New measure to help British expats avoid passports chaos

Britons can apply to local embassy for one-year renewal at no extra cost.

British expatriates looking to renew their passports can avoid getting caught up in the current passport chaos by applying for a 12-month extension at no extra cost.

Rather than applying for the standard 10-year passport, and face considerable delays, overseas British passport applicants are advised to apply for a one-year extension through their local British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission for free.

The British Passport office also advise that if you’re the parent or guardian of a child living overseas that needs to travel urgently, you can apply for an emergency travel document for your child instead of a new or renewed passport.

Passport applications in the UK have been delayed by a backlog of 500,000 applications, caused by a 12-year high in passport applications.

"Her Majesty's Passport Office took over the processing of all passport applications from British Nationals across the globe in March 2014,” a HM Passport Office spokesperson said in a statement to Arabian Business last week.

Overseas applications face an even longer delay and they are now subject to further security checks “to align with our processes for domestic applications”.

“We will not issue a passport until all checks have been satisfactorily completed,” the spokesperson said.

The Passport Agency is currently dealing with about 465,000 renewals and first-time passport requests, and it is sending out around 150,000 passports a week. With passport applications reaching a 12-year high, 250 extra staff have been deployed to help clear the backlog.

While reports in the UK claim tens of thousands of British holidaymakers are being forced to delay or cancel their holidays as a result of the delays, expats based in the Gulf are unable to travel back to the UK and have been faced with excessive delays, especially those with newborn children applying for their first passports.

Click here for more information.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: chalky6766

Great stuff, great to see the UK Govt recognizing their overseas citizens situation and acting accordingly. Wishing all of my fellow British Expats happy holidays!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Sailing home: Barr Al Jissah creating luxury living in Oman

Sailing home: Barr Al Jissah creating luxury living in Oman

On a stunning tip of Oman’s almost-secluded coastline, local...

Arabian Travel Market: Diversification drives tourism investment

Arabian Travel Market: Diversification drives tourism investment

ATM in Dubai will show the changing face of the industry as entertainment...

Checking in to Africa's hospitality revolution

Checking in to Africa's hospitality revolution

With the African population soaring by 30 million people a year...

Most Discussed