Dear HM Passport Office,
I would appreciate if you can provide the following information in relation to a New Child Overseas Passport application submitted in India:
1) What is the standard time taken for issuing new child passport from India? We have been waiting for 21 weeks now and the only response we get is 'regular checks are still being conducted and you cannot provide any timescales'. Can you please provide a breakup of applications held up for more than 16 weeks, 20 weeks and so on, and the reasons why they are taking so long?
2) When you say at least 16 weeks, when can we expect the passport? Can we expect it in 16 weeks or 20 weeks or 26 weeks ? We do live in the UK and have employment responsibilities and also have to pay taxes and bills in the UK. How do you expect us to handle such matters if you keep us held in a foreign country indefinitely for such long periods?
3) We are also given a reason that local checks for overseas applications take lot of time and it depends on the co-operation of local authorities. If you were able to conduct the same local checks quickly and issue passports within 6-8 weeks earlier, why are you now unable to conduct the local checks even after 21 weeks? Have the local authorities in India stopped co-operating with the you recently or is it due to your inefficiency?
4) Do you not have any separate policy to process applications of people who are UK residents but are temporarily in a foreign country? Or do you treat all overseas applications as that of Non-Dom's and make everybody wait for long periods irrespective of where they are domiciled?
5) Is there any data on how many UK domiciled residents (not Non-Dom's) are held up overseas due to delays in issuing passports and for how long they are held up? Are you taking any steps to process their applications faster to enable them to join their families in the UK and report back to work and schools?
6) We have been informed that the applying parent of the child may have to attend an Interview in New Delhi. If the applying parent is in the UK and you do not provide any definite timescales, how do you expect the parents to attend an interview at very short notice? Is it not possible to arrange the interview in the UK?
7) The Home Secretary has announced Free ETD's. As she announced, is it practically being issued to first time child applicants from overseas? If so, why are the British Embassy staff in Chennai, India demanding a fee of about £100 ?
8) What documents do you expect an applicant to submit for an ETD when all the original documents and copies are held by you along with the passport application? We have been informed that all original documents are held by the British High Commission in New Delhi while the application is being processed in the UK. Doesn't the British High Commission in New Delhi share documents/information with the Deputy High Commission in Chennai in order to issue the ETD ?
9) When one of the parent is in the UK how do you expect both the parents to attend an interview to issue an ETD ? ETD means Emergency Travel Document, but what we have realised is,there does not seem to be any emergency at the BHC in issuing the ETD, as you are demanding documentation which is not easy to produce in emergency situations. Is there any faster process for passport applicants who have been waiting for very long periods and are stranded due to your inefficiencies?
10) We have been informed that if any one parent is currently not in India, we can submit attested photocopy of the passport. However, such copies are already held with the BHC along with the passport application. If the originals are held with the BHC, how do you expect a UK Notary to attest a photocopy without seeing the original?
Thank you for your e-mail of 22 August in which you ask for information on
Overseas Passport Timescales. Your request is being handled as a request
for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We will aim to send you a full response by 23 September, which is twenty
working days from the date when we received your request.
If you have any questions about the handling of your information request,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
Her Majesty's Passport Office
Thank you for your information request. Please see attached response.
Her Majesty's Passport Office
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