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?


    Hi everyone,

    Hopefully I can bring some good news to those of us applying from abroad!

    I live in Germany and applied for a standard adult renewal around two months ago. The application has literally just been approved (see timeline below) although I don’t have any information on when they’re expecting to send it (any ideas, anyone?).

    I’ll update on this page every time I get new information but it seems like things are moving, albeit slowly as previous posts have pointed out.


    Application history

    Application approved 11:57am on 12 May 2020
    Application being processed 8:31am on 18 March 2020
    Documents received 3:45pm on 17 March 2020
    Application received 1:01pm on 11 March 2020
    Application submitted 1:01pm on 11 March 2020

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by rob.

    Just to advise applied for a passport renewal.

    Application submitted 5 May
    Docs Received 7 May
    Application approved 7 May
    Passport printed and sent 7 May
    Received today 12 May

    Grantham Traveller

    justinj’s experience seems almost surreal compared to other people’s in its unnerving speed. What I’d be interested to know is which passport office his application went to.

    Mine is at Peterborough and it’s a completely straightforward renewal. Nevertheless, it’s taken 13 days until today (12 May) for the ‘application being processed’ (a rather non-committal and cryptic phrase that gives no indication of how long the next stage will take) notification to appear. Oddly, I have not yet received an email to tell me that. I simply went to the tracking page and saw it there this evening.

    If justinj’s application went through Peterborough then this would suggest the whole process is rather haphazard. If on the other hand it’s a different passport office that would indicate different staffing levels and other factors affecting their ability to deal with applications.


    Hi everyone

    I called the passport office yesterday and they could only advise with a little laugh that it may take a couple of months. They said no staff working in many offices and they are only dealing wirh government/diplomat renewals and life/death and emergency issues. I’m actually quite upset as we are going to be repatriated from Oman next month probably and without the children’s passports, we are unable to get our immigration paperwork sorted for our move to Malaysia.i sent the passport office a DM via Twitter and they responded with a standard reply. I then replied back saying not acceptable and that i’d heard of people getting passports renewed in UK within WEEKS. I was asked to email the Liverpool passport office with all my details and the urgency and they may take it forward.

    Will keep you posted

    Thanks Grantham Traveller for phone number.

    Grantham Traveller

    shazzalats is clearly having a frustrating experience. The comments she received on the passport office adviceline sound suspiciously like what I had on one call a few weeks ago, indeed almost verbatim, so I wonder it it was the same person. I’ve also spoken to two other people, twice, who took a rather different line and explained that standard renewals are being dealt with, but slowly. I also read this in The Independent newspaper on 22 April:

    ‘A Home Office spokesperson said: “Her Majesty’s Passport Office is continuing to process standard passport applications, but they are taking longer than usual as a result of changed working practices designed to keep both staff and customers safe.”’

    The upshot is that the position is not clear but will surely improve as most staff return to work. It’s worth bearing in mind that the people who answer the adviceline are not currently, or at least haven’t been, in the office. These individuals are working from home during the crisis.


    I applied for a passport renewal and it is a very straightforward case. Below is my timeline so far:

    Application submitted: 28 March
    Documents received: 6 April
    Application being processed: 27 April

    I am not sure why it took then that long to start processing the application.

    Grantham Traveller

    Presumably therefore tfrtraveller, your application has been stuck at ‘application being processed’ since 27 April (15 days ago) and not progressed. It’s hard to know what this means exactly since a standard renewal really ought not to require much processing. I looked back at some pre-lockdown posts, i.e. in normal times, talking about passport applications and the time separating ‘application being processed’ from ‘application approved’ seemed to vary from the same day to over a week.

    This thread is worth looking at, particularly the most recent ones:

    I’d like to reiterate that although I am set up for alerts on my application I have NOT received an email (or a text) today to tell me that it had reached ‘being processed’. I only found that out by chance when tracking it today. So it worth looking even if you haven’t heard anything.


    We’ve applied for a first child passport. Last updated ‘application being processed’ on March 20th – Liverpool Office

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by aneeska.

    I believe that surely given the fact that I had submitted my application beforehand they would have notified me that I need a passport interview, also if it helps I am not a neutralised citizen I simply registered my citizenship.
    It’s a real shame at how poorly they are dealing with the situation. If anything they could at least offer to send me my other passport back (which is from a country also badly hit by Covid yet they were able to turnaround new passports for my family easily) personally I think its a real shame that they can’t be bothered to at least give us a little more information such as an eta.


    Has anyone had any response regarding whether staff numbers will now increase since the PM’s announcement? I’ve asked twice but they won’t answer. It would be an interesting position for them to take if they weren’t increasing numbers, despite PM’s announcement that anyone who can’t work from home should go to work. Are the government only interested in sacrificing people who don’t work for them (thereby protecting themselves)? Very curious, don’t you think?


    Hi everyone, wanted to give an update from a uk based renewal.

    Had my passport stolen whilst overseas in Mar, applied 19 Mar and had identity details received 25 Mar, application progressing 26 Mar. I’ve just had application approved today – 13 May and advised sent 13 May. Would have been 7 weeks tomorrow on progressing.

    To advise, both the application approved and passport on its way emails went into my junk mail so check there if you’ve not received email updates.

    Worth nothing mine wasnt a straight forward renewal as I was replacing a stolen passport but assume this part was dealt with when it went from identity details received to application in progress.

    Hope that helps with some timelines!



    Below an update to my timeline. It’s a standard adult renewal – I live in Germany.

    Passport printed and sent 2:47pm on 13 May 2020
    Application approved 11:57am on 12 May 2020
    Application being processed 8:31am on 18 March 2020
    Documents received 3:45pm on 17 March 2020
    Application received 1:01pm on 11 March 2020
    Application submitted 1:01pm on 11 March 2020

    Will notify when it arrives.



    Application being processed 7:22am on 23 April 2020
    Identity details received 9:41pm on 21 April 2020
    Email sent to person confirming your identity 8:31pm on 21 April 2020

    I can see I haven’t been waiting as long as some but certainly hope they start working hard to help us all. Its a tough situation but it looks like they are doing it , all be it slowly. Got sent back from France and now stuck here in UK. Everything i own is in Portugal. Cant wait to get home. Just have to take it day by day.


    Rob it seems I’m in a similar situation to you

    Application being processed 8:09am on 23 March 2020
    Documents received 3:30pm on 20 March 2020
    Application received 6:37am on 15 March 2020
    Application submitted 6:37am on 15 March 2020

    However I am still waiting on the approval. Since you are from Overseas also did you send your old passport to Liverpool?

    The only consolation is at least people are starting to receive their passports. Which means they are working on it

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