Backlog at passport office keeps tens of thousands of Britons waiting LONGER than 10 weeks


Ministers have admitted that 1.4% of the 250,000 applications per week are not dealt with within 10 weeks – despite Boris Johnson’s “nonsense claims” that they are all dealt with within six weeks

The passport office is struggling with an enormous flood of applications
The passport office is struggling with an enormous flood of applications

Tens of thousands of Britons have been waiting LONGER than 10 weeks for a passport in Britain’s “miserable” backlog.

Holidaymakers have been urged since April 2021 to allow at least 10 weeks to apply for a passport following a post-Covid surge.

But ministers now admit that 1.4% of applications are not even completed within 10 weeks.

The passport office currently processes around 250,000 passport applications per week. That suggests about 15,000 a month could last longer than 10 weeks.

Exact figures are not available, but it is believed that the number of people affected is in the tens of thousands.

It means that Boris Johnson has again made a false claim in Parliament. He told MPs on May 25: “To the best of my knowledge, everyone gets their passport within four to six weeks.”

The Prime Minister later changed his mind, admitting last week that “91% of people get their passports within six weeks”.

Ministers now admit that 1.4% of applications are not completed within 10 weeks



Shadow Transport Minister Louise Haigh said: “These figures shatter Boris Johnson’s nonsensical claims.

“This backlog is causing misery for families who are already feeling the hardship, and this unfortunate government refuses to even recognize it.”

She called on Boris Johnson to end his “nonsensical” planned public sector staff cuts of around 20 to 40 percent per department by 2025.

Ms Haigh said the cuts would “make staff fight this huge backlog with one hand behind their back”.

More than 5million people have had their passport applications delayed due to the pandemic – leading to a spike in waiting times that has forced Brits to cancel their holiday.

Long queues snaked outside Liverpool’s passport office as families tried to get their breaks on time.

Labor will return calls for urgent action to tackle the backlog in a Commons debate tomorrow.

Boris Johnson boards a plane. He has made false claims about the parliamentary backlog


(Getty Images)

In the first three months of this year, 2.49 million passport applications were made – including 1.09 million in March, the highest since records began in 2002.

This compares to 2.3 million applications in nine months between April and December 2020.

Answering a parliamentary question last week, Home Secretary Kevin Foster confirmed that 1.4% had not been dealt with within the 10 week deadline. It is understood that this figure covers April and May.

The Interior Ministry has not released exact figures on the number of applications that take longer than 10 weeks.

Since April 2021, the number of employees has increased by 650 and the passport office is hiring another 550.

Cases that have waited longer than 10 weeks can be expedited, but only if they are due to travel in the following two weeks.

A spokesman for the passport office said: “Staff process about 250,000 passport applications every week and the latest figures show that 98.6% of applications were completed within 10 weeks.

“But we cannot jeopardize security checks and people should apply well in advance of travel.

“Since April 2021, we have been clear that people should allow up to 10 weeks to apply for their passports to accommodate the increased demand that has resulted in 5 million people delaying their passport applications due to the pandemic.

“An expedited service is available to help the small percentage of people whose applications are taking longer than 10 weeks to receive their passport before they travel.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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