Martin Lewis, founder of Money SavingExpert.com, has offered travel advice for Brits who are waiting to get their passport processed.
The finance guru said that UK citizens are able to get their passport fast-tracked if they have been affected by coronavirus delays.
Thousands of keen holiday-goers have been waiting weeks for their passports to come through.
Many have had to cancel their trips abroad.
The Government revealed that a massive 400,000 passport applications in the UK were trapped in a backlog.
The huge delays were caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
At the time, the passport office was forced to reduce its staffing numbers to maintain safe social distancing practices.
This means they were able to get through far fewer applications each day.
In Money SavingExpert.com’s weekly email, Martin said: “Holiday plans are up in the air for many people, but if you are going abroad soon, you need to check if your passport is valid and has enough months left on it for you to travel.
“But there’s been a huge backlog of 410,000 UK passport applications, and I’ve heard some sad stories of people having to cancel their plans as their passport renewal hasn’t come back in time.”
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Usually passports should take around three weeks to be processed.
But, some Brits have been waiting for around two months – causing issues with travel plans.
MoneySavingExpert.com said that if you can prove you need to travel within the next fortnight, and the Passport Office has had your renewal application for more than a month, then they will fast track it.
Your passport should be processed within five days if this is the case.
To prove you will be travelling within two weeks you’ll need to provide your travel documents as evidence.
If you are applying for your passport for the first time, rather than renewing, this does not apply to you.
New passports are taking longer than usual.
The Passport Office said that their security checks will not be sped up.
They are hoping to make sure that no one has to cancel their holiday plans so long as the application is submitted in “good time”.
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If you are planning to travel within fortnight, and you need your passport fast tracked, MoneySavingExpert.com said you need to call this number: “0300 222 0000”.
There you can “discuss your situation and request your application is fast-tracked.”
You’ll need your flight an hotel info to hand on the call.
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If you are outside the UK, you need to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
You will need to get an Emergency Travel Document and won’t be able to use the normal service.
The Passport Office emphasised that people should not book travel until they have received their new or renewed passport.
They add that you should not apply for a new passport until after summer if it is not a matter of urgency.
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