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-   -   Passport Delays (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/passport-delays-607794/)

Wooglin Dec 17th 2009 11:03 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by austin_d_powers (Post 8180763)
It has been 10 business days :sneaky: since my passport renewal application was delivered to the embassy in Washington. Would I be correct in assuming that absolutely nothing will happen with my application for weeks (emails, phone calls, credit card payments, etc). I have no travel plans and my passport runs out in April 2010. How long should I wait before being concerned?

For some people, a couple of weeks is all it took, but for many it has been/was much longer. Remember, it is not when it was delivered, but when the payment was taken, as that is when the data is entered into the system. Have they taken the payment yet? It is also the Christmas rush, and people with travel plans are apparently given a higher priority. Don't wait by your mailbox for a while.

welshwer Dec 18th 2009 12:21 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Brit In TN (Post 8180294)
PS... The Careline call cost me about $16usd. I used the number in the UK not the 900 number.

careline cost me $20 a time, i rang 3 times.

welshwer Dec 18th 2009 12:21 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
:thumbsup:

Originally Posted by Brit In TN (Post 8180285)
Great news here.
UPS delivered the passports about an hour ago.

To recap my experience:

1) Mid-Nov sent in for two passport renewals. Dec 18th travel date.

2) Heard nothing until Dec 10th when credit card was charged.

3) Dec 16th (08.30gmt/03.30est) Out of hopeless desperation called Careline. Was told that Dec 23rd was likely delivery date, but they would email passport office in Washington DC to see if anything could be done. I gave them my mobile number as a contact number.

4) Dec 16th (approx 14.00est) Passport office called my mobile, said they were about to print passports and would be shipping them overnight to me. Gave me a UPS tracking number.

5) Dec 17th (09.45est) UPS delivered passports to my door.

I am hugely relieved and grateful to the people at the passport office and at Careline. The initial processing may have dragged on a little but once I made them aware of my plight they were magnificent.
Big thumbs up to all involved :thumbsup:

Less than thirty hours from my call for help to receiving my passports. Excellent.
We leave tomorrow. :thumbup:

Okay, British Airways, your turn now. Follow that!

:thumbsup:

Wooglin Dec 18th 2009 12:25 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by welshwer (Post 8181779)
careline cost me $20 a time, i rang 3 times.


On average, my calls cost me 8 or 9 dollars each. The cheapest was 6, and the most expensive was 15. However, if you add the total cost of all the calls......$$$$$$.

austin_d_powers Dec 18th 2009 6:40 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Wooglin (Post 8181585)
For some people, a couple of weeks is all it took, but for many it has been/was much longer. Remember, it is not when it was delivered, but when the payment was taken, as that is when the data is entered into the system. Have they taken the payment yet? It is also the Christmas rush, and people with travel plans are apparently given a higher priority. Don't wait by your mailbox for a while.

Good news. I just checked my credit card online and found that they charged the payment yesterday. So at least I know the process has started.

Wooglin Dec 18th 2009 7:28 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by austin_d_powers (Post 8183714)
Good news. I just checked my credit card online and found that they charged the payment yesterday. So at least I know the process has started.

It is 10 working days from the payment being taken, but for most people here it has taken much longer. I wound not expect you to see anything until 2010.

jewels391234 Dec 19th 2009 1:24 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Wooglin (Post 8183809)
It is 10 working days from the payment being taken, but for most people here it has taken much longer. I wound not expect you to see anything until 2010.

Yeh my credit card was charged Oct 14th,2009 and I still dont have my passport (first time passport) so I wouldnt hold your breath

veryfunny Dec 19th 2009 2:49 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Another update

It is official Claire, is a miracle worker hands down. My passport arrived!:thumbup:

Originally applied in October.

Ticket bought to fly out on the 23rd, talk about cutting it close.


Originally Posted by veryfunny (Post 8173439)
Update,

I woke up around 4am this morning to make a call to Claire, and I did speak with her told her my full name, date of travel, birthplace, passport number and phone number. I told her that I sent off my forms in early October and her reply was that it was well over due, she would make some calls.

Two hours later, I got an email from the passport office telling me that they had debit my account and that they need more information.

Six hours later from original call to Claire, I got a phone call, asking me to confirm my details. The person on the other line told me to send in the information to the passport office and once they get them, they will process my passport.

I just got home from work, so I plan to find a 24 UPS or Fedex to post the documents requested.

I will keep you posted if all goes well.


jomou Dec 30th 2009 1:45 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Has anyone tried to call the Careline number over Christmas? I have been on hold for hours without ever getting through to a representative.

I complained via the e-mail address listed on the website and just got an automated response:

Thank you for your email.

Careline Services are unable to provide any information by email.


I called the general Careline number in the UK to ask if the passport department was even open and they confirmed that it was and that there was no backlog of calls. I told them that there was obviously a problem since I had been on hold for over an hour.

I think that it is completely unacceptable that it seems impossible to speak to anyone about a passport application made in the US during the holiday season:frown:

The reason for calling Careline is that a few days before Christmas they said that they could not see my son's passport application in the system, even though my credit card had been charged by the FCO a few days earlier. I just want to check the status of the application as we are returning to the UK permanently at the end of January with our newborn.

We received our son's US passport within 10 days, no hassles.

jomou Dec 30th 2009 3:42 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
I finally got through to Careline and it was a waste of time and money. They could not find record of the application on their system despite the credit card being charged on the 21st December.

What I find infuriating is that they say they can't help any further unless I have a flight booked. This is ridiculous given that the FCO state that you should not book travel until you have received the passport. It's very frustrating that you have to spend so long waiting to speak to someone that can't actually help anyway.

I think I entered mid January on the application form as my travel date so have a two week cushion until my job notice is served and I have to leave the country and start a new job in the UK. The current process seems to require you to play Russian roulette with your travel plans.

Wooglin Dec 30th 2009 8:37 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
What is worse is that most of the time, Careline will only pass on messages to the Passport Office. It's not like many people actually speak to a consular official. I had brief correspondence only through e-mail.

sykes Dec 30th 2009 8:43 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Hi all,

I sent in my passport on Dec 7th for a renewal. My CC was charged on the 21st.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, some business has just come up which forces me to travel to FL for work till about Jan 13th. Do you think my PP would be ready and delivered while I'm away? If this happens no one will be at home to sign for the PP. Should I call careline to have my PP sent to the address in FL where I will be working or ask them to delay mailing my PP until I return home?

thanks

Wooglin Jan 1st 2010 8:36 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
They may have an issue with you changing where the passport is being mailed. UPS actually delivered mine and left it with the landlord of my apartment building. Apparently no signature was required for my passport.

Jerseygirl Jan 2nd 2010 3:25 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Wooglin (Post 8207077)
What is worse is that most of the time, Careline will only pass on messages to the Passport Office. It's not like many people actually speak to a consular official. I had brief correspondence only through e-mail.

BE members are fortunate...they can contact Dean http://britishexpats.com/forum/member.php?u=93085

Originally Posted by sykes (Post 8207085)
Hi all,

I sent in my passport on Dec 7th for a renewal. My CC was charged on the 21st.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, some business has just come up which forces me to travel to FL for work till about Jan 13th. Do you think my PP would be ready and delivered while I'm away? If this happens no one will be at home to sign for the PP. Should I call careline to have my PP sent to the address in FL where I will be working or ask them to delay mailing my PP until I return home?

thanks

You could do that or call your nearest UPS and ask them to hold your deliveries until you return (I think that's the carrier but check previous posts in this thread).

sykes Jan 3rd 2010 10:52 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Jersey,

thanks, I have sent Dean a PM and will call UPS in the AM to see if they can either redirect or hold my deliveries.

geoffreybrooks Jan 4th 2010 3:13 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
There is an official site which may be visited by entering "UK Passport Office Complaints" into Yahoo Search.

If you have a complaint about the way your application was handled, this is the correct way to initiate an investigation with the details of the difficulties which you experienced and which may lead ultimately, if the complainant so wishes, to the Ombudsman.

If we do not complain to the central Passport Office, they will never realize that the Washington office is not functioning satisfactorily, and think all is well. It is the duty of everybody who has suffered through this passport application process in Washington to spare ten minutes to make his/her complaint through official channels.

Wintersong Jan 4th 2010 9:33 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Oh shit.

My passport expired in August. I plan to travel in March. I haven't submitted the application yet. NOW I read this thread...

British Consul Jan 5th 2010 1:08 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by geoffreybrooks (Post 8217536)
There is an official site which may be visited by entering "UK Passport Office Complaints" into Yahoo Search.

If you have a complaint about the way your application was handled, this is the correct way to initiate an investigation with the details of the difficulties which you experienced and which may lead ultimately, if the complainant so wishes, to the Ombudsman.

If we do not complain to the central Passport Office, they will never realize that the Washington office is not functioning satisfactorily, and think all is well. It is the duty of everybody who has suffered through this passport application process in Washington to spare ten minutes to make his/her complaint through official channels.

Geoffrey,

You're confusing the production of passports in the UK with the passports operation overseas. I've explained further up in the thread how it all works, but IPS run the operation in the UK and the FCO run it overseas. Two separate organisations. If you want to make a complaint about the Washington office, follow the complaints procedure at http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/our-off...akingcomplaint

Dean

Boodles Jan 5th 2010 6:16 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Hi there,

Just a shout out to the British Embassy in Washington, I received my passport today, it took 4 weeks...for a renewal application sent from Vancouver, BC. Canada. I thought, in the spirit of fair play, after so many complaints and negative comments I would like to say, job well done, considering it was over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

geoffreybrooks Jan 5th 2010 12:25 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Dear British Consul

Thank you for your kind advice.

My personal situation is that I made my passport application seven weeks ago today by courier from Argentina (Tuesday 17 November).

The official brochure published by the UK Embassy in Buenos Aires states that one may expect to receive the passport renewal, or the return of the rejected application, "in about three weeks" from mailing. This is the core of my particular protest, that this official publication contains a statement which the UK Embassy in Argentina and Washington knew to be false, or did not believe to be true. Thus it is a matter of bad faith on the part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The complaint to Washington which is, so it appears from what you say, my only recourse, is by airmail which will take seven days there, seven days for the reply and fourteen days for the investigation, a total of 28 more days before the possibility of any knowledge of the "problem" is communicated to me. It is indicative of the situation in Washington that it takes one week longer to reply to an enquiry about a stray passport application than it once did to simply renew the passport at the local embassy. And this is all part and parcel of Britain's contribution to the fight "against terror".

What surprises me is the ignorance and pitiful understanding of UK Embassy staff in Washington about what a passport is and does in the Americas. Clearly, all they understand is the need to "travel", i.e. travel to the UK or "long distance". Their training does not extend beyond this concept. They are unable to grasp that for tourists and other travellers with extended stays in the Americas, particularly virtually everywhere south of the United States, "travel" also means "crossing a frontier there and back to renew the previous entry stamp", which cannot be done without a passport, and, as is the case in Argentina for example, to change a cheque or otherwise receive money.

A passport is equally a means of identity for the interior of a country as for crossing frontiers. Note that if a passport renewal is not delivered within twelve weeks of mailing at the maximum, then the passport holder is not only illegally overstaying in the country in which he/she is marooned, but will have to pay a fine for overstaying when attempting to leave and also has meanwhile no acceptable receipt for the absent passport.

"But gentlemen," I hear you say, "these are but minor matters in the great struggle to the death in which Britain is currently engaged "Against The Terrorist"!

meauxna Jan 5th 2010 4:18 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
geoffreybrooks: I offered you this thread for actualy help getting your passport tracked down, not for some off topic rant about border runs and a political statement. Please stay on the topic and read the thread to see if you can get some help in solving the passport problem.
The world's problems will have to be discussed elsewhere.

jewels391234 Jan 6th 2010 5:28 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Boodles (Post 8219295)
Hi there,

Just a shout out to the British Embassy in Washington, I received my passport today, it took 4 weeks...for a renewal application sent from Vancouver, BC. Canada. I thought, in the spirit of fair play, after so many complaints and negative comments I would like to say, job well done, considering it was over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Wish I got mine that fast and I live closer to Washington then you. Its been 14 weeks for me and nothing. I cant understand why some have got their passport and some and put on the back burner. What if one of my family dies and I have to go back to England. Just because you havent booked travel shouldnt hinder the process.
I am happy for you that you got your passport so fast. Just I think the fustration of all of us is the random way in which they process applications:(

geoffreybrooks Jan 6th 2010 11:53 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Meauxna

There is no way to "track it down". See previous posting. Fourteen weeks!

Wooglin Jan 6th 2010 12:23 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Call Careline and ask them to escalate your application. I did this twice. Careline also sent a message for someone to contact me from the Passport Office, and they did. There are ways to track the application down, but it takes a bit of persistence.

meauxna Jan 6th 2010 4:44 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by geoffreybrooks (Post 8222818)
Meauxna

There is no way to "track it down". See previous posting. Fourteen weeks!

You clearly can't be bother to "see entire thread" as recommended to you before. Must be more fun to be right than have a solution. :)

geoffreybrooks Jan 6th 2010 5:49 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Meauxne

If you enter my name in Wikipedia, you will see the genre of research in which I have specialized in my career, particularly during the validity of my expiring passport.

Because of a serious incident with a "friendly Secret Service" involving the last-mentioned book, in which I had to delete two chapters or die, and the intervention of the British authorities to prevent publication of a similar manuscript in September this year based on even better evidence, it is my attorney's opinion that the problem for national security is a fact I know from more than 65 years ago, and which may have a bearing on the present terrorist climate.

The passport delay in my case will probably be directly linked to the foregoing, since this is my first passport renewal (1999-2009) since it all began. On attorney's advice at this stage I have to make an almost immediate decision. Though I am grateful to those who suggested lines I should follow, regrettably Careline, or a four week wait for Washington to reply, fall outside the time frame, and thus the decision makes itself.

Elvira Jan 6th 2010 6:04 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by meauxna (Post 8220362)
geoffreybrooks: I offered you this thread for actualy help getting your passport tracked down, not for some off topic rant about border runs and a political statement. Please stay on the topic and read the thread to see if you can get some help in solving the passport problem.
The world's problems will have to be discussed elsewhere.

WTF ???

"some off topic rant about border runs and a political statement" - you are way out of order!!

The poster made a very legitimate complaint about how an expats' life in South America is jeopardised due to the inefficiency of the UK passport service for expats served by the embassy in the US.

Having to wait more than 3 months for a passport renewal is unacceptable, whichever way you look at it.

geoffreybrooks Jan 7th 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
My mother, 89, who had been ill for some time, passed away yesterday afternoon. My wife here in Argentina pointed out ruefully that if I wanted to travel to England for the funeral I could not do so since I have no passport, and I also have no money for the flight, since I have no passport to change my pension cheques.

It is not quite correct to say I cannot go to England: the local Embassy in Buenos Aires "will be able to arrange an emergency passport for you" the brochure says. This is a travel document and not an identity document. Once in Britain there is no guarantee that I would ever be able to leave without having the current passport under consideration in Washington in my physical possession.

Armed with knowledge for my earlier careers in Britain in law enforcement, I have a theory about the delays. I do hope this theory will not be misinterpreted as a political statement, which it is not meant to be.

What was the purpose of moving the UK passport issuing process in the Americas to Washington DC? It was not "to improve customer service" but to coordinate the anti-terror organisations of Britain and the United States. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office wants to know what British people are in the Americas, and whether they present a risk to the United States while there.

It seems to me highly likely that when the passport renewal application arrives at the British Embassy, it goes immediately to the US/UK intelligence centre, wherever that happens to be in Washington. The UK Special Branch list will be consulted for the applicant's name. If the name appears, the file will be sent for or raised and the person investigated. Depending on the problem, the investigation might last a day or months.

There may be a Special Branch file with your name on it because of some minor event earlier in your life: you signed a petition, you appeared on a demonstration, you wrote complaining to a newspaper, your outspoken views on this or that subject were heard and reported, or in my own case as an author, a clandestine Waffen-SS archive in Czechoslovakia sent me some unsolicited papers to include in a book and this I attempted to do with the result that a mountain was made out of a molehill. Or you may be within a genuinely undesirable circle.

If your name does not appear, or once the security investigation terminates, your application will enter the production stream, the credit card will be debited and you can expect to receive the passport renewal within a few weeks. This explains the point made earlier in the thread that this debiting process indicates when a start is made to process the application.

This seems to me to be the most likely explanation for the unwarranted delays, but if I have it twisted, or somebody has a better idea I should be glad to read it.

Elvira Jan 7th 2010 3:30 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by geoffreybrooks (Post 8226266)
My mother, 89, who had been ill for some time, passed away yesterday afternoon.

Very sorry for your loss.

geoffreybrooks Jan 7th 2010 3:46 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Dear Elvira
Thank you for your kind message of sympathy. Geoffrey Brooks

sykes Jan 12th 2010 2:42 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by sykes (Post 8207085)
Hi all,

I sent in my passport on Dec 7th for a renewal. My CC was charged on the 21st.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, some business has just come up which forces me to travel to FL for work till about Jan 13th. Do you think my PP would be ready and delivered while I'm away? If this happens no one will be at home to sign for the PP. Should I call careline to have my PP sent to the address in FL where I will be working or ask them to delay mailing my PP until I return home?

thanks

just an update for everyone.

I am still in FL working. Today I received a call from UPS informing me that I had a nextday sig required package being delivered. I am returning home tomorrow and will be available for the third delivery attempt on Thursday. I did have the options to either delay delivery or change the delivery address both for a charge of $6.00. Fortunately I don't need to use either.

On the positive side I'm happy the PP office gave UPS my number so they could call me. Also the turn around time for my PP was around 5 weeks, not bad considering it was over Christmas.

Archibald_Leach Jan 12th 2010 4:22 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
My experience

Sent off old passport + money order 11th December
Contacted Dean end of last week as I wanted to travel end of Jan
UPS delivered my new one this morning.

Huge thanks to Dean, exactly a month from start to finish, take a week out for xmas and new year. Time to start looking at flights! :thumbsup:

riggbeck Jan 22nd 2010 12:57 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and tearing my hair out with Careline. I have the passport renewal ready to go except for a simple question about the passport photos. But Careline's number, 208-082-4721 (per the Passport website) just goes to this message, "Inactive laser voice mail account." Putting a 1 before the number doesn't help. Oh, I live in Seattle, if that makes a difference.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Calling the Embassy in DC is no use because you can't speak to a real person.

Any thoughts? And thanks in advance.

Sharron_ Jan 22nd 2010 2:22 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by riggbeck (Post 8271288)
Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and tearing my hair out with Careline. I have the passport renewal ready to go except for a simple question about the passport photos. But Careline's number, 208-082-4721 (per the Passport website) just goes to this message, "Inactive laser voice mail account." Putting a 1 before the number doesn't help. Oh, I live in Seattle, if that makes a difference.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Calling the Embassy in DC is no use because you can't speak to a real person.

Any thoughts? And thanks in advance.

What's the question about the photo's. Someone here will probably be able to answer that for you.

Wooglin Jan 22nd 2010 2:37 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by riggbeck (Post 8271288)
Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and tearing my hair out with Careline. I have the passport renewal ready to go except for a simple question about the passport photos. But Careline's number, 208-082-4721 (per the Passport website) just goes to this message, "Inactive laser voice mail account." Putting a 1 before the number doesn't help. Oh, I live in Seattle, if that makes a difference.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Calling the Embassy in DC is no use because you can't speak to a real person.

Any thoughts? And thanks in advance.

Not to insult your intelligence, but are you dialing all the international numbers? 011 44 208 082 4721
I would try the number for Canadians as well. It couldn't hurt:

011 44 208 082 4722

Good Luck!!

riggbeck Jan 22nd 2010 2:48 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Thanks Sharron,

It's about the photo size, 45mm x 35mm, or 1.77" x 1.38", with 65% - 75% of it a head shot.

I got a couple of American size passport photos (2 & 1/8" square). If cut down to the requisite UK size, they probably would give a 65% - 75% head shot. But are they expecting me to do that, or would they do it as a matter of course?

I'm stressing so much about this because I travel on March 1, or a few days later, and I can't afford any delays.

Seems to me it wasn't such a pain in the arse 10 years ago (pardon my French).

So, if anyone knows the answer to this riddle, please let me know.

Bob Jan 22nd 2010 3:00 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by riggbeck (Post 8271489)
Thanks Sharron,

It's about the photo size, 45mm x 35mm, or 1.77" x 1.38", with 65% - 75% of it a head shot.

I got a couple of American size passport photos (2 & 1/8" square). If cut down to the requisite UK size, they probably would give a 65% - 75% head shot. But are they expecting me to do that, or would they do it as a matter of course?

I'm stressing so much about this because I travel on March 1, or a few days later, and I can't afford any delays.

Seems to me it wasn't such a pain in the arse 10 years ago (pardon my French).

So, if anyone knows the answer to this riddle, please let me know.

you don't cut the US photo's down, just send them in and they'll cut them themselves, you'll be fine.

It's been mentioned lots already in the thread....welcome to BE though :)

riggbeck Jan 22nd 2010 3:01 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Wooglin,

Idiot! Slaps his forehead. You're right. It never occurred to me that a helpline for people living in America would actually require an international call.

Thanks, panic over.

Now I'm on this forum I'll stay and have a look round.

Jerseygirl Jan 22nd 2010 3:03 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by riggbeck (Post 8271515)
Wooglin,

Idiot! Slaps his forehead. You're right. It never occurred to me that a helpline for people living in America would actually require an international call.

Thanks, panic over.

Now I'm on this forum I'll stay and have a look round.

Please do. :)

Welcome to BE.

Take a look around...hopefully you will decide to stick around and become a member of our little online community.

Sharron_ Jan 22nd 2010 5:50 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 8271512)
you don't cut the US photo's down, just send them in and they'll cut them themselves, you'll be fine.

It's been mentioned lots already in the thread....welcome to BE though :)

Yes Bob is right.

I actually sent my sons British passport off this past summer for renewal. I got six US Size Passport photos. (DON'T Trim them)...they do it at the passport office. My son's were also on a white background with one of them countersigned.

We had no problem's at all.

We shall be renewing my daughter's British Passport in a few weeks and intend to do the same.

Hope that helps.


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