Desperate holidaymakers have been scrambling to get passports from the Passport Office as long delays brought on by a backlog of applications after the coronavirus pandemic leave some wannabe travellers devastated. It comes after a senior Government source said Boris Johnson is able to “privatise the arse” out of the Passport Office amid fears that families could miss out on their summer holidays on account of delays in renewing their documents.
Asked if privatisation is the reply, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme last week: “I feel the purpose the Prime Minister made, and he made it again last night, is that we’re neutral on the query of who does the availability.
“What we’re not neutral on – and what we would like to see – is the service to the taxpayer and to the general public being the best value for money.
“Due to this fact, if we want to think about changing the controller of a specific service, that is something that we’re willing to do. But I do not think a call has been taken either way on it.”
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Why is it taking so long to get a passport?
Given the coronavirus pandemic thwarted international holidays, a lot of those whose passports went outdated through the pandemic didn’t trouble to renew them immediately.
Now, with the primary summer with none travel restrictions upon us, hopeful holiday-goers are scrambling to get their passports in time for upcoming breaks.
Post-Brexit travel rules are adding to traveller woes, as UK residents are actually required to have a minimum of three to 6 months of validity remaining on their passports as a way to travel to EU member states.
In line with GOV.UK, it’s now taking ten weeks for a passport to be issued – but there have been anecdotal reports of some people having to attend even longer.
With One Week Fast Track, your recent passport will probably be delivered to you inside every week of your appointment on the passport office.
You should utilize this service to renew each an adult or child passport in addition to to make changes to your passport or to switch a lost or stolen passport.
Nevertheless, each services are currently showing no appointments for all passport offices within the UK.
Appointments will develop into available periodically if one other person cancels – so it’s best to keep checking to see if an appointment becomes available near you. Unfortunately, they don’t release these at set days or times, so you are going to should be patient and keep refreshing in the event you’re in need of booking a slot.
Within the House of Commons on Monday it was raised by MPs that the brand new 10-week processing goal was routinely being breached, with constituents forced to attend even longer for travel documents.
Immigration Minister Kevin Foster said the ending of restrictions had led to “unprecedented passport demand.”
He said: “To fulfill this, we’ve increased output to unprecedented levels.”
Mr Foster said HM Passport Office was “delivering record output”, and processed a couple of million applications last month alone.
An HMPO spokesperson said: “Because of COVID-19, over five million people delayed applying for a British passport throughout 2020 and 2021.
“In preparation for the demand for international travel returning, since April 2021 our published guidance has made clear people should allow as much as 10 weeks to get their passport.
“In busier periods, call waiting times will take longer. Nevertheless, we proceed to work with our supplier to further recruit and support the trouble to return response times closer to normal levels.”