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Home Office's Warning As Passport Delay Could See Brits Miss Holiday

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Home Office's Warning As Passport Delay Could See Brits Miss Holiday

Millions of Brits could find their holiday plans scuppered this summer due to huge backlogs at the Passport Office - with a 10-week average wait.

Difficulties have arisen for many holidaymakers due to new post-Brexit rules. Brits are no longer able to travel to the EU on passports close to their expiry dates.

Under Schengen area rules, your passport must be less than 10 years old on the day you travel, and valid for at least three months after you plan to leave.

Check your passport before booking to avoid disappointment (Credit: Alamy)
Check your passport before booking to avoid disappointment (Credit: Alamy)
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The three month rule does not apply, however, if you are travelling to Ireland.

These rules do apply to travel to some non-EU countries too, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City.

Home Office minister Kevin Foster has warned people hoping to travel abroad this summer should apply to renew outdated passports "as soon as possible". He also told MPs the Government had no intention of letting the current 10-week processing time worsen any further.

The passport office is currently facing a chaotic backlog (Credit: Alamy)
The passport office is currently facing a chaotic backlog (Credit: Alamy)
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Responding to questions raised by MPs, Foster said: "We dealt with a million passport applications last month alone. To put that into context, we usually deal with seven million in a whole year."

"I would point out that where people have compelling and compassionate circumstances such as a funeral, applications can be expedited and it has now been for some time we have been advising to allow for up to 10 weeks for an application to be processed, and last year sent 4.7 million texts reminding people whose passports have expired to renew them."

Holidaymakers are finding themselves being turned away at the airport due to these rules (Credit: Alamy)
Holidaymakers are finding themselves being turned away at the airport due to these rules (Credit: Alamy)

"We don't have any intention to further extend [the ten week wait]." He continued.

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"We are at the moment processing most passports well within it, but we would advise people this is a very, virtually unprecedented surge in demand, and if people are planning to travel this summer we would advise them to get their application in as soon as possible."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, Travel

Isobel Pankhurst
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