Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
In recent weeks I have had a large increase in the number of people getting in touch because of delays in their passport applications. The current passport backlog is understandably causing increasing frustration amongst constituents I represent, with thousands of people across the nation having to wait longer than the 10 week service timeframe.
This delay has been provoked by the impact of COVID-19. The return of international travel without restrictions is forecasted to incite an unprecedented 9.5 million applications for British passports, instead of a normal demand of 5 million.
I would urge constituents not to book travel until they have a valid passport.
I am continuing to question ministers and urge the government to clear this infuriating backlog as fast as possible, communicating with those that are experiencing such delays, and following-up applications in Westminster; the constituents I represent deserve efficiency and the necessary resources to travel after two long years of COVID-19 limitation.
Ultimately, however, this is a problem that only the government can fix – they must put in place the proper resourcing and workforce to deal with delays.
It’s worth noting – if you have been waiting more than 10 weeks for your passport, HM Passport Office say they will prioritise your case if you have evidence that you are due to travel within the two weeks.
Please do not hesitate to contact my team if you have any questions or concerns. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01752 717255.
Additionally, The Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000) remains the best way for constituents to access help with their application, including if you wish to explore any options available to you to get your passport more quickly.
What details do I need to provide when contacting Luke’s Office?
In order for Luke to progress your case as quickly as possible, please make sure you provide your:
- Full Name
- PEX Code
- Date of Birth
- Date of Application
- Date of Travel (if applicable)
I am having difficulties contacting the Passport Adviceline. How can I speak to someone about my application?
It has been made clear to the provider of the Passport Adviceline, Teleperformance, that current waiting times are unacceptable. In response, they are in the process of bringing in more than 500 full-time equivalent staff members as part of plans to bring the Adviceline, e-mails, and call-backs, within the service standard as quickly as possible. The Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000) will therefore continue to be the best way for you to access help with your application.
The passport website said it would take five weeks when I applied. Why is it now saying up to ten weeks?
Since April 2021, passport customers have been advised that it takes up to 10 weeks to process a passport application. Until recently, Her Majesty’s Passport Office published additional guidance showing the typical processing times for applications that had been completed in the previous week. However, in response to customer feedback that indicated these timeframes were being confused with the need to allow up to 10 weeks, this additional guidance is no longer published.
When does the 10 weeks start?
You should allow up to 10 weeks from the date that any supporting documents requested by HM Passport Office are physically delivered. All time taken after this delivery date, which includes the updating the application tracker, is included within the 10 week timeframe.
My application has taken longer than 10 weeks. What can I do?
The 10 week timeframe is not guaranteed, as a British passport will only be issued once all checks upon the application have been satisfactorily completed. However, if you are a UK-based customer that has waited more than 10 weeks and can evidence that you are due to travel within the next fortnight, HM Passport Office will prioritise your case. If you are in these circumstances, you should contact the Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000).
I’ve already applied, but less than 10 weeks ago. Is there anything I can do to get my passport more quickly?
If you have already applied, you should not book an appointment for an urgent service. This creates a duplicate application and may mean it takes longer for you to get your passport. Constituents travelling in the next two weeks should contact the Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000). If there are any options available to get the passport more quickly, these will be discussed when you call.
I’m trying to book an urgent service, but there are never any available. Is there a problem with the system?
Appointments for urgent services are released three weeks in advance. While this means new appointments are released daily at each of the seven public counters, in busy periods these will be booked quickly.
I haven’t received confirmation of my appointment booking, but the fee has been taken. Do I need to book again?
If you, the constituent, have not received your appointment confirmation, you should contact the Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000) who will make the arrangements to confirm that booking.
I need my passport urgently on compassionate grounds. What should I do?
HM Passport Office prioritises people who need a passport urgently on compassionate ground. These include:
- The serious illness of the constituent, or because of the death or serious illness of their family member or a friend
- The constituent’s urgent medical treatment abroad which cannot be delayed, or if they are a carer for someone with urgent medical treatment abroad. You should call the Passport Adviceline (0300 222 0000) in these circumstances. You will be asked to provide evidence of their need to travel on compassionate grounds to be able to access this service.
I received a message to say that my passport was issued, but it’s not yet been delivered. Are there delays?
There are no delivery delays. HM Passport Office has worked closely with its UK delivery supplier TNT, and passports are being delivered within the required service level. To provide extra resilience to meet demand, it has also brought in DHL and Royal Mail to ensure passports and supporting documents are delivered on time to customers. From the point the application is approved it can take a few days to print the passport, and then to transfer this to the delivery provider. The delivery provider will contact you when the passport is ready for delivery.