Home office ends temporary passport extension measure

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THE British Home Office has ended the temporary passport extension stamp provision, introduced last year to ease a huge backlog of applications from expats.

Brits living abroad will now need to apply to renew their passports online or at local offices as usual from the 10 April 2015. Expats in Spain will have to use the online application process.

Last year’s contingency measures were used to cope with exceptional demand, a 12-month passport extension stamp for British citizens overseas helping more than 20,000 UK nationals.

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Demand for passports is now expected to return to normal levels and Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) will be contacting all citizens with a passport extension at least two months before it expires. This is to encourage British passports to be renewed in good time.

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “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.”

The HMPO has stated that it will provide a seven-day service to customers in the UK with an extension stamp if they submit all the correct documentation within six weeks of their passports expiring.

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