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Leaving your passport renewal to the last minute?

Boris_Johnson

ADC
Moderator
DirtyBAT
Not advised...

According to the usual mouthpieces there's no problem. 97% of renewal applications are being processed within 3 weeks, 99% of 'straightforward applications' are being turned around in 4 weeks (define 'straightforward'...)

But there's no smoke without fire.

I do like how the comment from Keith Vaz has been made all tiny like:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27789916

Keith Vaz: "It's a no brainer during the summer months, people tend to want to go on holiday"

This guy's just full of wisdom, don't you think?
 
Of course! Keith.... Thanks. You've enlightened us all with your cutting wisdom and sage like statements. How can we have been so blind! I did wonder what was going on, now I know!
 
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Deleted 4886

Guest
Took a friend of mine nearly ten weeks as the PO screwed up. She then got caught up in overstay fines in Thailand and the possibility of being barred frrom re-entry- all because of their screw ups.

I used to be able to get a passport renewed in Bangkok, then they sent them to Hong Kong, now all are produced in Liverpool all in the name of 'efficiency'. Before, I could sent in the renewal by post now I have to make two trips to Bangkok (600 km away), one to drop off and one to collect. It's farkin ridiculous. Oh and you can only book an appointment in a 15 minute window!

On the other hand the Canadian PO has now introduced an shorter application form for passport renewal. Including posting to Bangkok and back it took me 10 days to get a new passport in March and they couldn't have been more helpful.

I can understand criteria for first time passports being subject to strict criteria but once one has a passport the renewal process should be streamlined and it would do them good to look at the Canadian system- it's far more efficient and user- friendly. A 3 page form, no need for sigs on the backs of the pics or guarantors, just the names of two acquaintances who MAY be contacted.
 
On the other hand the Canadian PO has now introduced an shorter application form for passport renewal. Including posting to Bangkok and back it took me 10 days to get a new passport in March and they couldn't have been more helpful.

I can understand criteria for first time passports being subject to strict criteria but once one has a passport the renewal process should be streamlined and it would do them good to look at the Canadian system- it's far more efficient and user- friendly. A 3 page form, no need for sigs on the backs of the pics or guarantors, just the names of two acquaintances who MAY be contacted.

Yes but no one wants to go to Canaydia ...
 
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EScotia

Guest
Took a friend of mine nearly ten weeks as the PO screwed up. She then got caught up in overstay fines in Thailand and the possibility of being barred frrom re-entry- all because of their screw ups.

I used to be able to get a passport renewed in Bangkok, then they sent them to Hong Kong, now all are produced in Liverpool all in the name of 'efficiency'. Before, I could sent in the renewal by post now I have to make two trips to Bangkok (600 km away), one to drop off and one to collect. It's farkin ridiculous. Oh and you can only book an appointment in a 15 minute window!

On the other hand the Canadian PO has now introduced an shorter application form for passport renewal. Including posting to Bangkok and back it took me 10 days to get a new passport in March and they couldn't have been more helpful.

I can understand criteria for first time passports being subject to strict criteria but once one has a passport the renewal process should be streamlined and it would do them good to look at the Canadian system- it's far more efficient and user- friendly. A 3 page form, no need for sigs on the backs of the pics or guarantors, just the names of two acquaintances who MAY be contacted.
So, your friend was abroad when her passport ran out and it's somehow the Post Offices fault? My passport was renewed 5 years ago under the express renewal system and even then all I had was a 15 min window at Glasgow Passport Office so there's nothing new there.

If people checked their passports properly before booking their holidays then there wouldn't be an annual rush taking place just before the holiday season starts.
 
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Deleted 4886

Guest
So, your friend was abroad when her passport ran out and it's somehow the Post Offices fault? My passport was renewed 5 years ago under the express renewal system and even then all I had was a 15 min window at Glasgow Passport Office so there's nothing new there.

If people checked their passports properly before booking their holidays then there wouldn't be an annual rush taking place just before the holiday season starts.

No she LIVES here and submitted the passport in plenty of time to the Embassy, which says a 6 week turnaround time. Quite a lot of us do not reside in the UK anymore and Consular services have been severely curtailed. This was hardly the start of the annual rush season either unless March is the beginning of an obscure rush I am not aware of. Edit: just checked back and it actually took her 12 weeks to get the passport.

Not sure why you brought the post office (GPO) in to this, when the application was submitted through the Embassy to the Passport office (PO).

The US embassy manages to get off its erse every 4 months and visits Phuket to process passport applications and provide other consular services to its citizens, the Brits do sod all (and before you bring up taxes, yes I still get taxed at source on my military pension so I expect the gov't to provide me with basic embassy services). They recently severely curtailed the responsibilities of the Honorary Consul down here ( again on 'efficiency' grounds) requiring basic services to involve a trip to Bangkok. UK.Gov.plc is crap.
 
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EScotia

Guest
No she LIVES here and submitted the passport in plenty of time to the Embassy, which says a 6 week turnaround time. Quite a lot of us do not reside in the UK anymore and Consular services have been severely curtailed. This was hardly the start of the annual rush season either unless march is the beginning of an obscure rush I am not aware of.

Not sure why you brought the post office (GPO) in to this, when the application was submitted through the Embassy to the Passport office (PO).
https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports/y/thailand/renewing_new/adult

At least 6 weeks from when it's received by HM Passport Office in the UK, not the Embassy.

The reason I brought the Post Office in was I misunderstood PO to mean Post office and thought you were blaming the Passport Office for a PO delay :)

Consular service cuts have affected much more than passport renewals, ask michaelo how his battles with veterans uk over War Pension hospital treatment claims are going.
 

4(T)

LE
Unless you are resident in a foreign country, you must be fairly dim to allow your passport to expire whilst you are abroad. FFS, they are valid for ten years, and renewal dates are a fairly major milestone in a family admin calendar.

Many/most countries won't even allow you to have a visa unless you have at least six months' life left in your passport. If you are a half-serious expat you get two or more passports anyway, as visa management is such a major issue.

I see one richard head is making the news lead because he is stuck - illegally - in Sri Lanka because he posted his passport back to UK for renewal. Not only stupid to post the passport, leaving himself marooned, but also stupid to publicise his irresponsibility - that'll look good on his CV....
 
Not sure why you brought the post office (GPO) in to this, when the application was submitted through the Embassy to the Passport office (PO).

She was bloody lucky to get the embassy to forward her application, if that's the case.
Experience of many is that they are responsible for sending off their applications via a courier and the embassy will not help.
Well done the relevant embassy, I say. For security reasons I have advocated using the bag ever since they started closing down the consular passport services.
I would place greater faith in the security of the bag, against a commercial courier company.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
The new passport service for overseas gets some complaints but never for the fact it is now cheaper as they have centralised the process and reduced waste.

I speak with the staff at the High Commission in Ottawa a lot and they say that one, maybe two, a year are down to the system. The rest of the passport **** ups are down to bad personal admin. People just don't think through and plan ahead. They told me that the backlog in the UK is mostly bad application filling in, late submission with only a few that can be put down to a lack of staff. However the Unions will use it to bash the efficiency savings.

I reckon unless you need to replace a passport for a name change or photo change etc you should be doing it a year before it runs out.
 
Unless you are resident in a foreign country, you must be fairly dim to allow your passport to expire whilst you are abroad. FFS, they are valid for ten years, and renewal dates are a fairly major milestone in a family admin calendar.

Many/most countries won't even allow you to have a visa unless you have at least six months' life left in your passport. If you are a half-serious expat you get two or more passports anyway, as visa management is such a major issue.

I see one richard head is making the news lead because he is stuck - illegally - in Sri Lanka because he posted his passport back to UK for renewal. Not only stupid to post the passport, leaving himself marooned, but also stupid to publicise his irresponsibility - that'll look good on his CV....


You appear to forget those who have to travel on business. There are even those who have to travel up to three weeks in every month. It is not a question of 'family admin', it is a question of not being able to travel without a passport - full stop.

It can be possible to plan a month's business in such a way as to avoid travel while your passport is away for renewal, but any delay over that, and you are tapping the boards or, if an independant consultant, not earning.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
You appear to forget those who have to travel on business. There are even those who have to travel up to three weeks in every month. It is not a question of 'family admin', it is a question of not being able to travel without a passport - full stop.

It can be possible to plan a month's business in such a way as to avoid travel while your passport is away for renewal, but any delay over that, and you are tapping the boards or, if an independant consultant, not earning.

But if you were in that position and a serious international business traveller you would have two passports to allow for visa applications. Plus as it is a business essential you would stump up the case for the premier service.
 

4(T)

LE
You appear to forget those who have to travel on business. There are even those who have to travel up to three weeks in every month. It is not a question of 'family admin', it is a question of not being able to travel without a passport - full stop.

It can be possible to plan a month's business in such a way as to avoid travel while your passport is away for renewal, but any delay over that, and you are tapping the boards or, if an independant consultant, not earning.


Get two passports?
 
Two passports were certainly common practice when I was doing large amounts of travel. Has there been any change?
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Nope you can apply for a second passport, you just need to send some formal notice of why (ie letter from employer or if a consultant some covering not with details of need).

Also you can get a fast track Premium service at £187. It has a four hour turn around provided all is in order and you get your shit in one sock.
 
But if you were in that position and a serious international business traveller you would have two passports to allow for visa applications. Plus as it is a business essential you would stump up the case for the premier service.
One of the problems with having two passports is that some countries note the fact that your last visa for their country was in a different passport with the same name which is still valid. This can lead to some serious bureaucratic problems in places. Bin there dun that eaten the f ucking pie and wear the t shirt
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
It's your own fault for going to shit holes of the world. Now if you had worked hard at school and joined the Navy you could have been EOD and a diver. thus able to work in far nicer parts of the world.

Only yourself to blame.
 

4(T)

LE
IIRC you can even have more than two passports.


It is a big problem, however, that nearly all countries have dismally failed to upgrade their passport processing and visa application systems to cope with modern trends in international travel and tourism. The EU Embassies are particularly bad at coping with the volume of visa applications, and its mostly down to the sheer incompetence of governments.

UK was a good example: building its Cool Britannia embassy in Moscow at huge expense to provide a friendly Blairite face to our new Russian buddies (hahahahahahaha....), and yet equipping it with a pathetically small visa section that could only cope with a small fraction of the new Russian travelling public. IIRC they've now had to outsource the whole process to a private company.

One of the (many) things that hack me off about UK's EU membership is that the Foreign office has seen this as a fantastic cost-cutting opportunity to draw down embassy and consulate facilities around the world. Now you often get the situation where a visa applicant has to send their passport to the embassy - who send it to a processing centre in another country. This practice not only takes a long time, but hacks off those foreign friendlies who were coming to UK on tourism or business.
 
Two passports were certainly common practice when I was doing large amounts of travel. Has there been any change?
I heard your other one was in the name of Betty Strange, and permitted you to travel dressed in your cabaret persona.
 
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