Avoid Peak Times In January, June & July

People from all around the world celebrate various holidays at different times throughout the year; along with people taking annual leave and the slight variations in school holidays to some degree slows the influx of passport applications throughout the year.

However, there are a few periods throughout the year where long waiting times, hoards of people and a huge back log of applications are absolutely unavoidable. By knowing these peek times you can work your travel plans, and the plans for your passport around these peek times. This helps ensure that that your travel plans are stress free and that you avoid any unnecessary delays.

What are the peak times?


Most people worry about their travel plans over the Christmas period, as it's probably our busiest public holiday of the year, and there is plenty to plan. Whether you've chosen to stay at home or travel abroad this Christmas one thing is for certain, you will see discount holidays and travel deals everywhere.

All of these deals are there to entice travellers to either book last minute deals for after the New Year or to start booking early for summer 2016, and hundreds or thousands of people will take advantage of these low prices.

If you're looking at a last minute or early booking don't get caught out by delays with your passport application, the waiting times can increase from 2-3 weeks to 4-5 weeks. Huge back logs and errors can cause disruption and worse case scenario, the loss of your holiday as the Passport Office cannot take responsibility for travel booked without a valid Passport being issued.

May - July

With more people choosing guaranteed sunshine for their families in the six week summer holidays, holidays abroad are becoming a must have in most households. Although this time of the year has always been a firm favourite for many people, with cheap flights and the ease of travel the number of people travelling every summer is reaching record numbers.

We should all be aware of the delays that are caused at peak times of the year but this doesn't stop people waiting until the last minute to sort out their first time, damaged or expired passports, during the months of May-June there is a surge in urgent passport applications for the 1 day and 1 week fast-track service.

There are ways to get around the delays at peak passport application times, so don't be put off by long waiting times at The Passport Office.

How to avoid delays

Don't use postal services

• One way to avoid the delays is not to use the postal service. You have to bear in mind that it takes days to arrive at The Passport Office and then will be put in a queue for processing. In the peak application times this can be up to 1-2 weeks until they reach your application, and that's before it's even processed. You will then also then need to wait for your passport to be sent back to you.

• Avoid the Post Office Check & Send - Some people make the mistake of thinking by using the Post Office 'Check and Send' service your application is a fast-track and that your application will be processed quicker. But please note that the Post Office's 'Check and Send' service takes just as long as posting the application yourself via 2nd class post, and offers no guarantees on how long it will take for your passport to arrive.

• With both of these methods you also must take into consideration that the increased waiting time could be increased further if your application is incomplete or has omissions or errors at the time of processing. Any mistakes or invalid passport photo or missing supporting documents will mean an even greater waiting time.

Do use urgent services

• Use the 'Fast Track' and 'Premium' services that are available. We recommend these services if you're travelling within the next 5 weeks, but we would also recommend them during peak application periods as well. The 'Premium' service is not available for First Time Adult Passports or Child Applications.

Get your Passport Urgently during peak times

Book your appointment online or by phone will save delays. The ''Premium 1 Day Service'' takes just 4 hours to receive your Passport and the 'Fast Track 1 Week Service'' will process your new Passport within 7 days of your application date, it will also be sent to you via secure courier service.

Many consumers choose to use the urgent services at peak times such as January to save them having to wait up to 7 weeks for a passport via the standard postal services.


So don't let 2016's peek travel times catch you out. Avoid the crowds and waiting times, and let us help with the hard stuff. We are here to assist and help with your application, for more information on urgent services see here.

Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

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