Reply To: Applications whilst locked down

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Grantham Traveller

DarkMess’s application, being for a first adult passport, will almost certainly require attending an interview in person. These have been suspended for the time being, as the Passport Office states:

“Passport interview services are temporarily unavailable because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you need an interview, your application will be put on hold. If you need a passport urgently, for compassionate reasons (for example if a family member has died) or for government business, phone the Passport Adviceline.”

The same problem concerns applications from abroad since these require interviews with the Passport Office in the UK held online at a VAC in the country where the application has been filed from. This is why my grandson’s passport application in Vietnam has been suspended. Nothing will happen to DarkMess’s application until interviews have been restored, and there will certainly be now quite a backlog.

Standard adult renewals do not require any of this process and apart from checking the old passport, do not usually require any further verification beyond checking the photograph. The procedure is therefore straightforward and ought to be quick. We still don’t have any information on this site about specific people who have received a standard renewal back recently though I’ve been assured by the Adviceline that these are being processed, albeit slowly. However, this may speed up. Passport officers cannot process applications from home, for obvious reasons, and with the government’s exhortation to such workers (i.e. those who cannot work from home) to return to work, one might hope things will improve (and surely government departments will be among the first to be appropriately modified to allow a safe working environment). Even so I’m not holding my breath and won’t be surprised if even this takes till August or even September. My old passport has been received but the application still hasn’t been checked or processed.

Unfortunately, we are all even more in the dark when it comes to first adult passport applications and any form of application from abroad. Their additional complications mean that the process is likely to be even more delayed. but in all honesty, who knows?