x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

UK citizens face wait for new passports

Eight-week wait for travel documents is being blamed on high summer demand.

DUBAI // Expatriates from the UK have been told to expect an eight-week wait when applying for new passports or renewing old ones - double the usual processing time.

Representatives of the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi blamed the delays on high demand during the summer holiday period.

Applications made in the Gulf are sent to a centre in Dusseldorf, Germany, which is run by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).

"May to September is the busiest time of the year worldwide and travellers are urged by the IPS to leave ample time for passport changes ahead of their travel dates and to avoid booking flights until their passports are returned to them," the embassy said yesterday.

"It takes approximately eight weeks to process them during summer time. Additional staff have been drafted into the IPS hub in Dusseldorf in a bid to tackle the backlog in applications."

The embassy said processing passports in the German city was "an interim measure" while the service was "repatriated" to the UK.