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

Linden.g Jun 11th 2011 12:03 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
We sent off one passport in Feb (we needed to renew 3 but where not sure if they would except the photos) it came back in 4 weeks so at the end of March we sent off the other 2......they arrived in Washington April 4th CC charged April 15th we then waited and waited by June 2nd I was getting a little worried so I checked out the FCO web site to see how I could find out what was happening. This is where the fun starts!!
Spent ages finding a # to call the 900 # in the US did not work called the UK # "Careline" hung up when I found out they where going to charge me 69p +VAT tried the Washington Embassy could not find an option to speak to a human listened to the "very nice man " telling me to call careline too late know need to follow up in the morning.
Next day call careline had to wait 20 mins before someone answered gave CC details etc nice man tells me it is being "processed" and could be another 2-3 weeks ( we are due to travel June 21st to the UK have not been for 3 years my husband will already be there on business and to visit my 88 year old grandma who is in very poor health and it looks like the last time I will see her) asked if they could put a rush on it they said they can not do that and there are lots of people in the same boat.
Start to panic!!!!
Husband finds this site :) and sends a PM to Dean who tells us to talk to our local embassy.
Find out that our local consulate is in New York not Washington (it would be nice to have a list of states and where to go on the web site).
Tuesday June 7th call careline again on hold for ages CC info etc "It's still being processed but it has gone a little further than before !!! still unable to tell me when or if we will get our passports.
Call New York leave message at around 10am and someone calls back at around 4 pm she will send an e-mail to Washington to find out what's happening gives me her name and a direct line asks me to call back tomorrow after 2pm.
Call Deborah back she tells me that she is still waiting and to call back on June 9th.
I put the phone down and she calls right back the passports are one their way and she even gives me a UPS tracking # I now have the passports:)
Thank you to Dean and Deborah.

Do not give up:fingerscrossed:

Shirlie

Bob Jun 11th 2011 1:02 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9425037)

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.

The problem probably stems from them moving everything to the UK, which they planned on doing in April.

The whole ID scheme getting the kibosh means there probably isn't any need any more, so it's all a bit of a mess and the problem for that is with the government more than the embassy.

lansbury Jun 11th 2011 1:30 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9425037)
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.

Indeed I agree with what you say. But the move to Washington was an interim step before the bulk of the process was moved back to the UK. My guess is they looked at the previous years and decided they could get by if things didn't get to bad. Of course as we know in hindsight they got swamped.

kensha Jun 11th 2011 1:54 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
I became another one of those unlucky callers to careline today :(

First of all found out the mobile phones dont accept 1900 # in the US after making a number of calls and visiting a service provider's outlet.

Decided to call the UK #... this is where the fun starts...

First of all spent about an hour trying to connect to careline (with all the wait time and line getting cut somehow) after about 5-6 attempts found out the hard way that calling cards dont work :frown: with their CC system.

Tried direct dialing praying to god that the wait time will not be too long... luckily was answered almost immediately... entered the CC details as instructed... and informed that the system didnt gather my CC details :frown:
Before i could ask or say anything the line got cut....

started calling all my friends to see any1 had a land line... no luck....

ended up spending over $40 through other methods trying to get through to careline... still no luck....

JAJ Jun 11th 2011 2:16 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 9425100)
The problem probably stems from them moving everything to the UK, which they planned on doing in April.

The whole ID scheme getting the kibosh means there probably isn't any need any more, so it's all a bit of a mess and the problem for that is with the government more than the embassy.

The embassy is the government.

The passport service in British embassies overseas has been terribly inconsistent for at least the past 10 years. Not only has the passport cost a lot more, but you have these premium rate phone lines, and (based on what I've read on these forums and others), a lot more unreasonable refusals of passports or sending the application back multiple times.

I can recall similar problems with processing times in Washington over the years, and the service at the British High Commission in Canberra (before it was moved to Auckland) wasn't much better.

The fundamental problem is that passports overseas have been the responsibility of the Foreign Office, rather than the Home Office. And for at least 10 years the Foreign Office has failed to provide a consistent service in the way the Home Office has. There is at least simple - the Passport Office in Britain has to perform otherwise there will be an outcry, while the shortcomings of the service at overseas passport offices have gone unnoticed.

Apparently the Foreign Office is still responsible for passports outside Britain, but has outsourced it to the Passport Office and so right now, until it all moves back to the UK, nobody is really responsible.

AmerLisa Jun 11th 2011 3:36 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by aml1982 (Post 9424987)
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.

My daughter has traveled with her baby's US passport to here and back and then was given (when she entered the UK) 2 months to get the baby's UK passport. You should be fine to travel and enter the UK.

vanfan1 Jun 11th 2011 4:19 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 9424928)
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?

Yes I do hold the government to blame for this, it's their mess that they created with the whole restructuring. I don't think they have to hire numb nut seasonals for minimum wage though, there are many unemployed americans out there that are highly intelligent and have a lot of work experience that would be glad of the job and work hard. With the amount we all pay for processing fees they should earn a good wage too not minimum.
I am sure that those at responsible for processing in Washington are working as hard as they can, I do feel sympathetic toward them because I'm sure it is stressful to have a never ending mountain of work.

Living in Vancouver it would have been so much easier to send my passport to Ottawa, shame they stopped that.

vanfan1 Jun 11th 2011 4:22 am

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by Linden.g (Post 9425042)
We sent off one passport in Feb (we needed to renew 3 but where not sure if they would except the photos) it came back in 4 weeks so at the end of March we sent off the other 2......they arrived in Washington April 4th CC charged April 15th we then waited and waited by June 2nd I was getting a little worried so I checked out the FCO web site to see how I could find out what was happening. This is where the fun starts!!
Spent ages finding a # to call the 900 # in the US did not work called the UK # "Careline" hung up when I found out they where going to charge me 69p +VAT tried the Washington Embassy could not find an option to speak to a human listened to the "very nice man " telling me to call careline too late know need to follow up in the morning.
Next day call careline had to wait 20 mins before someone answered gave CC details etc nice man tells me it is being "processed" and could be another 2-3 weeks ( we are due to travel June 21st to the UK have not been for 3 years my husband will already be there on business and to visit my 88 year old grandma who is in very poor health and it looks like the last time I will see her) asked if they could put a rush on it they said they can not do that and there are lots of people in the same boat.
Start to panic!!!!
Husband finds this site :) and sends a PM to Dean who tells us to talk to our local embassy.
Find out that our local consulate is in New York not Washington (it would be nice to have a list of states and where to go on the web site).
Tuesday June 7th call careline again on hold for ages CC info etc "It's still being processed but it has gone a little further than before !!! still unable to tell me when or if we will get our passports.
Call New York leave message at around 10am and someone calls back at around 4 pm she will send an e-mail to Washington to find out what's happening gives me her name and a direct line asks me to call back tomorrow after 2pm.
Call Deborah back she tells me that she is still waiting and to call back on June 9th.
I put the phone down and she calls right back the passports are one their way and she even gives me a UPS tracking # I now have the passports:)
Thank you to Dean and Deborah.

Do not give up:fingerscrossed:

Shirlie

Happy to hear you got yours :), that gives me hope that I will get mine by August :fingerscrossed:

cheryl56 Jun 11th 2011 8:00 am

Re: Passport Delays
 
Really glad to hear some people are finally getting their passports :)As in my previous post we should be receiving my 2 daughters next week :thumbsup:
Seems to me the best thing to do is call the Consulate relevant to your state,things seemed to get going on ours after we did that,Careline is useless and my husband is going to dispute the charges on our CC.
Won't be able to rest and get excited about trip home after 8yrs here until I have those little books;) in my hand.:fingerscrossed:

aml1982 Jun 11th 2011 1:29 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by AmerLisa (Post 9425227)
My daughter has traveled with her baby's US passport to here and back and then was given (when she entered the UK) 2 months to get the baby's UK passport. You should be fine to travel and enter the UK.

Good to hear. We got a little panicked when we realised we had been mis-informed about his status, and that we needed to get him a passport or RoA prior to travel. We feel like at least now we can point to the fact that we have submitted his application - if our moving date approaches we can approach the embassy and explain the situation and ask for help.

warmachine Jun 11th 2011 6:39 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by warmachine (Post 9423531)
Hi guys,
New member here :)
I'm having the same trouble as everyone else. It was 11 weeks today since they received my application for renewal. I'm going to give the carelessline a call tomorrow. I have held off until now but after reading pages upon pages of complaints and horror stories, I have to call them for peace of mind. I travel very early July but I'm starting to get worried after reading this thread. It wouldn't be so bad if I had paid via CC but that wasn't an option for me. At least I could have checked to see if/when payment was taken if I had paid via CC. I paid via money order so I don't even know if they've taken the money yet. I've read that the time varies but most people are waiting for 11-12 weeks. I'm sure it'll be here any day now but I'll check the careline tomorrow and see what's going on with it. I did send an email but got an automated reply. Waiting sucks!

Sent - Mar 23
Rcvd - Mar 24
Payment taken - No idea, paid via money order :(
Passport rcvd - Nope ... 11 weeks and counting.

Pretty ridiculous really.

Just following up on this. I called Careline yesterday and had about 10 minutes of wonderful piano music before anyone answered. Gave CC details and spoke to a lovely woman called Jane. She was actually very nice and I confess that it was nice to hear a Scottish accent again haha. She told me that it started processing on April 15th and that it still is processing. She took my email and phone number, said she'd escalate and call Washington and call or send an email if she found anything out. No call or email yet though after 24 hours.

So now I can update this:

Sent - Mar 23
Rcvd - Mar 24
Payment taken - Apr 15
Passport rcvd - Nope ... 8 weeks since processing began and 11 weeks since they received it.

I hope to god it comes before I travel in early July. My fingers are firmly crossed. Still very worried though :(

cheryl56 Jun 11th 2011 6:41 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 
Ding Dong...UPS here delivering passports...wanted to hug him but refrained :D
What gets me though is the receipts inside tell me they were processed 24th March!!!! Where were they all this time and who knows what would have happened if I hadn't kept calling everyone under the sun...still waiting presumably
Now doing a happy dance and already planning what to pack :thumbsup:

cheryl56 Jun 11th 2011 6:45 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by warmachine (Post 9426189)
Just following up on this. I called Careline yesterday and had about 10 minutes of wonderful piano music before anyone answered. Gave CC details and spoke to a lovely woman called Jane. She was actually very nice and I confess that it was nice to hear a Scottish accent again haha. She told me that it started processing on April 15th and that it still is processing. She took my email and phone number, said she'd escalate and call Washington and call or send an email if she found anything out. No call or email yet though after 24 hours.

So now I can update this:

Sent - Mar 23
Rcvd - Mar 24
Payment taken - Apr 15
Passport rcvd - Nope ... 8 weeks since processing began and 11 weeks since they received it.

I hope to god it comes before I travel in early July. My fingers are firmly crossed. Still very worried though :(

Keep calling Warmachine...have you called your local Consulate.Don't give up,there is hope.Like my previous post said I just got mine today and apps were received 5th March!!! :fingerscrossed:

warmachine Jun 11th 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by cheryl56 (Post 9426197)
Keep calling Warmachine...have you called your local Consulate.Don't give up,there is hope.Like my previous post said I just got mine today and apps were received 5th March!!! :fingerscrossed:

The fact that you waited 11 weeks from processing to receiving them is very worrying. They've had mine for 11 weeks all together but only 8 weeks since processing began. That means another possible 3 weeks until I get mine. I'm going to wait all this week and if there's nothing at the end of Saturday, I'll give them another call on Monday and maybe send Dean a PM too.

trinbrit Jun 11th 2011 7:37 pm

Re: Passport Delays
 

Originally Posted by lyonsden1193 (Post 9424610)
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:

Am not too sure that it is a conspiracy for you to choose to be something else and for the matter of lucky dip then isn't that the case with most things and situations about bring lucky, yes there does seem to be where other people seem to get through soone than others but if you were one those lucky people would it bother you as much that you got threw sooner than most....I think not,the fact of the matter is that I think it was written somewhere that they had a computer prob or something that caused the back log or it could just have been that an unusual amount of people applied at the same time....so either way excercising a little patience my save you from getting a grey hair or two.so not to worry it will all get sorted I'm sure we are all humans and things happen we have no control over so let go let god and don't get worked up over it I'm sure we will all get sorted soon....have a great weekend all!!!


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