New upgrade vs. Cancel and fast track

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    Hi all

    Here’s our situation – and hope someone will be able to advise the best course of action.

    We fly out in a month’s time.

    Child’s first passport submitted towards the end of March when there was still a 5-week lead time.

    Been stuck at ‘documents received’ (Peterborough office) for weeks now, no further updates received.

    What would you do right now – stick or twist? And would you

    (a) cancel immediately and book a fast track – although I’m not sure how easy this will be seeing as Peterborough has our child’s birth certificate

    (b) use the new upgrade service – although we might need to wait another fortnight, which would be very stressful (Do they ask for evidence of flight date so you can’t pull a fast one?)

    Many thanks all 🙂


    @minesasangria If its any help there are a few things you need to know
    1) I am being told that you can only apply for the upgrade for an ADULT passport being renewed ( not first passport)
    2) You have to be within 14 days of your travel date to apply for the upgrade
    Hope this helps


    @minesasangria. I’m in the same dilemma. I’ve just spoken to HMPO and asked what the time scales are for cancelling the application so I can book a fast track appointment, I have been told 11 days to review the cancellation letter (lord knows why) and up to 14 days to upload it on their system. I was advised not to cancel. It’s very very frustrating to say the least.

    vicky m

    I’am in the same boat we fly the 25th of may. I submitted my child’s renewal passport on the 17th of February. I check every day and it’s been stuck on processing since the 16th of March. I can’t get through to anyone! I have sent emails and no response


    We also fly in 4 weeks. Been stuck on docs received since 5th April.

    After 30 minutes on hold i spoke to someone who confirmed my daughters 1st passport is with an examiner and that it’s being processed. Not sure why the website hasn’t updated to reflect this.

    The person on the phone also confirmed (and double checked) that the upgrade service IS available to 1st child passports. Good luck everyone, sounds like we’re all stressed together.

    Tara A

    We are in the same boat we are awaiting X2 first children passports. We applied at the beginning of March and we fly on 19th May we have only recently gone into the processing stage and we are freaking out!

    Assuming we will have to wait until the 2 week date for the upgrade service assuming it will be available for us!

    Fingers crossed for everyone!

    vicky m

    I sent off for my youngest child’s first passport the same time as my other daughters renewal and I received my first child’s passport this morning. It really is stressful and I hope everyone gets sorted in time

    vicky m

    I have been ringing since 8 this morning and can’t get through to anybody. Is there a different number to call apart from the 0300 222 0000 number?

    Tara A

    I don’t think there is, I’ve searched and searched and cannot find anything!

    Every experience I’ve had with the customer service agents has been shocking and really rude, I just want to get through to someone helpful but getting in touch with someone is like waiting for pigs to fly. I wouldn’t mind being on hold but it’s getting cut off all the time!

    vicky m

    Yeah that’s what it’s doing to me letting me through so far n then cutting me off


    My daughters passport has been processing from the 23rd of March. She needs to get a visa for America before she flys on the 9th June. I want to get the one day fast track but don’t know if I have to have official cancellation before we can do this or can we take a letter on the day ? The upgrade will be too late for her and she will be devastated if she can’t go she is working for Camp America for the first time. I’m worried that cancelling could take too long but equally have no faith in the ten weeks when it was 5 weeks when we started the application 8 weeks ago. Any advice greatly appreciated.


    @mst9445 you should be eligible for the upgrade earlier because your daughter needs to get a visa. You should speak to the progress team about this. Only thing I’d flag is that I’m not sure how well the upgrade system is working.


    I ended up cancelling my passport application and will be trying to get 2 child first passports through the 1 week fast track. I was told to send in a withdrawal letter (for each application) but I also requested that they put a note on my record to say that i’d asked to withdraw the application. The advisor told me not to book a fast track appointment till my withdrawal document had been uploaded which he advised could take up to 10 days.

    I received a call back today (from an earlier query that I raised) and I did ask to see if my documents had been uploaded yet- bearing in mind, it was only about 3 days ago I sent them but thought I’d ask anyway- and the lady said it would take up to 3 weeks for documents to be uploaded! She said that guidance had changed from today.
    Just wanted to give everyone the heads up with regards to this.

    I’m thinking of booking a fast track regardless next week, for 3 weeks time and hoping the withdrawal letter has been uploaded.


    Thanks for the update 3 weeks is crazy. I’m off to look at the calendar again to see what is best. We asked if we could use the upgrade and were told no. I’m going to try again tomorrow.


    @minesasangria my timeline in terms of application date vs flight date is pretty much identical to yours. I applied end of March, and I need my passport by the 23rd May.

    What I ended up doing is:
    1.) reporting my passport ‘lost’ (this is a risky and controversial move, i know, but it meant that I did not have to wait to get it back, which would have elongated an already very long withdrawal process)
    2.) sending a withdrawal letter (I sent it on 7th April, first class)
    3.) booking a fast track appointment (booked it for the 25/04, just had it this morning) and
    4.) filling out an application form to replace my ‘lost’ passport to take to the appointment.

    Now, I really got lucky because my appointment was today and they only just processed my withdrawal yesterday (they will send you away at the appointment, if you have got another live application). Considering the fact that I sent the withdrawal letter on the 7th and it was not officially withdrawn till the 24th ( and that was also with calling them twice to make the withdrawal urgent!), perhaps withdrawing and booking a fast track might not be the safest option if your flight is in less than 4 weeks, if we use my timeline as a reference.

    I’ll say, hold out for the upgrade. I really hope you get your passport on time, sending all the good vibes your way.

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