If you were in a hurry, and travelling to Europe, you could get a one-year Visitor's Passport, over the counter, at the Post Office.
The UK Passport Service (UKPS) might have reduced the waiting time but now the Government has reinvented it and wants to create a backlog again, or maybe it's a plan to create more jobs and construct more buildings, or at least renovate the old ones.
The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Home Office on the 1st April 2006, as part of a much-debated National Identity Scheme.
With the introduction of the new biometric passports, that apparently there's a huge demand for, the IPS will soon (from April, 2007) require all 'British' adults applying for a new passport, for the first time, to attend a 20-minute interview. This is 'estimated to affect approximately 609,000 [applicants] in the first year of operation'.
By 2009, all new passports will also include fingerprint data of the holder; and applicants will have to travel to one of the new centres for this inconvenience.
I'm glad I've already renewed my passport in a British Embassy abroad, shortly before Christmas (with just a one-week wait), and won't need to be finger-printed like a criminal until 2016.
Labels: travel documents