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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Catherine Wylie & Alana Calvert & Milo Boyd

Passport warning for Brits as prices hike up and waiting times still 10 weeks

Holidaymakers have been warned to allow 10 weeks for new passports if they are planning to travel abroad this summer, following a price hike for applications.

Due to "elevated" and "volatile" demand for the travel documents the Home Office has kept the 10-week deadline introduced during the pandemic in place.

With new post-Brexit rules stopping Brits from travelling to EU countries if their passport are about to expire, the long wait may prove an issue for people ahead of the holiday season.

The announcement comes the week after the cost for applying for a new passport was hiked.

The fee for a standard online application made from within the UK rose from £75.50 to £82.50 for adults and £49 to £53.50 for children, while postal applications for passports will increase from £85 to £93 for adults and £58.50 to £64 for children.

Lots of people have been caught out by post-Brexit passport rules (Getty Images)

According to the Telegraph, Home Secretary Suella Braverman told MPs: "We expect elevated demand for passports throughout the year - and demand can be volatile - so customers should continue to allow 10 weeks.

"I urge people to apply in good time and not at the last minute."

It comes after figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats showed that number of passports lost by the Home Office was at a five-year high.

The Lib Dem MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse, said: "These are new heights of incompetence for the Home Office. British travellers who urgently need new passports are being left high and dry by these endless delays.

"With more and more passports going missing each year, it's no wonder people are fed up with this endless travel chaos.

"The Home Office needs to step up and take decisive action before more people are let down and lose confidence in these services."

The Government's web page said of the fee hike: "The new fees will help the Home Office move towards a system that meets its costs through those who use it, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation.

"The Government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications.

The 10 week passport deadline remains in place (Getty Images)

"The fees will also contribute to the cost of processing passport applications, consular support overseas, including for lost or stolen passports, and the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders.

"The increase will also help enable the Government to continue improving its services."

It is the first time in five years that the cost of applying for a passport has increased, the Home Office said, adding that the proposals are subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

Since the UK left the EU everyone who holds a British passport must follow the Schengen area requirements for trips to any EU country except Ireland.

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City are also covered by the regulations.

While travel is still free - until bloc wide visa arrangements come in later this year - there is now more potential for snags.

While most people know their passports should be valid for at least three months after the day they plan to leave, there are extra requirements in place since Brexit.

Now, your passport must also have been issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country.

Many travellers have been caught out because they think their passports are valid because they are not due to expire for some time.

If you turn up at an airport with an invalid passport you may be denied entry to EU countries.

You can check your issue date in your passport, which will be written under the 'date of issue' headline.

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