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Community / Travellers warned to check and renew passports early

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

NORTHERN Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has urged islanders to check the expiry dates on their passports and not to leave it too late to apply for a new one following widely reported delays in the time it takes the Home Office to renew people’s travel documents.

The Orkney and Shetland MP said people should apply at least 10 weeks before they need a new passport.

The Lib Dem politician is urging people to contact his constituency office if they have been waiting for more than ten weeks.

People planning to travel this summer also need to be aware that depending on the destination, passports need to be valid for a period of at least between three and six months.

Carmichael said: “People across the country, including in the isles, have been struggling for weeks to get passports in time for travel this summer.

“These delays are simply not good enough – Priti Patel and the Home Office need to get their house in order and put more resource behind the passport office. In the meantime, there are steps we all can take.

“The simplest message I can give is this – if you will need a renewed passport this summer, apply as soon as possible, and if in doubt use the fast-track service.

“If your passport is valid through the summer then you can help others by waiting until the autumn to apply, so that there is more capacity for the most urgent cases.”

He added: “If you already have an application in and have been waiting for more than ten weeks or have an emergency need to travel, please contact my office as soon as possible.

“We will do what we can to speed up the process through direct intervention with the passport office.”

More details can be found on this government website.