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Passport Office strikes incoming

21st March 2023

There may be disruption this Spring and Summer due to proposed strikes affecting Passport Offices across the UK.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union will take part in strike action from 3 April to 5 May 2023.

Members of the PCS Union make up around 25% of the 4,000-strong workforce across the UK offices.

Despite headlines inciting panic, the Home Office stated that its guidance of 10 weeks for applications, has allowed for disruption and that it's fully prepared for the estimated 1 million passport applications it will receive during the period of planned action this spring.

In contrast to this travel expert Simon Calder thinks strikes may cause ‘significant disruption’.

‘This is aimed at making the issuing and renewing of passports much more difficult’ he told Good Morning Britain, in a recent interview.

The good news is that Passport offices are starting on a good footing with most applications, according to an independent crowd-sourcing website that allows applicants to input their own wait times, most new applications and renewals are being processed within 18 days.

This is a stark contrast to last summer’s delays caused by the huge influx of applications following the lifting of the travel bans imposed during the pandemic.

Have you checked your Passport?

There’s lots of conflicting information on various websites about when you need to renew your passport, ultimately this will depend on your destination.

If you’re travelling to an EU country, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, or Switzerland you should follow the Schengen Area passport requirements:

Your passport must be:

  • Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country – check the date of issue
  • Valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave – check the expiry date.

Counties outside of the EU have differing rules, the best thing to do is visit to see what the entry requirements are for the country you’re visiting.

If you do need to apply for or renew a passport to travel, you can do so online or using a paper form, which is a little more expensive and can take a bit longer.

If you need a Passport urgently, the UK Government has a Premium or 1-Week Fast Track Service. Find out more at

Be aware that your new passport won’t have the same number once it’s renewed, so if you’ve booked your trip already, check with your provider to see if you can update your details before you travel.

Bear in mind that Travel Insurance generally won’t cover you if you do not receive your passport in time for your trip. So, take the time to double-check yours today if you plan to travel this spring or summer.