You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Passport Office bolsters staff to process nine million applications

Written by:
The passport Office will recruit an additional 700 staff to deal with “unprecedented” levels of demand as it anticipates 9.5 million applications this year.

HM Passport Office has published an update on passport processing times amid the “unprecedented” levels of demand.

It denied claims that there is a passport processing backlog as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but urged holidaymakers to apply as soon as possible as it expects to deal with a total of 9.5 million applications this year.

In March alone, it processed over one million new passport applications – the highest level on record.

HMPO is still advising people to allow up to 10 weeks when applying for a British passport, but it said the vast majority of all applications are being dealt with “well within 10 weeks”.

However, it added that a passport can only be issued once all the checks have been completed satisfactorily and could take longer if information is missing or is incomplete.

Further, it urges people not to book travel until they have a valid passport as the new document will not have the same number as the old one.

In preparation for the pent-up demand for international travel, HMPO said it has increased capacity, both in people and systems “across all elements of the production process”.

“The priority is to ensure we can continue to process as many passport applications as possible”, it said.

As such, it is in the process of recruiting another 700 staff members, adding to the 500 already taken on since April 2021.

As of 1 April 2022, there are over 4,000 staff in passport production.

It is also recruiting additional staff for its passport adviceline, which is currently run by Teleperformance.

And it has increased delivery companies to ensure passports and supporting documents are received on time to customers. Lastly, it has also increased availability of fast-track appointments and has extended working hours across the seven HMPO public counters.

It added that new appointments are released daily, three weeks in advance. Customers can call the passport adviceline on 0300 222 0000.

It costs £75.50 for a new first-time or replacement adult passport online, or to change any details on it. If you apply by post, it costs a higher £85.

For a child passport, it costs £49 online or £58.50 using a paper form.

If you need a passport more urgently, the one-week fast track service costs £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport) and £122 for a child passport (£132 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport).

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week