Travelers in the UK are at risk of missing their holiday this summer due to an “unprecedented” increase in passport applications.
British Immigration Minister Kevin Foster has advised people hoping to travel abroad to renew their passports “as soon as possible”, adding that nearly one million passport applications have been received in the past month alone.
“If we want to put these figures in context, we are usually dealing with 7 million requests for the whole year,” he told parliamentarians. He added, “We are telling people that we are witnessing an unprecedented increase in demand and if they plan to travel this summer, we advise them to submit their applications as soon as possible.”
In this context, the Conservative MP Simon Hoare described the large number of passport applications as “unprecedented, but completely expected”. He noted that some people describe their experience of obtaining a passport as “absolute chaos”.
Meanwhile, a prominent Labor MP accused the government of “failing to do its job”. Ben Bradshaw, a former cabinet minister and current member of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, said: “Once again, the Home Office and Priti Patel are failing in their duties. Anyone can expect to have travel restrictions after two years. a growing demand to renew passports and obtain visas, significantly new passports.
“But it seems that there was no willingness to deal with this, which means that families who are eager to see their loved ones or to go on vacation see their hopes shattered.
East Barnsley County Labor MP said [وسط إنجلترا] Stephanie Peacock is the case of a mother who applied for a passport for her daughter in January, five months before next week’s holiday, but has not yet received it.
The Independent was the first to raise the possibility two years ago of an increase in demand when travel restrictions were lifted, and the paper asked the Home Office at the time: “What measures will the British Passport Office take to speed up the passport process. updating and releasing new ones for those who need them? “
At the time, an Interior Ministry spokesman stated that “Her Majesty’s Passport Office continues to work on passport applications, but the process is taking longer than usual due to changes in work practices established to maintain security of staff and customers alike. . ” [بسبب الإجراءات الوبائية الاحترازية]. We give priority to those who need our services the most, especially requests with empathetic reasons. We encourage those who can look forward to applying at a later time. “
This section contains related items, located in the Related Nodes field.
Today, The Independent asked the Home Office about the measures taken to cope with the expected increase in demand.
It is worth noting that the demand for passports increased unreasonably due to the distorted interpretation by the government and some overhead lines of passport usage rules after Britain’s exit from the European Union.
The two conditions required for a British passport to be valid for travel to the European Union are as follows:
– Was the passport issued less than ten years ago on the date of arrival in the European Union?
Does it remain valid for at least three months on the day it intends to leave the European Union?
These two conditions are independent of each other, so a British traveler to Europe with a passport issued on 2 May 2012 and expiring on 2 November 2022, can enter Europe at any time until 1 May 2022.
In a similar context, the European Commission has previously confirmed the applicable rules more than once for The Independent, which it published and shared with airlines and the British government, but in the face of evidence, the government continues to insist that there are some uncertainties with the fact that these two conditions are “inseparable”. In this context, Europe’s two largest budget airlines, easyJet and Ryanair, are enforcing tough rules, with easyJet falsely insisting that “on your travel date your passport must be valid for at least six months “.
The Independent has repeatedly asked airlines to change their terms in line with European Commission rules or provide official evidence that they should not do so – away from fraudulent travel advice from the UK government.
If you are confused about the new passport expiration rules, or are unsure when to renew your travel documents, we invite you to contact Simon Calder, The Independent Travel Correspondent, who will respond to all your questions in the Ask Me Anything session directly at 4pm. Click on this link to submit your questions.