British Expats

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

lyonsden1193 Jun 10th 2011 6:12 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by trinbrit (Post 9424547)
The hard thing about this though where I do understand the backlog issue you actually become a prisoner of sorts as you can't even go on a short trip or stuff incase you miss the delivery guy/gal and then ur package is not in the safety of the embassy but has the potential of getting lost or stolen in ur local area,that's what worries me more not the fact of the wait as I know dean and his team are doing all they can to get the prob fixed and everybody happy.

If you understand the backlog issue can you explain it to me?

The timelines of various applicants make no sense. I understand that new apps take longer than renews, Some seem to get their passports back quicker than others. but in each group there seems to be no rhyme or reason. I can only assume that a game of lucky dip is occuring and we are the pawns in that game. As far as the UPS guy is concerned, they should leave a label on your door which gives you options for delivery, so it shouldn't just be floating around. Me thinks there is a conspiracy going on in the halls of power to get us that annoyed we will apply for citizenship of USA and no longer be a potential burden to the state. :confused:

Gooner26 Jun 10th 2011 6:22 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Just out of interest, what part of the country do you live in?

As I said, mine took 8 weeks, door to door. Two of my other brit friends who have just got their passports back only had to wait 7 weeks. We're all in Chicago.

Not suggesting geography has absolutely anything to do with it, but it seems like the 3 of us got lucky with the waiting time compared to others.

Gooner26 Jun 10th 2011 6:24 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Oopps...sorry, I just saw that you're in Memphis. :o

lyonsden1193 Jun 10th 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Gooner26 (Post 9424625)
Oopps...sorry, I just saw that you're in Memphis. :o


Sympathy cards accepted!!:)

Well you probably hit the nail on the head... nothing gets in or out of here without a violent struggle.

vanfan1 Jun 10th 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
I sent off my passport renewal in mid may, we are going on vacation in mid august. When I printed off my forms it stated to allow four week for processing of a renewal, now the information has been changed and wait time seems to vary according to this thread,

CC has not been charged yet for processing, I am very worried that we will have to cancel a non refundable vacation.

I spoke to an extremely rude scottish man today about the status of my application. I am not in the 'system' yet and that may still takes weeks. He seemed to find my situation quite amusing (I'm sure he gets a good laugh out of his job). Still would have been nice if Careline would have cared a little after all the phone call cost me enough!

I have read on here that they are receiving over 300 applications a day that is why there's a backlog. I find that to be a very poor excuse. Seriously, 300 applications a day = $300,000 a wk in passport fees for the washington passport office. Surely they could afford to hire more staff at times like this, many businesses hire extra staff depending upon seasonal demands, I don't see why they can't. It's not like we are expecting the passports for free, we are paying over $200 for a passport renewal and therefore are entitled to a somewhat decent service. They must have known they would be busier in the spring when people are renewing their passport for summer, no excuse for this backlog

It seems that British citizens that choose not to live in Britain are treated as second class British citizens. This would not happen at home in the uk.

Sorry for the 'rant', very upset at possibly losing out on a vacation (1st one for us that's not camping) and the money I've been saving all year for it.

I see I am not the only person in this position either. I really hope that those of you who are still waiting are able to get their passports in time before they need to travel. :fingerscrossed:

lyonsden1193 Jun 10th 2011 8:58 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
here is a copy of a letter to the BBC

I encourage everybody that can to write as well... the worse thing is they ignore it but maybe just maybe if they get enough input they may run it as a story.


The great British Govt rip off.

Ex pats living abroad renewing passports are experiencing major delays in Washington DC. Here is the rip off...
All enquiries are directed through 'Careline'. when you call them you are charged 0.69pence per minute + vat. When you get an agent (somewhere in Scotland) you get uninterested and unhelpful service and they hide behind a thing called the 'Data Protection Act' stating that they only have limited access to the information you are looking for. What a wonderful scam!! charge an arm and a leg for a service and then hide behind the law so as not to provide the very thing they were set up to do.
Don't just take my word for it, look on the discussion forum of british expats.com and you will see a whole community of upset and angry Ex pats who are being treated like third world citizens by a supposedly first world nation and being ripped off financially.

aml1982 Jun 10th 2011 10:05 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
We sent off our little boy's first British PP application yesterday. Sent it overnight, I checked the tracker and it arrived this morning.

Travel date is somewhere between 22nd and 25th August (roughly 10.5 - 11 weeks). What are our odds?

Bob Jun 10th 2011 10:30 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by vanfan1 (Post 9424668)

I have read on here that they are receiving over 300 applications a day that is why there's a backlog. I find that to be a very poor excuse. Seriously, 300 applications a day = $300,000 a wk in passport fees for the washington passport office. Surely they could afford to hire more staff at times like this, many businesses hire extra staff depending upon seasonal demands, I don't see why they can't. It's not like we are expecting the passports for free, we are paying over $200 for a passport renewal and therefore are entitled to a somewhat decent service. They must have known they would be busier in the spring when people are renewing their passport for summer, no excuse for this backlog

The problem is, they were winding the service down because it was being moved to the UK. It seems now that because of changes to the whole ID scheme thing, they might not have to now, so it's all in a bit of a limbo.

Not ideal for sure though, but I'd put more blame on the government in general rather than the embassy in particular.

Also, do you really want a bunch of numb nut seasonals working on processing your passports with all your personal details for minimum wage?

Bob Jun 10th 2011 10:31 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9424886)

Travel date is somewhere between 22nd and 25th August (roughly 10.5 - 11 weeks). What are our odds?

slim to none? For a renewal it might have been doable, but for a first, probably not.

aml1982 Jun 10th 2011 10:51 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 9424932)
slim to none? For a renewal it might have been doable, but for a first, probably not.

That bad, huh? We figured close to double the usual processing time would give us a solid chance.

Well, we can but wait.

AmerLisa Jun 10th 2011 10:53 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by vanfan1 (Post 9424668)
I sent off my passport renewal in mid may, we are going on vacation in mid august. When I printed off my forms it stated to allow four week for processing of a renewal, now the information has been changed and wait time seems to vary according to this thread,

CC has not been charged yet for processing, I am very worried that we will have to cancel a non refundable vacation.

I spoke to an extremely rude scottish man today about the status of my application. I am not in the 'system' yet and that may still takes weeks. He seemed to find my situation quite amusing (I'm sure he gets a good laugh out of his job). Still would have been nice if Careline would have cared a little after all the phone call cost me enough!

I have read on here that they are receiving over 300 applications a day that is why there's a backlog. I find that to be a very poor excuse. Seriously, 300 applications a day = $300,000 a wk in passport fees for the washington passport office. Surely they could afford to hire more staff at times like this, many businesses hire extra staff depending upon seasonal demands, I don't see why they can't. It's not like we are expecting the passports for free, we are paying over $200 for a passport renewal and therefore are entitled to a somewhat decent service. They must have known they would be busier in the spring when people are renewing their passport for summer, no excuse for this backlog

It seems that British citizens that choose not to live in Britain are treated as second class British citizens. This would not happen at home in the uk.

Sorry for the 'rant', very upset at possibly losing out on a vacation (1st one for us that's not camping) and the money I've been saving all year for it.

I see I am not the only person in this position either. I really hope that those of you who are still waiting are able to get their passports in time before they need to travel. :fingerscrossed:

I can understand you being upset at perhaps losing out on your vacation. But it does state that you shouldn't book a holiday until you've got your passport. We booked as well, but I already knew (after reading the posts on this forum) that the wait times were long. But they surpassed even what I was expecting. I'm thankful that we started the renewal process for my husband's passport the beginning of March. It did take 12 weeks from beginning to end. Our trip is booked for mid August.


Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9424886)
We sent off our little boy's first British PP application yesterday. Sent it overnight, I checked the tracker and it arrived this morning.

Travel date is somewhere between 22nd and 25th August (roughly 10.5 - 11 weeks). What are our odds?

I would say your chances are almost slim to none for a first time passport getting back to you before your trip. Going on what I've read here.....

Jerseygirl Jun 10th 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Simosa88 (Post 9424570)
Hey guys I came to Canada on my British passport but I also have a Malaysian passport. If my replacement british doesn't come in time do, is it possible to go to the US for a month with my Malaysian passport? If i get a visa and everything?

You could have problems getting back into Canada if your work/residency visa was assigned to your UK PP. My daughter has taken her Canadian visa out of her UK PP before sending it to DC for renewal...but Canadian Immigration has told her if she doesn't enter Canada using her UK PP she is not authorised to work. So she will have to stay in Canada until it's returned.

aml1982 Jun 10th 2011 11:18 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by AmerLisa (Post 9424953)



I would say your chances are almost slim to none for a first time passport getting back to you before your trip. Going on what I've read here.....

Our problem is that we are moving back to the UK with a Canadian born baby. He has his Canadian passport, so technically we can still travel, although we may need to ask for consular help if we don't get his British passport back in time.

What I don't understand (and having skimmed through the thread other people have had the same question) is why the processing centre haven't taken on extra staff to cope with the demand increase, and why they aren't being more transparent with the current processing times? Why are they just posting vague messages about delays, when they should be saying "At this time, from the moment we receive your application it will take X weeks for renewals and Y weeks for new applicants. Apologies for the delays, etc., etc.". This isn't a delay in shipping someone their new TV from the warehouse, it's the most important personal document most people possess.

lansbury Jun 10th 2011 11:29 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9424987)
What I don't understand (and having skimmed through the thread other people have had the same question) is why the processing centre haven't taken on extra staff to cope with the demand increase, and why they aren't being more transparent with the current processing times? Why are they just posting vague messages about delays, when they should be saying "At this time, from the moment we receive your application it will take X weeks for renewals and Y weeks for new applicants. Apologies for the delays, etc., etc.". This isn't a delay in shipping someone their new TV from the warehouse, it's the most important personal document most people possess.

I doubt they can just go down the job center and find people who know how to process UK passports. By the time they have trained them the blip may be over, and training them will in itself cause delays. Personally as Bob said elsewhere I don't want minimum wage temporary staff having access to my personal information, with which they could clone my ID. If it is the same as Passport Office staff in the UK they need low level security clearance as well, I believe.

I doubt they can say accurately how long the processing will take, as it largely depends on the number of applications they receive. Once that goes below their ability to make them the times come down. If it continues to be more than they can make the delays will get worse. The unknown variable they cannot control is the applications.

aml1982 Jun 10th 2011 11:59 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by lansbury (Post 9424997)
I doubt they can just go down the job center and find people who know how to process UK passports. By the time they have trained them the blip may be over, and training them will in itself cause delays. Personally as Bob said elsewhere I don't want minimum wage temporary staff having access to my personal information, with which they could clone my ID. If it is the same as Passport Office staff in the UK they need low level security clearance as well, I believe.

I doubt they can say accurately how long the processing will take, as it largely depends on the number of applications they receive. Once that goes below their ability to make them the times come down. If it continues to be more than they can make the delays will get worse. The unknown variable they cannot control is the applications.

I don't disagree with them having to have the "right" people in place. Most people would take an extra wait for their passport ahead of risking their identity being stolen.

But as I understand it the increased volume is as much aside effect of the restructuring of passport processing in North America as anything else. They made to move to process all UK passport apps/renewals in Washington and cut out the other regional centres, so surely they should have had some idea of how many applications per year came out of North America, and they could/should have had additional staff in place from the changeover date.


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