A Herefordshire MP has offered to help constituents faced with delays in getting new passports.

The MP for North Herefordshire Sir Bill Wiggin said he had received “an increasing number of emails” from concerned constituents, some having missed important family events or long-awaited holidays.

Since April last year, the Passport Office has warned it can take up to 10 weeks to process a passport application, compared with the previous time of three weeks.

“While I am able to speak to the Home Office directly to request updates on the progress of passport applications, they will not expedite these applications until 10 weeks have already passed,” Sir Bill explained.

He suggested using the Passport Office’s premium service, which for an additional charge can turn around applications in less than a week, as “the only way to ensure you receive your new passport in under 10 weeks”.

But Sir Bill also offered “to address unusual delays directly with the Home Office”, and asked those in this situation to email his office with their details.

“If you applied for your passport over 10 weeks ago but are travelling within a fortnight, HM Passport Office have indicated that they will prioritise these cases,” he said.

“Should you need a passport urgently on compassionate grounds, HM Passport Office will expedite your case with the necessary evidence of a need to travel.”


Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee was due to press the head of the Passport Office on the backlogs today (July 20).

According to the UK Parliament website, there has been a surge in demand for new or replacement passports following the relaxation of Covid travel restrictions.

Issues with the courier service used by the Passport Office have meant some applicants having to wait “weeks more” for delivery, even after their applications have been approved.

Meanwhile, some of those calling the office’s advice line have had waits of several hours to speak to an operator, the UK Parliament website says.

However, the Home Office says 98.5 per cent of applications were completed within 10 weeks between March and May of this year.