There are reports of a massive backlog of passport renewals in the UK and there are growing concerns it could mean thousands miss the summer holidays
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That home office has warned that a massive backlog could take longer than usual to apply for new or renewed passports.
There are numerous factors that explain why there is such a dramatic backlog, but the Covid-19 pandemic is the main reason.
Now is the time to get your passport in order before the summer holidays as there is no guarantee it will arrive on time.
It usually takes three weeks to receive your new or renewed passport HM passport office through the mailbox, but there have been no reports of people waiting significantly longer.
Here’s everything you need to know before renewing your passport.
Why is there a backlog of passport renewals?
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The main cause of the backlog is the Covid-19 Pandemic and travel restrictions.
This has meant that in recent years there has been an ever increasing list of people requiring new passports or updated passports and there have been insufficient staff at the HM Passport Office to meet the demand.
However, demand has been tempered by the declining volume of applications.
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, 5 million people have had their applications deferred over the past two years, according to the HM Passport Office.
When do you need to apply for a new passport?
In order to travel or use your passport as legitimate ID, it must be current.
Renewal of a passport is usually done immediately after it expires or when you need it for travel abroad.
Some countries require a valid passport. So if you’re traveling abroad this summer, it’s important to check your country’s requirements.
This can be checked at UK Foreign Office Travel Advice.
Just search your destination country in the search bar and it will list all the details you need to know before your visit.
If your passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older, it is valid for 10 years from the date your passport was approved.
If you were younger than 16, then it is only valid for five years.
If you’re now looking to renew a passport for your summer holidays, HM Passport Office is urging Brits to start the application process immediately due to the backlog.
Abi Tierney, Director General of HM Passport Office, said: “Now that international travel has resumed we know people will try to go on holiday and yet many people are leaving too late to get a passport apply for.
“The summer holidays are fast approaching. So if you need a new passport, we urge you to apply now.
“Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure passport applications are processed as quickly as possible.”
How to renew your passport
The application process is relatively simple and does not require too much time.
To renew or replace your passport, go to gov.uk and visit the Passport renewal page. The extension costs £75.50 and you will need a digital photo, a credit or debit card and your current passport before you can begin.
Paper applications are also available through your local post office, which has a check-and-send service.
There’s one too Passport Advice Center that can be found on the government website.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/news/you-need-renew-your-passport-26860457 When do you need to renew your passport - why is there a backlog and how to apply?