Applications whilst locked down

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    Grantham Traveller

    Thanks rjo. The only damage to my passport is a small tear (about 12 mm) at the edge of an internal page and to be fair it hasn’t been queried on passing through immigration anywhere including the UK, but of course one is advised to get a passport with any damage replaced because some countries’ immigration officers can get agitated about the slightest problem. There isn’t any damage to the key pages with my picture which is what would cause problems with a UK renewal application (perhaps that’s the case with yours?) and other very specific damage (see below). Mine is otherwise only going through a standard renewal and that’s all I applied for, though I pointed out with a post-it note that one page had a small tear in it.

    The UK Passport Office’s definition of damage (which then crucially requires identity to be confirmed) is:

    details are indecipherable
    the laminate has lifted enough to allow the possibility of photo substitution
    discolouration to the bio-data page
    chemical or ink spillage on any page
    missing or detached pages
    the chip or antenna shows through the end paper on the back cover for the new style e-passports
    the chip has been identified as damaged after investigation

    None of those apply to mine.


    Interesting. Mine has a missing page but I haven’t been asked to confirm identity. My belief was that this would be done earlier on in the process, much like in the cases of naturalisation etc. in the thread which seem to be done way before the processing stage. So since then I’ve assumed all I’m waiting for is them to say yes/no to my photo.

    Grantham Traveller

    Presumably then rjo when you applied you went through the Replace Online service, whereas because the damage to mine was so minor I went through the Renew Online procedure.

    Replace Online is for damaged, lost or stolen passports. Identity confirmation is usually necessary for lost or stolen, but for damaged only (I think) where the photo page, chip, laminate are damaged and/or details are indecipherable.

    I completely share your frustration. If it’s going to take 7-10 weeks one could accept that far more easily if they just said when, i.e. ‘your application should be completed by 10 July’ or whenever. As it is we are simply in a fog.

    Ironically, in 2011 my passport was stolen (in Athens). I came back on an emergency passport. I applied for the replacement passport the day after I came back (on a Tuesday). The new passport arrived on the Friday. Happy days. Mind you, if that hadn’t happened I’d have renewed the stolen passport in 2014 and not had the problem now.


    Yes – replace online. So I’m not too sure why it should take so long. I’m wondering if it’s worth another phone call and asking why some take a week and others are taking 8+ times that…


    I’m starting to get really down with neg. health effects from not having passport.

    8th April: Application submitted
    15th April: Documents received
    22 April: Application being processed

    ^ It was sent to Durham office but I’m in Scotland. I’m an adult with autism and have no parents and not much support. My need for passport is that I have no valid ID right now. I can’t do banking or organise accommodation for myself so I’m staying on a friend’s sofa just now but I feel like I’ve been doing that for too long and it’s straining things. It’s causing me unbearable stress .. pre-covid-19 I had a crisis team and help but there is none of that now… mental health services aren’t functioning or giving me the time of day. I will feel much better once I have my passport and ID.. will make me feel human again. My aunt in Australia passed away 3 days ago, can’t travel for that either. Not meant to be a rant, just a desperate soul here. Can’t stop ruminating

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by baobeiiiii.

    When you apply for a passport, do you choose which passport office it goes to for processing?

    Newport, Durham, Peterborough, etc.


    Interesting article. Looks as if it’s accurate. They’ve now had nearly 6 weeks to prepare the offices to make them appropriate for social distancing, but I doubt they’ve done anything.

    I find this idea of “skeleton staff” very flimsy. Given many here are waiting for a renewal or replacement which takes no more than a week when these offices are processing normally, and those processes are now taking 8+ times longer, “2 metres apart” with “2 furlongs apart”. Only explanation.


    Received my new passport this morning so it’s taken Peterborough 11 weeks for a standard adult renewal.

    No news on the 3 first passports for the kids yet though..


    @BlackpoolNurse – and I see from your earlier post that the date from which it was being processed is 27/3 – and what date was it “approved”? I’m trying to get a fairly accurate picture of processing times for Peterborough, and the “processing to approved” gap is probably the one which matters most for most in the thread.



    The last activity update I received from Newport was 3rd of April. The office is open but with very limited number of staff. The reasons that applications sent to Newport are processed slower than other offices is, firstly, that Newport is in Wales where the lockdown is still (wisely) enforced; secondly, Newport was hit by the virus worse than other cities with a passport office (some say it’s because more test were taken there so the higher number of cases is because of that – but this doesn’t change the fact that Newport had that number of infected residents).


    @rjo the application changed to processing in 27/03 and was printed and sent on 25/06


    Thanks @BlackpoolNurse.

    Extending this post with regards to success stories:

    Peterborough office:
    kc2000’s application timeline:
    Processing from 30/03/2020
    Approved: 18/05/2020;

    This is exactly 7 weeks from processing to approved.

    Bb1212’s PETERBOROUGH application timeline:

    First passport after naturalisation

    Processing: 24/03/2020
    Approved: 14/05/2020

    This is 7 1/2 weeks from processing to approved.

    BlackpoolNurse’s PETERBOROUGH application:

    Standard adult renewal

    Processing: 27/03/2020
    Approved: 25/05/2020

    This is 8 1/2 weeks from processing to approved. Note this had an extra bank holiday compared to the previous two.

    Trend from Peterborough suggesting current length between processing and approved for Peterborough is approx. 8 weeks.


    Mine is a renewal with a name change after marriage and documents sent to Peterborough and turned to application processing on the 7th April.

    That make it 7 weeks and 2 days so maybe if mine goes to approved sometime in the next week or so, it will add support to that expected 8 week timeframe.

    I will keep you all updated!


    Very odd processing time from the Durham office as of this morning (but very impressed!). This is for an adult renewal:

    Application Approved: 10:49 28 May 2020
    Documents Received: 10:49 28 May 2020
    Application Received: 15:59 21 May 2020
    Application Submitted: 15:59 21 May 2020

    The note above it says that the passport is about to be printed. This definitely isn’t a usual timeline based on what I’ve seen on this forum. I have noticed that there was no “processing” step here, and I’m not convinced some overworked civil servant hasn’t pressed a wrong button.

    Interesting because I submitted another application to Durham on 18 May and am now on the “application being processed” step (another adult renewal).

    For now, I’m going to assume that they’ve just turned it around really quickly!

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