British Expats

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

JayBowyer May 19th 2009 2:06 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by JayBowyer (Post 7578239)
Excellent news TF! That's wonderful! Hopefully ours should come as well then. I wonder what the heck they even mean by "technical difficulties"?

By the way, my Mum did write to Gordon Brown, and she says if he doesn't help her, she's going to write to the Queen. God Love her. I do - she's so awesome :D She's going to bat in ye Olde England for us all :D Gotta feel like you're doing something, don't you? :)

Alright - here is an update from me :)

Dean and I have been in contact, and he informed me today that my passport was due for completion next week. I checked this evening and found the Embassy had taken my money out, so that is good news indeed.

Dean is awesome. Just wanted to put that one out there. Go Dean! Dean rocks! :D

Catgirl May 19th 2009 3:02 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by JayBowyer (Post 7583661)
Alright - here is an update from me :)

Dean and I have been in contact, and he informed me today that my passport was due for completion next week. I checked this evening and found the Embassy had taken my money out, so that is good news indeed.

Dean is awesome. Just wanted to put that one out there. Go Dean! Dean rocks! :D


Good news here too. I just got a message from Dean saying that my daughter's passport is ready. He really rocks! Thank you!
:thumbsup:

Deedee13 May 19th 2009 3:25 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Catgirl (Post 7585577)
Good news here too. I just got a message from Dean saying that my daughter's passport is ready. He really rocks! Thank you!
:thumbsup:

poor Dean. He is definately being made to work for his money at the moment. He will be applying for a name change to get some peace and quiet..

JayBowyer May 19th 2009 6:45 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Deedee13 (Post 7585657)
poor Dean. He is definately being made to work for his money at the moment. He will be applying for a name change to get some peace and quiet..

Well I think he's ever so nice, because it really isn't his job to be doing all of this for us - it's the Washington people's! He's doing this off his own back because he wants to help worried people, and I genuinely think it's just awesome of him.

Must go and get some kind of fruit juice now. I am suffering rather badly from morning sickness today...yay!

harvard_rob May 21st 2009 12:07 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Does anyone have more recent estimates of how long it takes to get the passport renewal back? I sent mine in April when the estimate was still 10 days, heard nothing from Abtran - and I have a series of flights booked starting next week for two months of back-to-back conference travel. I just saw on the website that it is now taking 6 weeks and now I'm starting to panic.

LAS May 22nd 2009 10:09 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
I am in similar pain of waiting for a passport - spending hours now trying to contact the embassy. I have plane tickets for travel 6.5 weeks after UPS said they received my application.
The nugget of information I did get for the chunk of money abtran took from me is that they will no longer be providing the service as of 29 May. Asked them who it would be, they would not tell me and that I had to check the website on that day for details.

1234qwer May 22nd 2009 10:53 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Catgirl (Post 7569585)
OMG! Thanks TonyD
This is ridiculous. At the time we applied their website said 10 working days so we were crazy enough to go buy tickets x4 to London followed by another trip to visit family.

We also had tickets for london, my passport came a week after everyone else left, so l had to buy an extra oneway ticket that cost more than my original return. l also missed our sons birthday party that l had been aranging with the rest of the family for months, the worst part was he was only in london for one day after l arrived, then he had to go back to Japan, we are so mad that our complaints to the embasy are continuing now we are back .:frown:

Deedee13 May 22nd 2009 11:48 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
ok so what actaully is going on?? anyone have any idea wotsoever?

Reading all these posts about passport delays has everyones ran out as of april 2009. Seems everyone and their dog are applying just lately.

So Abtran are not so who is???

JayBowyer May 22nd 2009 12:50 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by LAS (Post 7594883)
I am in similar pain of waiting for a passport - spending hours now trying to contact the embassy. I have plane tickets for travel 6.5 weeks after UPS said they received my application.
The nugget of information I did get for the chunk of money abtran took from me is that they will no longer be providing the service as of 29 May. Asked them who it would be, they would not tell me and that I had to check the website on that day for details.

Oh that's good news about Abtran! I feircely complained about them in my letters to the Embassy - told them it was disgusting that we shoul be charged such incredible rates to talk to someone when the US Immigration service don't charge anything for foreign nationals to call their helpline!

As for me, after my fuss last week, my pasport arrived yesterday :) Looks nice!

Good luck everyone :) I hope you get yours soon as well! I am writing a thank you to Dean!

LAS May 22nd 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by JayBowyer (Post 7595283)
Oh that's good news about Abtran! I feircely complained about them in my letters to the Embassy - told them it was disgusting that we shoul be charged such incredible rates to talk to someone when the US Immigration service don't charge anything for foreign nationals to call their helpline!

As for me, after my fuss last week, my pasport arrived yesterday :) Looks nice!

Good luck everyone :) I hope you get yours soon as well! I am writing a thank you to Dean!

Worrying about this, I spent most of last night reading all sorts of forums on regarding this topic, I could not find Dean's info (might be sleep deprivation, I cannot shut this out of my mind) - but would really like to contact him to see if he can help me too. Could you forward this info to me? Thank you and safe travels!

JayBowyer May 22nd 2009 2:04 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by LAS (Post 7595489)
Worrying about this, I spent most of last night reading all sorts of forums on regarding this topic, I could not find Dean's info (might be sleep deprivation, I cannot shut this out of my mind) - but would really like to contact him to see if he can help me too. Could you forward this info to me? Thank you and safe travels!

He is the member in this forum called "British Consul" :)

British Consul May 23rd 2009 1:35 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Deedee13 (Post 7595134)
ok so what actaully is going on?? anyone have any idea wotsoever?

Reading all these posts about passport delays has everyones ran out as of april 2009. Seems everyone and their dog are applying just lately.

So Abtran are not so who is???

We're just going through some changes at the moment and we've had a couple of issues with old IT interfacing with new IT. All British passport production in North and South America is being centralised at the Passport Production Centre in Washington, hence the large backlog.

The Passport Centre staff are prioritising applications, so all those travelling soon will receive their passports before the travel date. If you're travelling in 6 weeks I wouldn't worry too much just yet if you haven't received your passport. But if you're travelling in the next few days then either contact your local British Consulate or send me a PM and we'll try and provide you with a status update.

Abtran will be replaced by Careline on 1 June. I'll post more on that next week.

Dean

TonyD May 23rd 2009 3:49 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
I have requested a refund from Abtran for the totally false & grossly misleading information they supplied me.
Let's hope the replacement is better.
Thanks for your great rescue work Dean !

LAS May 23rd 2009 7:16 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by British Consul (Post 7596835)
We're just going through some changes at the moment and we've had a couple of issues with old IT interfacing with new IT. All British passport production in North and South America is being centralised at the Passport Production Centre in Washington, hence the large backlog.

The Passport Centre staff are prioritising applications, so all those travelling soon will receive their passports before the travel date. If you're travelling in 6 weeks I wouldn't worry too much just yet if you haven't received your passport. But if you're travelling in the next few days then either contact your local British Consulate or send me a PM and we'll try and provide you with a status update.

Abtran will be replaced by Careline on 1 June. I'll post more on that next week.

Dean

Dean, Thank you for the update and advice. It has been very helpful and I am starting to feel like my trip will be possible.
Abtran were just awful when I explained my travel situation and just said that there was nothing they could do and there was no way for them to guarantee when I would get my passport back in time. At this point (3 weeks into my application), I have ~4 weeks before travel (departing 19th June). However, I do need to get a visa, paying expedite fees this should take 4 days. Annoyingly the visa requirement is the reason for the renewal, my passport has not expired I just don't have any blank pages left, which I realised starting the visa application process. This brings me to another point in my discussion with Abtran, could I have my passport back and I would fly to the UK and do expedited processing there and wait until it was issued. Their answer to this was I could try but they had probably already cut the corners off my passport and so had probably already invalidated it, but they could not know that for sure and I would find out when it arrived.

Sorry, I did not intend this post to be another rant about Abtran (but figured it is good information for you to have). I will give my application another ~2 weeks to see if it arrives through the normal process and then do as you suggest if my passport has not arrived by then.

yesserc May 26th 2009 4:13 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Just realized that my passport expires in a week. I have tickets to go to the U.K. on June 27th. Do I have any chance of getting my renewel in time? Any help or advise would be greatly apreciated.

henryh May 26th 2009 4:22 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
UK will let you in anyway, then you can renew it there cheaper. Whether the airline will let you board is a different question.

mainscow May 27th 2009 10:27 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Urgh. This doesn't make me happy. I sent my stuff in the first week in March, and I was told 10 days. They took my money about a week or so later. Still no passport. It will be June next week. I've spent $60 calling Abtran who promised me the Embassy would call but never did. $30 of the $60 was spent listening to Waterloo Sunset while I waited for someone to answer the phone. Disgusting.

And I'm still waiting. I'm going to go into the Consul in Boston later this week. Reading on here, it seems to have got things moving along.

LAS May 28th 2009 1:00 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by TonyD (Post 7598048)
I have requested a refund from Abtran for the totally false & grossly misleading information they supplied me.
Let's hope the replacement is better.
Thanks for your great rescue work Dean !

How did you get on with your refund request from Abtran's "information" line? They charged me $28.60, which is on my credit card due for payment next week. It really upsets me everytime I look at my statement, I am trying to decide whether to contest it through American Express ... the information was totally useless. Anyone tried this?
I would much rather give this money to a more worthy cause (maybe a charity of Dean's choice? He was the only help in this whole situation).

mainscow May 28th 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
After I wrote my letter to Abtran, they actually sent a kind reply. I gave them all the details of the call, who I spoke to, what was said etc etc. I told them that I had to wait $15.60 worth of minutes for someone to pick up (this was the only call that I actually documented). They told me to highlight the part of my credit card statement and they would look into it further, even hinting at a refund.

Homey May 28th 2009 2:59 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Well really panicing now! Travel on Tuesday and no passport! Sent application in about 4 weeks ago, before the processing time changed. They haven't even hit my credit card yet! Made several calls to the consulate here in Houston but not getting any answers.
Only travelling to Canada but with new rules going into effect June 1st not sure if green card will suffice to get us in and out?
FYI- for all you expats in Buffalo- there will be about 1400 Scots in Niagra next week at the Falls hotel, pop on over for a drink, then again maybe 1400 Scots is a reason to stay away, LOL.

LAS May 28th 2009 3:29 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Homey (Post 7612637)
Well really panicing now! Travel on Tuesday and no passport! Sent application in about 4 weeks ago, before the processing time changed. They haven't even hit my credit card yet! Made several calls to the consulate here in Houston but not getting any answers.
Only travelling to Canada but with new rules going into effect June 1st not sure if green card will suffice to get us in and out?
FYI- for all you expats in Buffalo- there will be about 1400 Scots in Niagra next week at the Falls hotel, pop on over for a drink, then again maybe 1400 Scots is a reason to stay away, LOL.

Houston is my home consulate too - I could not get through their phone menu (some of the links are broken). I wrote to Dean (British Consul), he helped.
PS Sounds like a fun trip!

Homey May 28th 2009 5:21 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by LAS (Post 7612702)
Houston is my home consulate too - I could not get through their phone menu (some of the links are broken). I wrote to Dean (British Consul), he helped.
PS Sounds like a fun trip!

I got through their phone menu no problem, just follow the prompts for emergency passport, but was told I had little chance and they would see what they could do, still waiting. Hate to bother Dean, it seems he's running the country right now! I could have got an emergency passport if my trip had been to the UK, don't know where you're travelling to but that may be an option.
I just don't understand exactly what it is these consulates do...surely there can't be that many Brits in a day needing assistance?

suskil May 28th 2009 5:52 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Same, as everybody here. I checked the website and it said 10 business days, so I happily sent in for passport renewals, only to find out the processing time was 4-6 weeks, then 6 weeks. My spouses passport was still valid but since I was renewing the rest of the family anyway, I sent his in too. Since 6 weeks would be too late for my spouses business trip, I called Abtran one week after they'd been received by the embassy (4th may). No joy, not in system, says it's 6 weeks for sure but I could could call back at the end of May (10bucks). Called back one week later explaining that my spouse has an international conference to attend and to locate his valid passport and send it back. (He would renew in UK). Abtran took the Fedex tracking number and said they'd email to Embassy, but didn't hold up much hope as they're not replying!. May 18th - 23 bucks.

May 20th get VM from nice lady at the embassy stating that they'd 'located' our passports and were processing them urgently (Remember I'd only requested they send back my spouses valid passport.
Received passports May 22nd.

The Embassy rocks, Abtran - not so much - $2.60/min is outrageous

Good luck to everyone :)

Homey May 28th 2009 6:05 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by suskil (Post 7613130)
Same, as everybody here. I checked the website and it said 10 business days, so I happily sent in for passport renewals, only to find out the processing time was 4-6 weeks, then 6 weeks. My spouses passport was still valid but since I was renewing the rest of the family anyway, I sent his in too. Since 6 weeks would be too late for my spouses business trip, I called Abtran one week after they'd been received by the embassy (4th may). No joy, not in system, says it's 6 weeks for sure but I could could call back at the end of May (10bucks). Called back one week later explaining that my spouse has an international conference to attend and to locate his valid passport and send it back. (He would renew in UK). Abtran took the Fedex tracking number and said they'd email to Embassy, but didn't hold up much hope as they're not replying!. May 18th - 23 bucks.

May 20th get VM from nice lady at the embassy stating that they'd 'located' our passports and were processing them urgently (Remember I'd only requested they send back my spouses valid passport.
Received passports May 22nd.

The Embassy rocks, Abtran - not so much - $2.60/min is outrageous

Good luck to everyone :)

Aaaaagrh! Just got a phone call from Houston consulate to say Washington have no record of my application!! It was signed for, the day after I mailed it, by them!
In true American style I will sue their a** for my flights and hotel if I don't have my sticky fingers on a nice new passport by Monday, I travel Tuesday.
Time to get US citizenship me thinks.

britwife123 May 29th 2009 8:25 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aliandchris (Post 7550567)
I was thinking people could post their time frames on passport delays here. Currently the British Embassy in Washington is experiencing technical difficulties that make British passport changes horrendously slow.

If you've recently sent off your passport and have received it back, can you please post when you sent it, the date they took the payment, and when you received the passport.

I sent my passport application on March 27th and have not received my passport as of this date May 29th.

I wrote to the North American Passport Production Centre, British Embassy
19 Observatory Circle
Washington DC 20008-3611

I gave them my address and phone number and received a call from them today. My passport will go out in the next couple of days. I hope this helps those whose passports have still not arrived.

CP2908 Jun 1st 2009 12:58 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Hi britwife

I too am still waiting. Can you let me know when the money was taken from your credit card (assuming that's how you paid)? Thanks!

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 1:27 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by mainscow (Post 7610238)
Urgh. This doesn't make me happy. I sent my stuff in the first week in March, and I was told 10 days. They took my money about a week or so later. Still no passport. It will be June next week. I've spent $60 calling Abtran who promised me the Embassy would call but never did. $30 of the $60 was spent listening to Waterloo Sunset while I waited for someone to answer the phone. Disgusting.

And I'm still waiting. I'm going to go into the Consul in Boston later this week. Reading on here, it seems to have got things moving along.

We had sent my Husband's in on March 27th. I wrote to the North American Passport Production Centre, British Embassy, 19 Observatory Circle, Washington, DC 20008-3611 last week and I was stunned to receive a call back from them a couple of days ago. It came in as Unknown Caller so I was not meant to call them back. They will be sending his passport out UPS next week.

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 1:29 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by CP2908 (Post 7621458)
Hi britwife

I too am still waiting. Can you let me know when the money was taken from your credit card (assuming that's how you paid)? Thanks!


I sent them a Money Order so I have no idea when they cashed it. I'm just excited that it will finally be sent.

CP2908 Jun 1st 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Thanks

Fingers crossed that it will soon reach you.

I heard from the consulate today that my passport is in the final stages of processing and should be sent out in the next few days (hope so as I am supposed to be going on vacation on June 13th!)

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 5:30 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by CP2908 (Post 7623850)
Thanks

Fingers crossed that it will soon reach you.

I heard from the consulate today that my passport is in the final stages of processing and should be sent out in the next few days (hope so as I am supposed to be going on vacation on June 13th!)

CP2908 -- I hope that we both bet our passports in the next few days. Have a great vacation.

suskil Jun 1st 2009 5:39 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
My passports arrived 3 business days after the Embassy contacted me.

Good Luck :fingerscrossed:

mainscow Jun 1st 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
OK. So now Abtran is gone, and we have Careline. But the problem is that I don't have a phone where I can call a 900 number, and the website doesn't list a 1-800 number where I can use my credit card. Great. So now the only thing I can do is literally take a walk in my consulate.

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 5:55 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by suskil (Post 7623870)
My passports arrived 3 business days after the Embassy contacted me.

Good Luck :fingerscrossed:

Thank you suskil. Bless you. Glad you received your Passport.

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 6:01 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by mainscow (Post 7623892)
OK. So now Abtran is gone, and we have Careline. But the problem is that I don't have a phone where I can call a 900 number, and the website doesn't list a 1-800 number where I can use my credit card. Great. So now the only thing I can do is literally take a walk in my consulate.

masinscow -- I heard that all Passport will be issued from from the British Embassy in Washington DC. Perhaps you could write to them. North American Passport Production Centre, British Embassy, 19 Observatory Circle, Washington DC 20008-3611. They do call you back. Best of luck.

LAS Jun 1st 2009 6:59 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Here is my statistics: Mailed application 4 May. Called Abtran 19 May - nothing they could do ($28.60), it might be even longer than 6 weeks. Contacted Dean on 26 May to help, he did. Passport arrived 29 May.

britwife123 Jun 1st 2009 7:23 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by LAS (Post 7624010)
Here is my statistics: Mailed application 4 May. Called Abtran 19 May - nothing they could do ($28.60), it might be even longer than 6 weeks. Contacted Dean on 26 May to help, he did. Passport arrived 29 May.

Terrific....I'M so happy to hear it.

alamacra Jun 1st 2009 8:42 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
We mailed applications on April 22nd via UPS, with payment taken May 14th. We are not traveling until June 24th, so are not yet at the point of full panic. It would be good to be able to get an update, however. This afternoon the Careline number at 1 900 945 2220 seems to be permanently unavailable.

CP2908 Jun 1st 2009 10:19 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
alamacra

Your timeline is very similar to mine. My application was received in Washington April 20th. Money taken from credit card May 12th. I got desperate though and emailed the consulate yesterday and they replied to me this morning saying that my passport is in the final stages of processing and will be sent out in the next few days. Hopefully yours is nearly completed too.

alamacra Jun 1st 2009 10:24 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by CP2908 (Post 7624452)
alamacra

Your timeline is very similar to mine. My application was received in Washington April 20th. Money taken from credit card May 12th. I got desperate though and emailed the consulate yesterday and they replied to me this morning saying that my passport is in the final stages of processing and will be sent out in the next few days. Hopefully yours is nearly completed too.

... so it appears to be a somewhat steady process. Thanks for the info.

britwife123 Jun 2nd 2009 1:00 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by alamacra (Post 7624459)
... so it appears to be a somewhat steady process. Thanks for the info.

I'm American and my husband is British. I was able to get my passport from the Post Office and it took only 2 weeks. I can't believe the hassles we are all having with the British Embassy. My suggestion would be to write to the North American Passport Production Centre. The address is in one of my earlier e-mails. I wish you the best of luck with this. At least now they know there's a problem.


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