Longer passport waits

Overseas Property | 14 May 2021

With all the lockdowns and restrictions that have been put in place because of the pandemic, for most of us, it's been a while since we've been able to use our passports.

And if you put in an application for a British passport, you could be waiting for a little longer. Specifically, up to three times the usual waiting time, due to an expected spike in demand, the Home Office said last month.

The Passport Office says travelers should allow up to 10 weeks to receive their passports instead of the previous three. And there could be more to follow.

Amid a collapse in travel resulting from the pandemic, only about four million people applied for a British passport in 2020. That compares to about seven million in a normal year, meaning there could be a rush of applications after Britain lifts its ban on holidays, which could be as soon as May 17 under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's road map for easing restrictions in England.

So if you haven't applied yet, the clock is ticking. Passport Office director general Abi Tierney said: "It is vital for those who may need to apply for a new passport to do so now. If you have delayed renewing your passport or are applying for the first time, please apply now so you can receive it in good time."

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