The Passport Office anticipates that approximately 9.5 million British passport applications will be lodged in 2022, a substantial increase from previous years as a result of a return to international travel following COVID-19. Accordingly, the Passport Office is now advising that applications using the standard service may take up to 10 weeks to process; however, applicants and immigration practitioners alike have reported delays in excess of this. Such delays can have a significant negative impact on travel plans, with many individuals already having been forced to cancel or reschedule holidays or business trips as a result.
Renewal applications made using the fast track service are being processed in line with their normal waiting times. Accordingly, we would strongly recommend that the fast track service is used where possible in order to avoid significant delays under the standard route.
The fast track service costs £142 for an adult passport and can be used where the applicant is in the UK. However, note that the service can only be used for replacement or renewal of an existing passport or for the issuance of a first child passport.
As applications for adult first British passports cannot be fast tracked and may be subject to substantial delays, we would strongly recommend that prospective applicants submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid disruption to travel plans.