In a statement issued on Friday, April 24, Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) denied the current slow processing times experienced by some Britons have been the result of the coronavirus pandemic, but instead by an “unprecedented demand”. It said: “We are now seeing unprecedented demand as more than five million people delayed applying for passports during COVID-19 because of restrictions in international travel.”
HMPO anticipates 9.5 million British passport applications to be made this year, and in March 2022 alone, the passport office processed “more than one million new applications, the highest output on record”.
In preparation for the demand for international travel returning, HMPO is urging Britons to leave plenty of time for their passport application to be processed.
HMPO said: “Since April 2021 HMPO have been advising people to allow up to 10 weeks when applying for their British passport. This remains the case.”
However, regardless of the backlog, Britons forgetting to include vital “information” could face an even longer wait time.
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What documents do I need to apply for a new passport?
If you are applying for your first passport, Gov.uk states that you will need the following:
your full birth certificate showing your parents’ details.
your father’s birth certificate.
your parents’ marriage certificate.
the passport you used to come into the UK or foreign passport you’re included on.
You must send original documents. Photocopies are not accepted.
If you do not have your original certificates (for example, your birth certificate), you need to get an official copy.
These rules vary for people who were born outside of the UK.
You will also need to include a digital photo of you to passport specifications, and have someone who can confirm your identity.
You will be asked to include information such as your full name, address, date of birth and contact details.
If you are renewing your old passport, this will need to be sent to HMPO with your application.