A mum has shared her frustration with the Passport Office as her baby’s passport remains in’limbo’ despite their £ 3,000 family holiday being a matter of days away. Baby Caeden is still waiting for his passport to be approved so the one-year-old can join his family on a two-week trip to Spain and Greece.
Mum Lauren sent off applications for herself, along with her three daughters Freya, Poppy, and Phoebe. But while they have their passports ready to go, they’re still waiting for Caeden’s to be signed off. The mum-of-four says she initially applied at the end of January, with the online portal updating on March 23 saying they had received Caeden’s application.
The little boy, who is turning two on May 22, is meant to be celebrating his first holiday as the family is set to go on two back-to-back holidays, first in Barcelona on May 9 followed by a rescheduled trip to Greece on May 19. Lauren, and husband Daniel, are now worried they’re going to miss out on £ 3,000-worth of getaways due to the Passport Office placing Caeden in a queue.
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Lauren explained to the ECHO how she has been to two different passport offices in the hope of sorting out the application. However they still have no idea when the baby’s passport can be pushed through in time for their big trip abroad.
She said: “He doesn’t really understand [what’s happening] but people are saying just leave him at home, when for one, it’s his birthday while we’re away and I also would never leave one of my kids. I have three other kids that fully know we’re going away, they’re 11, eight, and five.
“They know we’re going on holiday. I can’t let them down but I also can’t leave the baby at home. I can’t change the dates either because it’s too close the flight tickets have been released now.
“It’s either go and leave my son if we don’t get this passport, which I’m not going to do, or just lose all that money for the sake of an application that’s sat on someone’s desk and just needs approving.”
Lauren claims to have already spent just under £ 147 on the one application, with her paying to have documents posted and paying for the application itself.
An HM Passport Office spokesperson said: “Since April 2021, we have been advising people to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their British passport as more than 5 million people delayed applying due to the pandemic.
“We urge people who need a new passport to apply for one as soon as possible, with the vast majority of all passport applications being dealt with well within 10 weeks.
“To deal with this demand, we have increased staff numbers by 500 since April 2021. This has helped us to handle more applications than ever before, with more than one million passport applications processed in March 2022.”