Deputy Broughan has recently made a number of representations to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Passport Office on behalf of distressed constituents whose passport applications are taking longer than expected. Many constituents who have used Passport Express assumed that the turnaround for their passport renewals or new applications would take the usual 10 days but information on the Department’s website says that Passport Express is now 15 working days turnaround and that “it is important to note that these processing times are a guideline only and not a guarantee. They depend on properly completed applications and also on the volume of applications at any one time”.
Recent media reports show that the Passport Offices are receiving higher than usual volumes of UK applicants since the Brexit decision and that a recruitment drive will be underway to assist in clearing these applications. In the meantime, it is important to check the expiry dates on passports or to ensure that new applications are sent in with extra time allowing for turnaround.
Deputy Broughan says “Some countries require persons to have 6 months left in their passports prior to travel and other people have to travel at short notice. Since the start of the year I have seen an increase in constituents contacting me who have left enough time for their Passport Express applications but the passports are then not ready in time for their travel plans. I have asked a number of Parliamentary Questions to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, and in the interim would urge everyone to check their expiry dates and allow for extra time for their applications.”