HM Passport Office has announced plans to increase the fees for new and renewed applications from next month.
Subject to Parliamentary scrutiny the fee for a standard online application made from within the UK will rise on February 2, 2023, from the current £75.50 to £82.50 for adults, and from £49 to £53.50 for children.
Meanwhile postal applications will increase from £85 to £93 for adults, and from £58.50 to £64 for children.
The last time the charges were increased was in March 2018, when there was a particularly steep rise in postal application fees, to encourage customers to apply online.
The Passport Office said that “the new fees will help the Home Office move towards a system that meets its costs through those who use it, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation”, adding that “The government does not make any profit from the cost of passport applications”.
The agency also said that the fees “will also contribute to the cost of processing passport applications, consular support overseas, including for lost or stolen passports, and the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders”.
In April last year the government advised people to allow up to ten weeks for the processing of British passport applications, warning that demand was at “an all-time high” as a result of over five million people delaying applications during 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an update on application wait times, the agency said that since January 2022 over 95 per cent of standard applications had been processed within ten weeks, although it continues to advise customers to “apply in good time before travelling”.
Anecdotal evidence among Business Traveller colleagues and family suggests applications are being processed smoothly at present, with two applications made over the Christmas holidays having been issued within two weeks.
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