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I have a Little concern related to original identification papers. I am married to an EU national and we are already living together in the UK. In order to have my residence card, I need to apply for a "registration certificate or residence card as the family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national" We filled out the application form and now we just have to send it with our passports, my husband's and mine, to the address indicated in the application form: Home Office – EEA applications PO Box 590 Durham, DH99 1AD Although we know this is a government address, I feel worry about putting our passports in an envelop without knowing when will they be back or whether they will get to the right address safely. Our Passport and national IDs are the most important pieces of identification we have. This is the reason why we are concerned about sending them away from us. According to the application form, it is a requirement to send my passport and my sponsor's. Can you make me feel better about this please? Is it really safe to send such important documents away from the owner? How long will they take to come back to us ?

  • I would also check the legality of doing it. I know it would be illegal for me to send my Spanish ID card in the post, and I believe that also would apply to my passport. – Diego Sánchez Feb 21 '16 at 20:47
  • I've also sent my documents via Royal Mail, and had no problems with "special delivery" tracked postage. One suggestion I have is to take a photo of all relevant pages of the documents so that if they do get lost you have all the relevant machine-readable-numbers and expiry dates etc. – oskarpearson Jul 19 '16 at 21:49
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    @DiegoSánchez do you have a reference to support the assertion that it is illegal to send your Spanish ID card in the post? – phoog Sep 8 '16 at 16:59
  • Guys be careful with these home office people what they say they do and what they actually do is very different,they rejected both mine and my spouse registration certificate cause we didn't supply biometrics in which they say had sent us and which we never received and unfortunately we are back to square one – Nick Aug 2 '17 at 10:24
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This is certainly a legitimate concern. However, the Royal Mail service can be trusted to deliver your papers reliably. For additional assurance, you can send your envelope/package using the "Royal Mail Signed For" service, which provides you confirmation of delivery.

I have sent my passport by mail several times for renewals etc, and have never had a problem. I always choose to use a tracked courier service similar to "Signed For" (I'm not in the UK).

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I would recommend sending it special delivery. I have had no problem sending my US passport with UK visas through the post. I've also done it for my dual citizen daughter.

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There is essentially no way to avoid sending your IDs in the post. You can use signed for service so it is better tracked, but there is no way to guarantee that it will not get lost. The important thing to realize, at least in my mind, is that while your passport and national ID card might be " are the most important pieces of identification we have", they can be replaced. Every country has a different process for replacing a lost or stolen passport. As an expat, you should be aware of these requirements and make sure you have additional forms of documentation (e.g., birth certificate and driver's license are two common forms of ID) and scanned copies of the documents you are sending. Having all the needed documentation in advance will make replacing your passport much less difficult if it does get lost.

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