" professions!).
I won't swear to this, but am pretty sure when I renewed my passport about a year ago, the counter-signee didn't even have to be British anymore and if you were renewing a normal British passport, they didn't even require a counter-signature.
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Old 08.01.2015, 15:38
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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Firstly, the list of "respected" professions is a load of nonsense. Who is more respectable in most people's eyes, the local loo-cleaner or the banker? I've signed plenty of UK citizen's passports and applications (and no I'm not a loo-cleaner, but am also not on the list of "respected" professions!).
I won't swear to this, but am pretty sure when I renewed my passport about a year ago, the counter-signee didn't even have to be British anymore and if you were renewing a normal British passport, they didn't even require a counter-signature.
Take a look at the link provided above. It clearly says:
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When you need someone else to sign your form and photo

You must get your form and one photo signed if you’re applying for:
  • your first adult or child passport
This is not a simple renewal. OP is applying for her child's first passport, so the counter-signature is required. The question is, what are her options given that she hasn't known anyone in CH for 2 years?

Edit - OP here's a link to the online inquiry form: https://eforms.homeoffice.gov.uk/out...Enquiries.ofml

Last edited by 3Wishes; 08.01.2015 at 15:41. Reason: found a link
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  #34  
Old 08.01.2015, 16:10
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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As our daughter, God bless her, was born with difficulties and we spent 3 months in the intensive care of the hospital, and are wishing to take our daughter for specialist treatment, and family support, we need her passport pretty urgently.
Two things which may help you from the information available on the www.gov.uk website:

(1) The UK Embassy in Berne can issue emergency travel documents in a limited number of situations. If you have an urgent need to travel, even where your child has no existing passport, you may be able to persuade them to assist although they do state that such travel documents will only be issued "in very exceptional circumstances where there is an urgent need to travel and there are serious and unforeseen compassionate issues." See https://www.gov.uk/government/world/...-embassy-berne
They provide an email address and telephone contact number.

(2) If you don't or can't meet the criteria above for an emergency travel document, from the online guidance regarding applications for a passport from outside the UK (see https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...ance_10.13.pdf), it clearly states:

If you cannot comply with the countersignatory
requirements your application may be delayed. You
must provide a full explanation when you get to the
‘Additional information’ section of the online form and
we will contact you to agree a way forward.


Good luck with getting this sorted and I hope your little one is soon in possession of a British passport
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  #35  
Old 08.01.2015, 16:18
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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No, and in fact it never was. It was only ever intended as an example, and dates back to when "the professions" were very limited in number.

So in practice, any British work colleague would do, and indeed this is what we've done in the past, for friend's kids etc.
I don't agree. The list of people who can countersign hold jobs that require some kind of registration, e.g. chartered accountant, Drs, police, army etc. so that officials can check the legitimacy of the countersignatory. It is not about "respectable" as a subjective assessment.

However - if you cannot get someone off the "list", then it does, IIRC, say that you can get a British Citizen to sign off... and failing that anyone can, but it'll take longer... because:

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You think anybodies are going to really check ?
Yes. And they do.

To the OP: generally they have to have known you for 5 years (if your child is under 5 years of age), so technically you should also not be getting any old person to countersign. Just sayin'
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  #36  
Old 08.01.2015, 16:51
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

As a former Passport examiner for the UK in an overseas Embassy (not in Switzerland) I would suggest that you contact the Passport Office in Durham and they will tell you exactly what is required, Bern probably wont be able to help as overseas passport issue is no longer the responsibility of the FCO and they are unlikely to have anyone there who will know the exact procedures.


As for the "two year" rule, I know in my time it was strictly enforced and we contacted many countersignatories to confirm that they did in fact know the individual. A good examiner can spot on an application anything that looks a bit iffy.
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  #37  
Old 08.01.2015, 16:54
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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Firstly, the list of "respected" professions is a load of nonsense. Who is more respectable in most people's eyes, the local loo-cleaner or the banker? I've signed plenty of UK citizen's passports and applications (and no I'm not a loo-cleaner, but am also not on the list of "respected" professions!).
I won't swear to this, but am pretty sure when I renewed my passport about a year ago, the counter-signee didn't even have to be British anymore and if you were renewing a normal British passport, they didn't even require a counter-signature.
If you read that link it actually says "Countersignatories must work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession or be ‘a person of good standing in their community", followed by a list of suggested people.

The 'professional' requirement is an out-dated bit of snobbism; doctors, bank managers etc. were allowed to charge a fee for counter-signing passports and it was a nice little earner for them.
The last passport renewed in my family (required becuse it was a replacement for a damaged one) was counter-signed by a humble shop assistant here in Geneva (but admittedly a UK passport holder).

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I don't agree. The list of people who can countersign hold jobs that require some kind of registration, e.g. chartered accountant, Drs, police, army etc. so that officials can check the legitimacy of the countersignatory. It is not about "respectable" as a subjective assessment....
I've signed friends passport applications several times, and have never been asked by 'officials' if I was legit or not. I'm simply on record at the passport office as a UK citizen and that's clearly enough for them, despite being nothing but a humble housewife.

OP, ring the passport office in the UK as suggested, I'm sure they'll be able to help.
I hope you manage to get your daughter the treatment needed soon.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 08.01.2015 at 17:06. Reason: fixed quoting
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Old 08.01.2015, 16:56
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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I've signed friends passport applications several times, and have never been asked by 'officials' if I was legit or not. I'm simply on record at the passport office as a UK citizen and that's clearly enough for them, despite being nothing but a humble housewife.
Congrats. You must be very proud. Now go back and read all of what I wrote... especially the bit which starts with however and is underlined for emphasis.
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Old 08.01.2015, 17:04
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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Congrats. You must be very proud. Now go back and read all of what I wrote... especially the bit which starts with however and is underlined for emphasis.
I did read it all, didn't think it all required quoting.
If you insist then the underlined bit was this;

However - if you cannot get someone off the "list", then it does, IIRC, say that you can get a British Citizen to sign off... and failing that anyone can, but it'll take longer... because:

I'm simply pointing out that it's not a case of 'However if.....' but a case of not really neccessary at all.
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Old 08.01.2015, 17:18
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Re: Countersign UK passport application please!

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I did read it all, didn't think it all required quoting.
If you insist then the underlined bit was this;

However - if you cannot get someone off the "list", then it does, IIRC, say that you can get a British Citizen to sign off... and failing that anyone can, but it'll take longer... because:

I'm simply pointing out that it's not a case of 'However if.....' but a case of not really neccessary at all.
Sure, if you don't mind your application taking longer or having a higher risk of rejection. HTH.
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