Afghan family reunited after complaint about Passport Office resolved

Organisation we investigated: HM Passport Office

Date investigation closed: April 2018

The complaint

Mr L complained that the Passport Office had incorrectly rejected his application for a British passport for his infant son. He said information he submitted to support the application had not been considered correctly.


Mr L, a British citizen originally from Afghanistan, applied for a passport for his infant son who was living in Afghanistan. He and his wife had been separated from their son for two years and were desperate to live together as a family again.

The Passport Office rejected his application on the grounds that they were unable to verify the child’s birth certificate and the location of both parents at the time of the child’s conception. This meant that Mr L’s son would have to remain in Afghanistan, separated from his parents, and was unable to travel outside the country. This caused his parents significant distress and worry.

What we found

When reviewing the complaint we found that the Passport Office had overlooked information proving that both parents were present at the date and location of the child’s conception. This meant their decision to deny Mr L’s son his passport was flawed.

Putting it right

We explained our findings to the Passport Office and as a result, they reversed their decision and issued a passport for Mr L’s son. We resolved this complaint without the need for an investigation.