As the Passport Office prepares to enter one of its busiest times of year, members of the public are being reminded to check the validity of their passports before travelling off-Island.
Passport processing is currently estimated at five weeks, so people are advised to ensure their documentation is in order well in advance of any planned journeys. Anybody who discovers their passport is out of date, and requires a passport by a guaranteed date, can take advantage of a five working days or one-day express service, subject to certain conditions being met. It is recommended that express applications are made in person.
Applicants are reminded not to book any travel arrangements until their new passport has been received. The Passport Office will not accept any responsibility for travel booked before the applicants have received their new passport. First time applicants are reminded they may be required to attend the Passport Office for an interview. Where an interview is required applicants cannot use the express service.
The office is open to the public from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 9.30am to 4pm on Fridays. Customers using the express services will be able to collect their passports at 4pm, Monday to Thursday, and at 3.30pm on a Friday. The office, which is located on the ground floor of Government Offices, Bucks Road, Douglas, handles all passport applications and renewals, as well as issues regarding immigration and nationality.
Annie Taylor, Senior External Relations Officer, is urging local residents to plan ahead and avoid leaving applications and renewals until the last moment. She explained:
‘People can renew their current passport from nine months before its expiry date without losing those months and days. Any time still 'in credit' will be added to the expiry date of their new passport.’
Anyone seeking further information can call one of the Passport and Immigration Office enquiry and advice lines – passport +44 1624 693222 or +44 1624 685208, nationality +44 1624 686283. Support will be provided wherever possible. People who require assistance whilst abroad should contact the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission in the country they are visiting.