Her Majesty’s Passport Office is encouraging travellers planning a trip abroad after Christmas to save time and money by ensuring they apply for a passport in plenty of time.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper and Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb were today (15 November) visiting Newport Passport Office to see how staff there are preparing for one of the year’s busiest periods.
As many people look to travel in the weeks following Christmas, HM Passport Office can see more than three times the demand for new and renewal passports compared with off-peak periods.
HM Passport Office is urging customers to check their passports in good time and apply early via postal routes. Leaving it late can cost up to £55.50 extra and may mean that your passport doesn’t arrive in time.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:
If you’re going away at Christmas or in the New Year, right now is the best time to apply for your passport.
Our staff in Newport and across the UK work hard to process more than 5.5 million applications a year.
But you can help by checking your passports and applying early to avoid a last minute trip to the passport office.
During the visit to the Newport Passport Office, Mr Harper and Mr Crabb took the opportunity to meet staff in both the Customer Contact Centre and the Customer Service Centre.
They also met staff in the Counter Fraud Operations Unit and were given an overview of the work they undertake.
Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb said:
Newport continues to be a major passport hub, processing thousands of passport applications per week.
Not only do they provide an invaluable service, but they play a key role in countering fraud, making the passport application process as secure and as robust as possible.
I’m delighted to meet the members of staff at their new office at Nexus House who continue to offer this personal, professional and crucial service.
HM Passport Office recommends applying through the post using an application form which is available online, in any Post Office that offers the passport Check & Send service or from the passport advice line (0300 222 000). For an extra £8.75, the Post Office can also help you fill out the form with their Check & Send Service.
It takes at least three weeks to renew an adult or child’s passport, so apply as early as you can. If you’re applying for the first time it takes at least six weeks to get your first UK adult passport as you will need to undertake an identity interview.