Provisional measure to help British passport holders abroad ends as turnaround times improve
British citizens living abroad will need to apply to renew their passports online or at local offices as usual, as one of the contingency measures brought in to cope with the exceptional demand last year comes to an end.
The Home Secretary announced the introduction of the 12 month extension stamp for overseas customers in June last year. More than 20,000 customers benefited from the contingency measure, which was brought in to prevent the disruption of travel plans.
With passport demand returning to expected levels, the Home Secretary has reviewed the provision and from 10 April all British passport holders overseas will need to make their renewal applications online or in a local passport office, following the guidance for their country of residence on GOV.UK.
Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) will be contacting all of those who hold a passport with an extension stamp, at least two months before the expiry of their stamp, to encourage them to renew their passports.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
Following the significant demand for passports last year, the Home Secretary introduced 12-month extension stamps so that those British passport holders abroad whose passports were about to expire could travel.
This was a temporary measure to ensure that international customers were still able to travel during what was an exceptional period of demand.
Overseas turnaround times have improved significantly and are now well within service standards. But we still encourage all overseas passport holders to apply in good time to avoid disruption to their travel plans.
HMPO will provide a seven working day service for those customers with an extension stamp if they submit all the correct documentation to HMPO in the UK within a specified period of six weeks of being contacted.