Go to Durham if you can

Home Forums General Passport Application Discussion Go to Durham if you can

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    So back on 8th March I applied for my daughters renewal on her passport we sent her old passport off to Liverpool never to hear anything again…

    After weeks of calling and being told that they have the old passport and they would link it in a few days (they didn’t) we were finally told on the 28th April that they have infacy lost her old passport.

    So we were told to use the upgrade service when our holiday was 2 weeks away which we did. We sent an email to Durham upgrade team with no reply.

    After waiting far too long to be acknowledged of getting this upgrade we decided that against what the offices tell you on the phone we would travel to Durham. Friday 6th May we went to Durham where there was about 40 others lined up waiting to speak to someone from the office within 10 minutes of arriving we spoke to someone who made sure our upgrade request was heard.

    So we went home satisfied. 2 hours later on the same day we got told our passport was processed, accepted and then printed and we could pick it up 10am Monday 9th (a week before we fly)

    I am writing this to say that yes we have the passport as we were told. So my advise is GO TO DURHAM NOW IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR AN UPGRADE!

    They even managed to do someone’s passport on the day of their flight don’t wait for the phantom phone call.

    I got my holiday because of this and I hope whoever follows this gets theirs.

    (Sorry this was wrong but I felt it would be better to include as much details as possible)


    Thanks Frostborne

    I’m hoping to go Durham tomorrow as I am travelling on Saturday just been told I should’ve informed them of my lost passport reference number I never asked to do this.
    Is there a help desk at the office?


    Reading this gives me hope!

    Can I ask if you rang the upgrade service first before emailing? Or did you email them straight off the bat?

    Also were you told to specifically contact Durham or did you contact there because they’re the closest to you?

    It’s all so confusing!!


    I Rang to get the upgrade service first however when they put in the request for the upgrade they had us down to fly on the 2nd May for Some reason. When I contacted Durham upgrade team through email they said I would need to wait until the holiday was 2 weeks away.

    I also got a phone call from the upgrade team in Durham itself but they just said they would call back when the holiday was closer (they didn’t)

    When I had 2 weeks until holiday I tried sending another email to Durham upgrade team to notify them that it was now 2 weeks until my holiday but I didn’t receive any response that they would begin processing it.

    So I decided to try ring the office to put in another upgrade request but when I did finally get though they just said Durham upgrade team will be working on it which didn’t satisfy me since I was now used to being passed around so in the end I just went to Durham lined up there and spoke to someone at the door who got my request put in immediately. That was on a Friday. I got the passport on the Monday after (passport was actually printed on the same day) but they asked me to pick it up on the Monday because they were so busy.

    There were people at Durham office that had hours until their flight who actually got their passports printed there and then when they went and others that were due to fly the next day who were getting theirs done.

    (Trying to be as detailed as possible so you can see the options I took to get the passport)

    I hope you manage to get the passport and I can tell you that if you do manage to the relief you will feel is bliss I’m just (impatiently) waiting to go on holiday now that everything is sorted.

    Edit: The passport was sent to Liverpool as I previously said however it is in fact Durham that is closest to me when I called for the upgrade they said to email Durham upgrade team as they were closest to me and all information that was at Liverpool would be passed on to Durham

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by FrostBorne.

    First time using this forum and only just noticed I could write a dedicated reply lol I added a new reply giving more advise on what happened.


    Thank you so much for this reply – I really appreciate the detail and time spent for you to write this!

    We don’t fly until the 25th June but our passports were stolen at a rather inconvenient time so after 2 days of no sleep and a failed attempt at booking a fast track appointment (where they took the £300 but didn’t give me an appointment!) I gave up and applied on the 5th and are just hoping for the best!

    Hopefully it doesn’t come does to the upgrade service but at least I know there’s options if it doesn’t arrive!


    Do you have to go to the passport office that your passport is at for the upgrade ?


    So what they tell you to do for the upgrade is to call the advise line when your holiday is 2 weeks away to be put forward to the processing team. The processing team will then send you an email detailing your upgrade request and arrange a call back to be given to you within 48 hours most cases I’ve heard this doesn’t happen and people are left in the dark (I did get a call back however the process request for for a flight on the 2nd but our flight wasn’t actually due till the 16th)

    Next on your side you will be asked to email the closest upgrade office to you with your flight details attached as proof and the applicants name within the email. Who you email for the upgrade will always be the closest office to you regardless of where your application was originally sent.

    Now here is where it gets awful in most cases you will then have to wait for a phone call to pay for the upgrade service and once you get that call you would then get told shortly after to pick up your passport from your local office

    I deviated from this process by going to Durham myself to personally speak to someone for an upgrade because I wasn’t willing to wait and see if the email to the upgrade team was going to get acknowledged. So after going to Durham I got a call on the same day (friday) saying the passport could be picked on the Monday or I could get a delivery sent out (I chose to pick it up myself I wasn’t willing to wait anymore)


    After they took the money didn’t you try to go to the office with a bank statement and proof that the appointment didn’t get given to you maybe they could have sorted it out then and there for you.

    Sadly I’ve heard this fast track problem is happening a lot now due to the website having a problem (probably cos of all the high traffic now)


    Unfortunately a couple of days before this fiasco our turbo went on the car so we’ve been without car for the past 2 weeks

    I think at any other time I would have gone and asked but honestly by the time this passport issue happened I was worried and not thinking straight!


    This is very helpful thanks. My kids renewals are stuck at Durham right now but my closest office is Belfast. I am going to phone the advice line on Monday and try and upgrade. I am planning on visiting my local office on Tuesday because I do not trust the upgrade process at all. Do you think they will do anything for me 13-14 days before I fly? I only applied 4.5 weeks ago so this is not in my favour either.

    I would probably have a better chance if my application was there but it’s not. I am so stressed and feel very anxious about it all. Keep talking myself out of going but not sure how much longer I can endure this stress.

    How many days before your flight did you go to the passport office?


    If you do get the upgrade the documents of yours that are currently in Durham will be sent to Belfast

    I think anyone can apply for the upgrade so I don’t see why they wouldn’t accept you getting an upgrade before you apply. As for going to the office I can only speak for Durham helping people who go there in person hopefully other offices are doing the same and you manage to get to speak to someone there.

    In my case I went to the Durham office when I had 10 days left until my holiday and had the passport a week before the holiday.

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