Muscat: The British Passport Office is coping with the highest demand for passports in 12 years, having issued over three million passports in 2014.
Recognising the public's understandable concerns about delays, the Home Secretary announced a series of additional measures on June 12 intended to help applicants living overseas. British Embassies and High Commissions will now offer additional services to help British nationals living and working overseas who might be affected by delays.
If a British national lives overseas and needs to renew an existing British passport, they can, instead, apply for it to be extended for 12 months. They will need to be in possession of a passport that expired less than six months ago or will expire within the next three months, or seven months if there is a need for six months validity, and have at least three blank pages left in the passport.
British nationals will not be charged for this extension.
If they have already made an application to have their passport renewed, they cannot qualify for an extension of their current passport, even if they still have their passport. If they need to travel urgently, they may be able to apply for an emergency travel document.
If they are the parent or guardian of a child living overseas that needs to travel, they may be able to apply for an emergency travel document for the child, instead of a new or renewed passport.
If a British national wants to access any of these services, call the British Embassy switchboard at 2460 9000 and select option 2. The applicants are urged not to arrive without an appointment.