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Passport Office introduces extra measures to ease passport backlog

After revealing that it is currently facing the highest demand for passports experience in the last 12 years Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) has introduced a series of additional measures to ‘ensure people and families are able to travel and live overseas’.

These are as follows: Passport extensions -Provided they have a minimum of three blank pages in their passport, British nationals living abroad who have a passport that has expired in the last six months, or is about to expire in the next seven months, can receive an extension.

This means that they can continue to use their passport for 12 months, with an official stamp in their existing passport. Those who meet the eligibility criteria above can contact their local Consulate or Embassy to organise an appointment for this free-of-charge service. Appointments are available from June 23rd, but booking is already taking place.

Emergency travel documents for children -Parents or guardians of children living overseas who want to travel can make an application for an Emergency Travel Document. This document takes the place of both new (first time) passport and passport renewals for their children. If the child concerned has not previously held a British passport, applicants will need to provide the same information as when applying for a passport for a child.

Evidence of the following will normally be required when applying for an Emergency Travel Document in most cases: All those who have parental responsibility for the child agree to apply for an Emergency Travel Document for the purpose of the proposed travel; or that they have sole responsibility for the child, e.g. a court order.

Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday (June 18th) apologised about delays in processing passport applications. "I am sorry and the government is sorry," she told MPs in a Labour-led Commons debate on the delays. If you are heading off on holiday, it is important to ensure that travel insurance is included in your range of important documents.

Date Created: 19 June 2014

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