UK passport wait times and how to get yours faster after Home Office warning


After years of travel restrictions, many people are looking forward to an overseas trip this summer.

But some would-be holidaymakers are being forced to cancel their holidays because passports are not arriving in time. It comes after the Passport Office saw more than five million people delay renewing their passports in 2020 and 2021 as the pandemic hit the travel industry.

Before the covid pandemic people were told about a three week wait. But processing times can now take up to 10 weeks, according to HM Passport Office.

READ MORE: Family lose £3,000 and miss holiday due to Brexit passport change

A spokesperson said Glasgow Live : “Due to Covid, over five million people have delayed applying for a UK passport in 2020 and 2021. In anticipation of demand for return travel from international travel, since April 2021 we have issued clear guidance that our customers should allow up to ten weeks to obtain their passport.

“In busier periods, call wait times will take longer. However, we continue to work with our provider to recruit more and support efforts to bring response times closer to normal levels.”

How long does it take to get a passport?

According to HM Passport Office, processing times can take up to 10 weeks. If you are applying from another country, it may take longer.

How to register

You can either apply for a new passport or apply for a renewal. You can apply online or by mail with a paper form from a post office. It costs an additional £9.50. A standard passport costs £75.50 for an adult and £49 for a child.

How to get a passport faster

There are several ways to speed up the processing time, but you will need to attend an appointment at the nearest passport office. There is one on Old Hall Street in the city centre.

One week Fast Track

You will need to bring documents to the appointment and your new passport will be sent to you one week later.

You can use this service to:

  • Renew an adult or child passport
  • Change your name on your passport (for example with a marriage certificate or voting record)
  • Make changes to your personal information on your passport (for example, your gender)
  • Replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport
  • Apply for a child’s first passport

It costs £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport, or £122 for a child passport (or £132 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport).

You can make an appointment here.

Premium online service

You can use the online premium service where the appointment lasts up to 30 minutes and this service is to renew an adult passport. See more here.

To use the Online Premium service, you will need:

  • Your old passport
  • A device that takes digital photos (such as a smartphone, tablet, or digital camera) and someone to take your photo
  • A digital photo of you

It costs £177 or £187 for a 50-page frequent flyer passport.

You can only use Online Premium to renew an adult passport issued after December 31, 2001.

If you need a passport urgently for essential reasons

If you need to travel urgently for a passport for medical treatment or because a friend or family member is seriously ill or has died, call the Passport Adviceline Instead.

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