Passports (NEW)

I am receiving a disproportionate number of enquiries from constituents regarding passports. Due to COVID-19, HM Passport Office saw a significant drop in the number of people applying for passports, with over 5 million people delaying their applications throughout 2020 and 2021.  But with international travel returning to normal, more and more people are applying for a new passport.  People are being urged not to leave their application for a British passport to the last minute, with demand at an all-time high.  Since April 2021 HM Passport Office has been advising people to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their passport. This remains the case.

With the help of my small team, I can help expediate cases only where there is genuine and urgent need to do so. Please note there is no escalation process available to MP’s offices for passports associated with holiday or business travel within the 10 week processing time.

Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions which I will keep updated;

 

Q. What is the current service standard for passport applications (new and renewals)?

 

Whilst there is much in the news at present suggesting a backlog at the Passport Office (HMPO) as passports are not being renewed within 3-6 weeks, the HMPO have recommended allowing 10 weeks for routine in-country (UK) applications since April 2021.   

 

If you are applying by post, rather than online, please note that the details of the application will need to be manually loaded by the HMPO - this will add to the processing time and you may find that this means the application takes longer to process.  The HMPO receive an extremely high amount of post everyday and this may take several weeks to be added to the system.   Applicants are encouraged to apply on online where possible. 

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-passport-office/about-our-services#processing-times-in-the-uk

 

Q. Is there a faster route to getting a new passport or renewing one?

 

Yes, the HMPO offer two other routes – an online premium service and a 1 week fast track process.  More details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently.

It is important to note that these routes/appointments are very popular at this time and whilst the HMPO have increased capacity we have received reports that constituents have not always been able to access local availability.

 

Q. What if I need a passport for urgent travel for compelling and compassionate grounds?

 

The HMPO recommend you contact their Passport Adviceline https://www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line  if you need a passport to travel urgently for medical treatment, because a friend or family member is seriously ill or has died, or for urgent government business.  Please also see below ‘How can my casework team help for urgent travel?

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-passport-office/about-our-services#urgent-travel-for-compassionate-reasons

 

Q. What enquiries can the MP’s office assist with?

 

The HMPO are only accepting and escalating enquiries from MP’s offices for the following types of applications:-

  • those for urgent travel for compelling and compassionate reasons
  • those for non-urgent travel where the application date was 10 weeks or more ago ie outside of their recommended 10 week processing time.

 

Please note there is no escalation process available to us as an MP’s office for passports associated with holiday or business travel within the 10 week processing time. Please also see Q. I am due to travel in the next 2 weeks - what can I do? 

 

Q. How can my casework team help if you applied more than 10 weeks ago?

 

If you applied more than 10 weeks ago, please email me on andrew@griffithmp.com with the following details:

  • Name of the applicant
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Application ref (PEX number)
  • Application date
  • Type of passport – adult first/adult renewal/child first/child renewal
  • Details of how you applied – online or by post?
  • If you have posted any documents (including application) please provide tracking reference number(s)
  • If this is a child application – which parent applied? Please provide full name of parent.
  • Your travel date

 

Once this detail is received we can escalate the application to the HMPO – please note that there is no guarantee of how long this matter will take to resolve, my team will do their best to assist you.  Please also see Q. I am due to travel in the next 2 weeks - what can I do? 

 

Q. How can my casework team help for urgent travel?

 

We may be able to assist if you need to travel urgently for compelling and compassionate grounds, for example, one that relates to medical reasons (eg a person needs to travel for urgent essential medical treatment not available to them in the UK) or personal matters (eg a person needs to travel to visit a close family member or friend who is not expected to survive or for their funeral).

 

To be able to raise this with the HMPO we will need to provide independent evidence of the need to travel.  This could be a letter from a hospital/doctor regarding the friend/relative’s condition and life expectancy or details of a funeral from the funeral director. 

 

If you need to travel urgently, please email me at andrew@griffithmp.com with the following details:

 

  • Name of the applicant
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Application ref
  • Application date
  • Type of passport – adult first/adult renewal/child first/child renewal
  • Details of how you applied – online or by post?
  • If you have posted any documents (including application) please provide tracking reference number(s)
  • If this is a child application – which parent applied? Please provide full name of parent.
  • Details of the urgent need to travel – my casework team can liaise with you on what types of evidence is required.

 

Enquiries relating to urgent travel needs for compelling and compassionate grounds will be prioritised by my casework team. 

 

Q. I am due to travel in the next 2 weeks - what can I do? 

 

If you applied online at least 6 weeks ago you are able to approach the HMPO to request an upgrade when you are 2 weeks before the travel date.  Please note there is likely to be a charge for this.  As an MP’s office we are not permitted by the HMPO to make this request for you.  Please note - if you applied by post the 6 weeks is counted from when the application is loaded to their system. 

 

To request an upgrade you will need to call the HMPO adviceline on 0300 222 0000 (https://www.gov.uk/passport-advice-line), they will provide you with an email address which you can then send details of your application and booked travel.

 

NOTE:  Even if you apply for, and are accepted for, an upgrade there is no guarantee that the Upgrade Team will be able to process the applications in time for travel.  If they are they will contact you around 48hours prior to travel to make arrangements with you.

 

In the subject line of your email please use the date of travel followed by the application number eg Date of Travel 22nd July 2022 - PEX 123 456 7890 (NB Paper applications may start with a PASS reference or other code). 

In your email you should include the following details:

  • The date of travel
  • The application number
  • The lost reference number (if applicable)
  • The name of the applicant
  • The date of birth
  • Home address
  • The type of application (eg adult/child plus first/renewal)
  • A screen shot showing the confirmation of date of travel (eg flight tickets etc)
  • Where you could travel to, to collect the passport if you want it to be printed locally (the closest to us is the London Office which is a short walk from London Victoria station)

 

London HM Passport Office

Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square,
London,
SW1V 1PN

The London office is on Eccleston Square/Belgravia Road. To get to the office from Victoria Station, take exit 1 via Hudson Place, which is next to Platform 1. Turn right, walk to the top of the road and cross at the traffic lights on your left. The London Customer Service Centre is on the corner.

 

ENDS