APPLYING for a new passport could take as much as 10-weeks, the government has warned, due to an expected increase in demand.
With travel well and truly back following the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for new passports is on the rise.
However, those who don't give themselves plenty of time to apply for a new one could miss out on a summer holiday.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman said last week that Brits need to get their applications in "in good time" and announced that the 10-week deadline would remain in place for now.
The 10-week deadline was introduced in 2021 to ease pressures on passport staff, but it remains in place due to the rise in people needing to renew their travel documents.
Last year, more than 400,000 applicants were made to wait 10 weeks or more for their passports, with several people missing holidays because of the delays.
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More than a million applications were received in May alone in 2022.
It is hoped that this year won't see as many people waiting quite so long, with more than 1,200 staff members being added since last April.
Those appointments were made after Mrs Braverman said she would make it her priority to fix the problems when she was appointed Home Secretary.
However, she has still urged people to get their applications in sooner rather than later if they are hoping to get away this summer.
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She told MPs: “We expect elevated demand for passports throughout the year – and demand can be volatile – so customers should continue to allow 10 weeks.
"I urge people to apply in good time and not at the last minute."
That's not to say that all applicants will definitely be waiting 10 weeks for their passports to be renewed.
Currently, around 97 per cent of applications are being processed with three weeks.
That has risen from 75 per cent last year.
Despite the improvement, there are those who are still angry about the deadline being imposed on Brits this year.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of The Advantage Travel Partnership told The Points Guy: “It’s disappointing that holidaymakers will need to allow 10 weeks for new passports this summer.
"We understand that the issues last year were due to very high demands after Covid which were exceptional circumstances.
“However, there has been a dramatic improvement in passport office performance and this deadline is unnecessarily detrimental to people trying to travel overseas.”
However, the Home Office are remaining cautious due to an expected rise in demand.
A million more applications than normal are forecast to be made in the first half of 2023 and Brits have urged not to wait to apply.
Speaking to MPs in December, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office Matthew Rycroft, said they would "need to be ready for next year to be even busier than this year” when it came to passport renewals.
Rycroft added: “Now would be a very good time for anybody listening [to renew their passports]".
Thomas Greig, director of passports at HMPO told i: “The shape of passport demand used to be very, very predictable.
"But what we’ve seen over the pandemic is that people that would normally renew their passport will only now renew them when there’s reason to do so, and that’s right before the summer.
“So if you look at our demand profile for next year it’s much more… front-loaded towards the first couple of months.”
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Meanwhile, this expert revealed the trick he used to speed up his passport processing time.
Other advice about how to get a fast track passport has already been revealed.
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