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 plan on renewing your passport soon, be sure to do so as soon as possible to avoid having to wait months for your application to be processed!
All that you need to know about UK passport renewals
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 wait 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 into 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 passports
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 the other offices returning passports as quickly as 7 to 14 days after application.
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 into 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 an ‘upgrade’ (said to be available after 6 weeks, but in fact 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 guarantee 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.
For those with a valid passport and those who obtain their passport – the Travel Club can help you find great deals on travel for up to 80% off of retail rates and many other service providers, tickets, and lifestyle products. Visit http://www.thetravelclub.info for more information.