British Expats

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

sselbie Jun 29th 2011 8:59 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
So, I'm here to join the club!

I sent my passport in MAY 16TH

Money Taken JUNE 20th

I wrote to the Embassy and the Consulate in Atlanta.....called the Careline and blah blah blah!

I have to fly to work every week and thus I am now not working!....Money is running out and I am terrified!

In retrospect I could of flown to the UK and got a passport quicker but well that's in retrospect huh and was not the option for me at the time,,,

I am now asking the Consulate for an ETD and a nice chap is at least e-mailing me back and forth...However considering I need to fly every week I am not sure how this will all work out and loosing my job is becoming too close for comfort....

IF you have anyway to get to the UK for a new passport DO IT!...I am in huge regret for not paying the airfare and because of that my life is suffering....

I'm so sad for us all...

sachminu Jun 29th 2011 9:14 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by sselbie (Post 9465604)
So, I'm here to join the club!

I sent my passport in MAY 16TH

Money Taken JUNE 20th

I wrote to the Embassy and the Consulate in Atlanta.....called the Careline and blah blah blah!

I have to fly to work every week and thus I am now not working!....Money is running out and I am terrified!

In retrospect I could of flown to the UK and got a passport quicker but well that's in retrospect huh and was not the option for me at the time,,,

I am now asking the Consulate for an ETD and a nice chap is at least e-mailing me back and forth...However considering I need to fly every week I am not sure how this will all work out and loosing my job is becoming too close for comfort....

IF you have anyway to get to the UK for a new passport DO IT!...I am in huge regret for not paying the airfare and because of that my life is suffering....

I'm so sad for us all...

You seem to be in a terrible situation...not to rub salt on your wounds of course. But I really do hope things work out for you...especially in this economy. I hope your company realizes this is not your fault.

sachminu Jun 29th 2011 9:18 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
I am wondering if you call Careline and ask them to return your application and passport, whether they would be ready to do that. I mean you could just get it done somewhere else if you have the option. But of course you would need at least a 6 month valid passport to travel anyway...so not sure how that would work.
Maybe passport could be mailed to relatives and have them get it done at another processing center in another country and have them mail it back.

sselbie Jun 29th 2011 11:11 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
I'm afraid it would take just as long at this point but thanks for the the thought and response, xox

Boguespierre Jun 29th 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
So....

Tried phoning the Boston Consulate, to check the procedure for getting an ETD if it turns out to be necessary (we SHOULD be OK, 4 weeks since CC charged and 8 weeks left until travel, but feeling nervous!).

Went through the phone system, and ended up leaving a message with my call-back number.

Within an hour or so got a call from Jackie at the Boston Consulate, who is the person who apparently handles ALL consular issues there. Very patient and helpful.

Apparently an ETD will NOT work for my son if he wants to stay in France as a student for an extended period. Makes sense really, as it is a TRAVEL document, not likely to be recognized for residence purposes.

Jackie advised me to call Careline (yes, I know...:thumbdown:) to get a reference number. With that number, she said I can call her back on her direct number and she can take action to expedite.

Question: Is there a best time of day or night to call Careline? As they run 24hr I am thinking that 4AM UK time might be quieter, but that doesn't help if there's only one person running the graveyard shift!

Just realized that this thread was also in a similar (though lesser) frenzy this time last year, which evaporated between September and March. Makes it even less acceptable that the website doesn't have a big black banner saying "WARNING! APPLICATIONS AFTER MARCH WILL TAKE AN ETERNITY..."

pTeronaut Jun 30th 2011 12:08 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Many posts here have said that calling around 6pm eastern has resulted in the shortest waiting times for them.

SuzyPhillips Jun 30th 2011 12:39 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
I got through at about 9am pacific time after literally hundreds of attempts. The woman was not much help though- although I did at least get my reference number which I suppose is useful. She just said that it could be up to 10 weeks from the date of processing which is about a week and a half too late for me and my family :(

Boguespierre Jun 30th 2011 12:54 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
So (2)...

Got through to Careline without any trouble. Used my home phone, as I had seen people had trouble entering CC number through VOIP etc (UK calls only cost me about 8c a minute, so what the hey).

Apparently efficient Scottish lady needed my 19 year old son to give his verbal OK for me to speak for him (he is handsome and gifted, but has the attention span of a caffeinated fruit-fly...).

She said that Boston Jackie was incorrect to say that she could do anything to expedite matters, but agreed she could give me a case number once she had recorded all the pertinent details - name, address, date and place of birth, date of travel, delivery record. She said there was nothing in her records, even though payment was taken on May 31st. She said that if there was no problem with the application it should be processed within the next few days. If there WERE a problem, I would be contacted by phone and/or e-mail within 3 working days. She didn't seem to need to know the date of payment, but agreed to put a note on the case file. Then she gave me the case number. Whole process about 12 minutes. 10 quid?

Reading from the thread above, I am probably hopelessly naive to believe that this process will help speed things up. But fingers crossed. And, anyway, I shall give helpful Jackie a ring tomorrow and see what transpires.

Of course, if it's going to be 10 weeks from processing and processing has not yet taken place some 9 weeks after they received the application and 4 weeks after taking my $233, we remain screwed...

penguinbar Jun 30th 2011 4:59 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by AmerLisa (Post 9464940)
Yaaaay!! :thumbsup:

Thanks!

penguinbar Jun 30th 2011 5:04 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Boguespierre (Post 9465913)
So....

Tried phoning the Boston Consulate, to check the procedure for getting an ETD if it turns out to be necessary (we SHOULD be OK, 4 weeks since CC charged and 8 weeks left until travel, but feeling nervous!).

Went through the phone system, and ended up leaving a message with my call-back number.

Within an hour or so got a call from Jackie at the Boston Consulate, who is the person who apparently handles ALL consular issues there. Very patient and helpful.

Apparently an ETD will NOT work for my son if he wants to stay in France as a student for an extended period. Makes sense really, as it is a TRAVEL document, not likely to be recognized for residence purposes.

Jackie advised me to call Careline (yes, I know...:thumbdown:) to get a reference number. With that number, she said I can call her back on her direct number and she can take action to expedite.

Question: Is there a best time of day or night to call Careline? As they run 24hr I am thinking that 4AM UK time might be quieter, but that doesn't help if there's only one person running the graveyard shift!

Just realized that this thread was also in a similar (though lesser) frenzy this time last year, which evaporated between September and March. Makes it even less acceptable that the website doesn't have a big black banner saying "WARNING! APPLICATIONS AFTER MARCH WILL TAKE AN ETERNITY..."

We applied in March. I wonder if there is anyone who applied January or February and how long it took for them? 14 weeks from when they recieved and almost 11 till we received my husbands passport is unbelievable. They really need to get their act together. We received the receipt back in the package stating that my credit card was charged on April 14th. His passport was dated June 28th and we received it June 29th.

sdixon Jun 30th 2011 6:21 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Hi, I read somewhere in this thread, about applications sent in January, the good news is I sent off for my sons in January it took 3 weeks. BUT had to send off my daughters 10 days ago, but what I have been reading here does using a credit card make a difference in processing times?? I always send a cashiers cheque and have never had a problem with delays, but during this alert now I am in a panic, we are moving back home after being in the states for 11 yrs with the military, We are due to leave 12th August, fingers crossed, stressful for everyone who is trying to get home!

LP9 Jun 30th 2011 6:23 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by sdixon (Post 9466273)
Hi, I read somewhere in this thread, about applications sent in January, the good news is I sent off for my sons in January it took 3 weeks. BUT had to send off my daughters 10 days ago, but what I have been reading here does using a credit card make a difference in processing times?? I always send a cashiers cheque and have never had a problem with delays, but during this alert now I am in a panic, we are moving back home after being in the states for 11 yrs with the military, We are due to leave 12th August, fingers crossed, stressful for everyone who is trying to get home!

Not a snowballs chance.....call your local consulate.

Simosa88 Jun 30th 2011 7:27 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
OK, here we go...

Fortunately, I got my passport today, one day before travel date. Application arrived on May 2nd, cc charged June 5th - so that is just under 8 weeks to get a lost passport replaced. I consider myself extremely lucky, having read some horror stories on here and my sympathy goes out to everyone who is biting their nails off.

This is what I believe will give you the best chance of getting your passport back in time.

1. Write a letter to Washington passport centre explaining your situation and how desperate you are.

2. Call careline every few days (depending on how desperate you are). The key here is speaking to the right people and calling at the right time. I don't know why different employees are able to expedite/put a rush on your application and others are not. It is pretty ridiculous and unprofessional.
Example - One woman told me there was 'no chance' of getting my passport back in time, 'No rush could be put on it until atleast 6 weeks after payment' and 'there was nothing she could do because I was on their system' and this was 2 weeks ago. Then, this guy Peter I got the 2 days after that was the complete opposite saying ' you are still not on the system but I am going to get this sorted for you sir, I will escalate to washington right away'.

That is just one example. Even before 2 weeks ago, I spoke to Peter a few times and he has always kept me calm and said he would help but the woman always seems to say 'sorry sir no chance'

Honestly, if you get Peter, Ian or Scott you are sorted - they are amazing and I wish I could send them some greygoose. If it is a scottish woman, hang up the phone straight away.

3. If you have NOT sent off you passport application, then DO NOT DO IT. Send it to someone in the UK and they can get it back within 1 week for you. There is nothing that says you can't get a third party to get it for you and even if it was against the rules, how could they prove this?

GOOD LUCK PEOPLE.

brax Jun 30th 2011 8:12 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Simosa88 (Post 9466328)
OK, here we go...

Fortunately, I got my passport today, one day before travel date. Application arrived on May 2nd, cc charged June 5th - so that is just under 8 weeks to get a lost passport replaced. I consider myself extremely lucky...

...The key here is speaking to the right people and calling at the right time...

Good for you. Your dates are precisely one day earlier than ours but we included some first time applications with a renewal - I'm not expecting the passport tomorrow (Thursday).

I too have noticed variability in the responses provided by Careline. My first call seemed helpful but I was stumped by the data protection act. When I called again and conferenced in my wife to give permission we got a brick wall. Next time it was back to helpful again.

I've done some Googling and I've found this on the Careline website. I think they overstate their role.

"Every year around 350,000 UK citizens living outside of the UK
apply for new or replacement passports. The information and
application forms they need are available to them online to
download at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) web
site. However, when they need help to complete those forms, have
questions about the process, or simply want an update on how
their application is progressing, they call Careline. From its Selkirk
contact centre the company provides a twenty four hour help line
that makes sure travel hungry citizens in more than 50 countries
get the passports they need – when they need them."

brax Jun 30th 2011 8:41 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
This is priceless

http://www.careline-services.co.uk/d...ine_cs_fco.pdf

Quote: ...“When a citizen applies for a passport – wherever they reside – they have every right to expect a straightforward process and a high quality service,”... we rely upon Careline to deliver exceptional service and, at the same time, to gather intelligence that will help us to understand the impact of our processes on the applicant and whether the changes we’re bringing about are truly making things better for them, perhaps not in terms of speed of service, but in terms of clarity and consistency.”


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