More than 4,000 Passport office workers are now on strike for five weeks between 3 April to 5 May in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in a long-standing dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
We answer your questions:
How do I renew my passport?
You can renew your passport online, at a cost of £82.50 (payable by debit or credit card) or by post, at a cost of £93.
For a child passport (under 16), the fee is £53.50 for an online application and £64 for a postal one.
To apply online, you will need your existing passport and a digital photograph.
To apply by post, you will need to fill out a form, which you can get from any post office, which has a check and send service, or by calling the Passport Adviceline.
Also read: Is my passport valid?
How long does it take to renew a passport?
In normal times your new passport would be winging its way back to you within a few weeks. However, Passport Office guidelines say you should apply at least 10 weeks before travel. If it’s urgent you can use these services:
One week Fast Track
You can use a one-week Fast Track service for renewing a passport, replacing a lost or stolen one or applying for a child passport. It costs £155 for an adult passport and £126 for a child passport.
Get an application form from a Post Office and book an appointment online.
Use the Online Premium service to renew your passport. The cost is £193.50. The earliest you can get an appointment (where you will receive your new passport) is two days after applying online.
If you need your passport sooner than that say for medical treatment or to attend a funeral abroad, the advice offered by the government is to call the Passport Advice Line.
How long will it take to renew my passport during the strike?
According to the government, you should still allow up to 10 weeks to get a passport.
A Home Office spokesperson responded to the planned strikes:
“We are disappointed with the union’s decision to strike after engaging in constructive talks to find a resolution.
“We are working to manage the impact of strike action whilst ensuring we can continue to deliver vital services to the public, with comprehensive contingency plans in place.”
In 2022, hundreds of thousands of people waited more than 10 weeks to receive their passports. This was due to a surge in demand for passports, as coronavirus travel restrictions were lifted.
Note: Passport Advice Line: Telephone: 0300 222 0000 From outside the UK: +44 (0)300 222 0000