Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, has called upon the Government to step in immediately to stop the rising waiting times for passport applications.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office has warned that applicants for new passports should “be prepared” for significant delays to applications in the coming months.
The impact of the pandemic saw over five million people delaying their renewal of passports between 2020 and 2021. With travel returning back to normal, applications for new passports for travellers are now reaching record highs.
Speaking on the impact of these delays, Thewliss described how difficult it has been for Glasgow Central constituents to receive their passports after applying for them.
Alison Thewliss said:
“Glasgow Central constituents have been contacting me to express their concerns over lengthy delays from the Passport Office – despite applications going in months ago.
“With a huge backlog of applications to deal with after the pandemic, I completely appreciate how difficult it must be for the workers in these offices to process the requests in a timely manner. I am hopeful that the UK Government will acknowledge the pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country and employ more people to deal with the backlog of cases.
“I am deeply concerned, however, by accounts from my constituents of being let down and lied to about their applications during a time of stress and uncertainty for them. One constituent in particular, Scott came to me with a list of false information he was given in relation to his passport application.
“This ranged from being told people could go to collect their passport, which he said was not possible, to being told he would only need to wait 10 weeks to receive his passport, despite eventually waiting 12 weeks to receive it.
“It is clear that there is immense pressure being put on Passport Offices across the country, but it remains completely unacceptable that my constituents are being given a false sense of hope during a time where they will no doubt be extremely nervous about being able to receive their passport in time.
“The Government must ensure that the information being provided by Passport Offices is honest and accurate.”