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Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

laplandsnow
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Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

Hello,

I applied for a renew on the UK passport using this new online fill in a form service. On their website they were giving a guide line of 4 weeks turn around.

I am now at 6 weeks and the passport has not even reached the examination team. I am now being told by the passport office they have a big back log and it is taking 7 weeks for passports to even be looked at. (its taken some doing to get them to admit the extent of the delays for applications from overseas)

Anyone else having problems at the moment? anyone know of anything that can be done?

I have tried calling, begging.. to no avail..

Please anyone else applying from overseas leave 3 months to allow for postage and processing! or better still do it when you get back to the UK :(

any advise would be great

Australia
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11. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

@US Business Traveller - I think there may still be a processing centre in Washington for you guys. But for us Aussies and Kiwis we have to send our applications to the UK and yes, they did ask for his Australian one to be sent. We were not happy sending it, and in retrospect it was not a good move. If we were there, then yes, it would be much easier. I'm guessing all the hoo ha re 'other passports' is a response to terrorism and the new process and extended waiting times to UK Budget cuts (i.e. cutting OS offices and carving internal operations to the bone).

Israel
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12. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

I don't know about Australians and New Zealanders.

I live in Israel and have dual UK and Israeli citizenship. Since it has to be done by courier from Israel as well, I took the opportunity to renew my British passport using the same-day service when I was in London a few months ago - actually cheaper than using the courier service. When I phoned to make the appointment (necessary when one uses same-day service) I said I was calling from overseas. The woman I spoke to didn't ask me about dual nationality; there was no hint of any need to show my other passport or even mention that I have dual nationality. What business is it of the UK government if you have dual nationality? The UK permits this.

Portland, Oregon
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13. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

OzArtemis,

Yup, you're right. Here's the "supporting documents" list, and row 1 states that you need to supply "Any other uncancelled non-British passports relating to you ②" - https:/…OS_Guidance_Gp1.PDF

Now, that note ② does state "Uncancelled non-British passports: We strongly prefer to receive the passport. However in exceptional circumstances where you may need to retain the passport, we will accept a full colour photocopy of the entire passport (including visa pages). We reserve the right to request the passport at a later stage as we examine your application. Please provide an explanation as to why you need to retain your passport. "

Nevertheless, Ouch! As I said I would never surrender my other passport at the same time. One of the benefits of dual citizenship is that if my US passport is in for processing (more than three weeks to get my India and China visas last month) I'd have my UK in case I needed to do emergency travel. Let alone the risk of both passports being badly delayed or even lost.

I think my recommendation would be do NOT renew your UK passport that way (even with the photocopies, as they may still demand the other passport later). If necessary wait until you visit the UK and renew it in person for a same day service. Expensive but safe.

Best of luck to you and your partner in getting this sorted.

Israel
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14. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

Ah, now I understand.

I applied in the UK, not from overseas. I had to use the form that one gets from a UK post office, not the form that is downloaded for overseas applications.

So forget everything I said in post 12.

<<If necessary wait until you visit the UK and renew it in person for a same day service. Expensive but safe.>>

That's why I did it... You need to phone to make an appointment three weeks in advance.

Australia
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15. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

@USBT - thank you for your good wishes. Also, finding the link you did will likely prove very useful for people here who cannot travel to the UK and who are not already stuck like we are. The thing is here, my partner applied through Australia Post and was told what he needed to supply, and he was assured he needed his Oz passport. We would have chosen a photocopy otherwise (had we known).

We do have an update. After seven weeks his application has now been moved from 'received' to 'being examined'. That's right, folks, it took them SEVEN WEEKS to get the application out of the 'received' pile to the 'examination' pile. We still need examination, processing, printing and mailing. Somehow I don't like our chances. Also, when he phoned today he made a complaint - we are hoping that that will speed things up.

Portland, Oregon
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16. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

Now I'm in my hotel room I've been doing some Googling on this, and ....

1) ALL applications and renewals from overseas have to be mailed to the UK. That includes from the USA.

2) I've come across numerous complaints about the delays. Go to britishexpats.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=53 , pick a country or region and you'll find threads discussing this.

My advice would be do not renew from overseas if at all possible. For passport renewals (that qualify**) do what Shuffaluff and I did. Book a trip to the UK (preferably not just for this but maybe it'll have to be), book a same day renewal appointment at one of the offices that allows this, and renew in person. This can be done at London, Liverpool, Peterborough, Durham, Glasgow, Newport and Belfast. - https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently

If that means having to renew early - because say you have a trip to the UK with 1 to 1.5 years left - and not getting the full ten years' worth, I'd do that to save on the hassle OzArtemis and partner are going through.

** - some don't, such as renewing a horrendously long expired passport.

Edited: 16 May 2014, 20:38
UK
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17. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

My daughter did exactly this USBT, same day, I think she renewed her passport around 9-12 months in advance, coincided the renewal with an already planned visit.

Of course not everyone can do this and sounds like the passport office needs to pull its finger out, unfortunately living outside the country you dont have an MP you can complain to. The government has outsourced this to a third party so they are no doubt maximising their profit by having as few people as they can manage. Perhaps if those affected check who it is they can start posting on their facebook page ... maybe its Steria, see this https:/… but double check

Edited: 16 May 2014, 20:43
Israel
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18. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

Same-day renewal can be done only for standard adult passports, not children's passports, and not lost or damaged passports.

The same-day process is very quick. I was given an appointment for 11:15 a.m. and told to come 15 minutes early. I hate to be late and got there at about 10:40. They obviously tell people to come at different times to spread the load, but I suspect that if I'd got there at opening time I would have been seen straight away. I was OUT by 11:15, and went back the same day at about 4 to get my new passport.

UK
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19. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

They obviously tell people to come at different times to spread the load, but I suspect that if I'd got there at opening time I would have been seen straight away

=====

Possibly not, my daughter got there half an hour early and was told to go away and come back at the assigned time.

Israel
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20. Re: Problems and delays in the UK passport office from overseas

I must have caught the man at the reception desk on a good day (or your daughter caught him on a bad day)!