Passport backlog warning as passports are taking up to 10 weeks to be issued
British citizens are being advised to now allow up to 10 weeks for passport applications to be processed ahead of an expected pre-summer holiday surge after requests plummeted during 2020.
The passport office has warned that there had been a ‘significant drop’ in the number of people applying for a travel document last year as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with international trips.
In a normal year, the office deals with approximately seven million applications but in 2020 the number was just over four million.
The Passport Office is now braced for a spike in applications and is urging people to allow more time for them to be processed since Boris Johnson’s speech hinting at lifting travel restrictions.
A ten-week lead time is expected for British citizens in the UK whilst Brits abroad residing as ex-pats are warned to expect up to 14/15 weeks.
Director-General of Her Majesty’s Passport Office, Abi Tierney, said: ‘It is vital those who may need to apply for a new passport 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.
‘Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure that passport applications are processed as quickly as possible.
‘This new advice will help to ensure that we continue to meet the travel plans of our customers during any period of the very highest passport demand.’