Holidaymakers warned of 10-week passport delays

Holidaymakers face up to a 10-week wait for new passports with more people rushing to make changes following the relaxation of travel restrictions.

Officials have stressed the 10-week guidance for renewals and applications is designed to help people to plan their travel and ensure they leave enough time before travelling to renew their passports

Online applications usually take around three weeks to process. It costs £75.50 to renew or replace a passport through an online application or £85 with a paper form.

One parent wrote on Twitter: “I haven’t been able to get an appointment for weeks and my flight is on August 18. At this rate, I’m going to ruin my kids’ summer holidays.”

An official replied: “Our urgent services are currently in high demand, and I am sorry that you have been unable to book an appointment.”

There were just four million passport applications in 2020, down from seven million in 2019, suggesting a higher-than-usual number may be overdue for renewal.

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A Home Office spokesperson said: “Claims that passport processing times are influenced by staff’s location of work are completely false. There is also no passport backlog.

“Since the outset of the pandemic, over 4.5 million people have delayed applying for a passport. This means that potential demand for passports is higher than ever before and passport processing times could change quickly. We have therefore been advising applicants since April to plan to wait up to 10 weeks before they receive their passport.”

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