Significant Delays for UK Passport renewals (exceeding 10 weeks) – and how to get yours faster!

The UK passport renewals processing time is currently at its worst, with the average wait time now exceeding 10 weeks. This is due to a high demand for passports and a lack of staff to handle the applications. If you are planning on renewing your passport in the near future, be sure to do so as soon as possible to avoid having to wait months for your application to be processed!

The UK passport office has recently come under fire for the increasing amount of time it is taking to process passport applications with delays in excess of 10 weeks. In some cases, applicants are waiting over three months to receive their passports back from the HM Passport Office. This is a significant increase from the average processing time of six weeks. This has caused an incredible amount of stress and frustration for intended holiday-makers with some taking the matter in to their own hands.

The passport office attributes the delays to a higher than usual demand for passports and a lack of staff to handle the applications. They are urging people who are planning on renewing their passport to do so as soon as possible in order to avoid any potential delays. The worst delays appear to be with those applications sent to Peterborough and Durham HMPO offices, with most of other offices returning passports as quickly as 7 to 14 days after application.

If you are one of the many people affected by these passport processing delays, be sure to stay patient and allow yourself enough time to receive your passport back from the government. If your travel plans are being threatened by this continuing delays and lack of response from HMPO, there are a couple of resources we found useful over the last month –

Facebook Group: Passport Chaos 2022

Facebook Group: Passport Appointment Help

Reports have been received that those who have waited over 10 weeks for their passport and have proof of flights within 48 hours have been able to obtain their passport from their local passport office, attending without an appointment. We can verify these reports as we had to test the process ourselves. There are also plenty of videos appearing on social media showing individuals attending and receiving their passports without an appointment on the same day:

You WILL be required to send (email) proof of departure to your office of application, or take copies of flight itineraries with you when you visit. Arrive early – be prepared to wait. Queues are sorted in to lanes of those departing within 24 hours and those departing within 48 hours. Don’t expect to be seen if you cannot prove these timescales. The above Facebook Groups will give you details of email addresses to use and any additional numbers you can call. NB: Phone calls alone do not get results!

We found that following the Passport Office recommendation of seeking ‘upgrade’ (said to be available after 6 weeks, but infact rarely permitted before 10 weeks) resulted in a cost of £144 and another long wait for an appointment (2-3 weeks in most cases), with no gurarantee of your passport with 7-8 days thereafter.

In short – best results have been found by attending your local passport office (need not be the office of application) within 48 hours of your departure (as soon as they open), taking proof with you. Be prepared to queue, but most people are leaving the same day with their passport.

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