Man hits out at ‘racist’ Passport Office after having application rejected ‘because of my name’
Riad Mohammed, 69, was left fuming by the incident, adding that the Passport Office is 'out of control'
A man has labelled the Passport Office “racist” after they refused his application “because of his name”.
Riad Mohammed, 69, and a British citizen applied for his passport renewal alongside his wife in February.
But Mr Mohammed, who lives in Australia, was told that his passport could not be renewed because the name he provided was different to the one on his Australian passport.
His full name is Riad Abdul Gafoor Bahador Mohamed, but his Australian passport leaves off the Bahador.
Mr Mohammed says that name is a tribal name and one that he never uses.
And because of the name difference, the Passport Office refused his application despite him already having three British passports before.
Speaking about the issue, Mr Mohammed said: “We sent off a copy of our Australian passports, paid our fees and thought nothing of it.
“About two months later, my wife, who is from Wimbledon, received her passport, but there was no sign of mine.
“Instead I got an email from the office saying that the name on my Australian passport is different than the name on my British passport.
“So to renew my British passport I would have to renew my Australian passport and change the name on that.”
He continued to The Sun: “I was born in Aden and Bahador is a tribal name.
“I explained this to the passport office, and spent hours on the phone trying to explain this.
“I just get put on hold and then it drops off.
“The Passport Office is out of control, there is just no way to contact them at all.
“It is very much racist what they’re doing to me.
“Those of us who are not born in an English-speaking country or not born Christian know that when you move to an English-speaking country you are going to have to adopt your name so that it fits and identifies with the system you are going to live in.”
“I’m a British citizen. I was born a British citizen. I have always had a British passport and now all of a sudden they are saying I can’t have a British passport anymore.
“I paid the fees, I have committed no crimes.”
The Home Office have now reportedly agreed to accept the name provided on Mr Mohammed’s Australian passport and he will receive within the next month.
A Home Office spokesperson: “To help prevent people from changing their identity to commit crime or evade justice, Her Majesty’s Passport Office seeks to ensure that names across passports are exactly aligned.
“We recognise that in the vast majority of cases where there is a difference between the name on the British passport application and a passport issued by another country it is for wholly honest intent.
“However, we have to apply this policy fairly and equally to all of our customers.