I am a 54-year-old Spaniard who recently became a naturalised British citizen after 25 years living in England. In March I applied for my first British passport.
I was required to send my Spanish passport and naturalisation certificate as supporting documentation. When I applied on 21 March there was an average processing time of five to six weeks and a maximum wait of 10 weeks.
I have now been without a passport for 12 weeks and it is affecting my work as an interpreter as I am unable to take up paid jobs abroad. I was offered an assignment in Germany last week but couldn’t travel and I had to cancel a holiday planned for the start of this month.
I have been trying desperately to resolve this and, over the past month, have spent hours on the phone to the Passport Office.
The staff are usually helpful and agree I should have received my passport by now. They offer to “expedite my file” or send an email on my behalf but nothing changes; my online application has been listed as “being processed” since 21 April.
I have explained numerous times that I am desperate to have a passport so I can travel for work. I have suggested cancelling the application so I can get my Spanish passport back, but they tell me that might take longer (three to four weeks) than waiting for my new British one.
Another tale of passport hell. After writing to us, in desperation, you decided to go in person to the Passport Office in London, armed with your plane ticket and evidence of a foreign assignment.
It worked and you have got your passport. It has been incredibly stressful and you found the passport advice line to be a waste of time and have begun a formal complaint.
HM Passport Office says that between March and May 98.5% of applications were completed within 10 weeks.
“Since April 2021, we’ve clearly stated that people should allow up to 10 weeks when applying … the small percentage of those that take longer should call the passport advice line on 0300 222 0000 if they need to have their application expedited,” it says.
Have you suffered a loss of earnings because of a delayed passport application? Let us know.
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