It has been reported that four million people applied for a British passport in 2020 compared to the usual seven million during a normal year. It is assumed that these three million people have delayed submitting their renewal applications as a result of the foreign travel bans imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This suggests that there may be an unprecedented surge of applications once the ban on international travel is lifted.
Due to this anticipated flood of applications HM Passport Office is advising travellers to allow up to 10 weeks to receive the renewed passports, rather than the previously stated three weeks.
Overseas leisure travel from the UK is currently banned. However, this could change on 17 May 2021 under England’s lockdown roadmap. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has advised that he is ‘hopeful’ some travel will resume from that date.
It is recommended that everyone check their passports and apply to the Passport Office where necessary to avoid disappointment due to the expected service delays.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Trainee Solicitor in our General Immigration Team