New British passport renewal scheme causing expat chaos

Published:  3 Jun at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Delays of up to three months are being experienced by British expats attempting to renew their passport under the recently adopted new scheme.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office is warning that renewal and issuance of replacement passports will take far longer than under the old scheme. Formerly, passport renewals and replacements were handled by seven international processing centres, with waiting times of up to three weeks.

The new rules state that all British passport renewals and replacements must be handled by the UK-based HM Passport Office in Liverpool. Times taken will depend on the country of residence of the applicant, and can be as long as three months.

Applicants can no longer send their passports to the international regional centres by mail but must attend their host country’s Embassy to make their application. For many thousands, this will mean an extended journey and overnight stay in the host country’s capital as well as considerable added expense over and above the increased cost of renewal or replacement, and retired expats with serious health issues may face problems.

The new rules were announced without any warning, with many expats who’d already made travel plans caught out and others whose country of residence compels the carrying by expats of current passports at all times forced into breaking the law. Expats in Asia are facing the longest delays, with some Hong Kong residents having to wait four months.

Up to three months is now the norm for Southeast Asian residents, with expats in Thailand concerned about the required 90-day report stamps for all visa holders. Fines are levied on late reporting, and no indication from the immigration authorities as to lenience under these circumstances is expected, especially as the country is now controlled by a military junta.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive