Passport renewal delays Home Office rejects claim one million

Monday, May 2, 2022
author picture Daniel Marino
Video/image source : youtube, iinewsco
Original content created by staff

Passport Renewal Delays - Home Office Rejects One Million Claim

Thousands of holidaymakers have complained about 'unprecedented' delays in passport renewals‚ but the Home Office has rejected their claim. The delays are being blamed on lack of planning and are costing families an extra PS100 per passport. Some have even been turned away at the airport gate due to misunderstandings about the rules. Here are some tips to avoid being turned away. The Home Office is urging people to renew their passports as soon as possible‚ but the delay is becoming an unsustainable and costly process for many.

'Unprecedented' delays in passport renewals

Millions of British holidaymakers are being warned to get their passport renewals done as soon as possible‚ threatening to scupper their plans. The 'passport pandemic' has already affected five million applications. The Post-Brexit rules require Britons to have at least three months validity on their passports to travel to the EU. And the Passport Office is currently facing an unprecedented backlog. MPs have blasted the Passport Office for failing to meet its target of ten weeks. And they have heard from a woman who had to wait five months to get her passport. And it hasn't helped that the government is 'asleep on the job'. But is it really the case that passport renewals are taking so long? MPs have said that the passport backlog is a 'horrible' issue and will summon the Passport Office's leadership for urgent talks. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the work of passport services across the country‚ the Department of State has warned that the passport processing time is already exceeding expectations. Passports normally take between six and eight weeks to process. Moreover‚ passport renewals using expedited service can take up to twelve weeks. With this delay‚ many people have cancelled their trips‚ claiming that they are unable to make the trip they had planned because of the delay. The backlog has become so severe that many people are forced to cancel their vacation plans‚ business trips‚ or even plans to visit loved ones. As of today‚ the U.S. Department of State reports a backlog of up to two million passport applications. This backlog is affecting more than 230 people in the state‚ including residents of Oklahoma. In addition to Oklahomans‚ legislators' offices have received more than 120 constituent passport cases since May 1‚ according to the Washington Post. Passport processing time is now nearly 10 weeks‚ which means that many American citizens are still waiting on their passports to be issued. However‚ if they're able to fly back to the U.S. before the end of December‚ they can't leave the country until they get their passports. That may not be enough time to go on a vacation‚ so many people are choosing to wait until the backlog has been cleared.

Lack of planning blamed for delays

The Home Office is under fire over the lack of planning for passport renewals‚ as customers complained of long queues and long delays. The government agency oversees the production of seven million new passports a year‚ but only produced one million last month. The agency has responded by hiring hundreds of new staff to cope with the demand and drafting in extra couriers and Royal Mail staff to make up for lost time. But the problems have not been resolved - the Home Office admits it needs more staff‚ a more flexible system and more capacity for handling the influx of passports. The backlog is the result of a surge in applications for passport renewals. Around five million people were caught up in the pandemic and their passports were delayed until later. The shortage of passports forced them to cancel their holiday and cancel jobs - a total of PS33‚000! Meanwhile‚ a government minister has suggested that the delay is partly due to officials working from home‚ which may have affected processing times. The Passport Office‚ however‚ denies this. The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) union is blaming the lack of permanent staff and poor management for the backlog. The union has also criticised the lack of proper planning and said the backlog was the result of HMPO's failure to recruit enough permanent staff. Meanwhile‚ a spokesperson for the Passport Office‚ Mark Serwotka‚ claimed that the backlog was destroying morale and that a privatisation of the process would not help. DIA recalled staff and counter teams to handle phone calls and emails. Its website was down‚ but a spokesperson claimed that the contact centre was up and running. The high volume of email and phone calls meant a considerable delay. They suggested allowing for at least six weeks before the next scheduled flight. It should also allow for courier delays. If there is a delay‚ it will likely cause a cancellation of the flight.

Cost to families of extra PS100 per passport

The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs has invested $59 million in IT modernization projects related to the passport process over the past decade. But delays in implementing the Online Passport renewal system forced the Passport Services Directorate to continue working in a paper-based environment. The system's long wait times made telework unfeasible for many staff.

Impact on travel industry

The recent pandemic has caused delays in the Passport renewal process. Passport agencies across the U.S. closed for nearly a year and a half‚ making it difficult to get an appointment to renew your passport. However‚ as more Americans travel abroad‚ more people are filing applications for new passports than ever before. While the current backlog of around 2 million applications is a concern‚ the pandemic isn't the only problem. While the Government recommends allowing up to 10 weeks for passport renewals‚ many applicants have experienced delays that are significantly longer than that. TNT UK‚ which holds a PS77 million contract with the Passport Office‚ is struggling to keep up with demand. In response to the backlog‚ the government brought in DHL and Royal Mail to speed up the process. However‚ this might be too late for some holidaymakers. Passports can be difficult to renew‚ so many people end up putting off the process until the last minute. Many countries require passports to be valid for six months after the date of return travel. As a result‚ it is recommended to apply at least six months before the date of departure. Many airlines won't even allow you to board a flight if your passport is not current. Passport renewal experts explain the process and how it can be expedited. The government has begun making progress in clearing the backlog of expired passports‚ but this is still a long way off. Despite the positive effects on UK tourism‚ it is likely to continue to suffer a pandemic impact on the travel industry. Passport renewal appointments have become harder to find and elusive‚ and processing times are up to three times longer than before the pandemic. The delays are already causing people to cancel holidays and even fly cross-country to obtain travel documents. In the meantime‚ the State Department is addressing the problem. Passport processing times are now four to six months longer than normal. Even if expedited passport renewals are processed faster‚ the average person could still end up waiting for a year. The Department of State's website notes that it's working overtime to clear the backlog. However‚ the wait time for a normal non-expedited passport is still four to six weeks.