02 April 2012
As the holiday season approaches, a valid passport will be vital for Islanders looking to holiday outside the United Kingdom. At present the wait for a new passport is 4 weeks. This may increase as the numbers rushing to renew a passport at the last minute starts to build.
Each year the Passport Office deals with people who have forgotten to ensure that their passport is valid for the travel they are planning. The impact of this backlog of paperwork is that as Easter and summer approach the wait for a new passport can take up to 6 weeks.
When applying for a new passport, up to 9 months of time that has not expired is credited to the new passport, so there is no cost to acting now. In fact there is a significant saving to a little pre-planning. Standard renewal of an adult passport costs £77.50 and a child passport costs £49.00. For those leaving it late to secure their renewal, the express service means an additional cost of £38.50.
Customs and Immigration Service Assistant Director, Andrew Hunt, said: “In the run up to Easter, and again as we approach the summer school holidays, the wait for a passport renewal can be as much as 6 weeks. Combined with an express charge of £38.50 this can come as quite a shock for a family looking to get away as planned and in budget.
“We would encourage all Islanders planning to travel this year to check their passport today and then complete an application form to renew if they are going to run out of time in the next nine months. This will save the stress of hoping the new passport arrives in time and save the additional costs of an express application.”