Records of the Passport Office

Details of FO Division 17
Reference:FO Division 17
Title:
Records of the Passport Office
Description:

Records of the Passport Office comprising:

  • Passport Office correspondence to 1905, FO 612, with registers in FO 613
  • Correspondence with embassies and consulates, FO 614
  • Representative case papers, FO 737
  • Passport registers, 1795 to 1947, FO 610, with indexes in FO 611
  • Specimen passports, FO 655.
  • Order Books of instructions to passport offices, FO 948.

Date: 1795-1983
Related Material: For further records relating to passports see FO 366
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record
Language: English
Physical description: 9 series
Administrative / biographical background:

The issue of passports was the responsibility of the Chief Clerk's Department until 1891, when it was transferred to the Treaty Department. However, the routine business of issuing passports was dealt with in a separate Passport Office from 1855.

After the First World War the increase in passport business led to the enlargement of the office, which became virtually independent, and the establishment of branch passport offices. A Passport Control Department, originally part of the Treaty Department, was also established to deal with visas to foreigners and administer the passport control offices abroad. In 1962 this department also became responsible for entry certificates and employment vouchers under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of that year.

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