Strike in the passport office: Should I get my new passport now?

UK passport

Passport workers on strike ahead of summer vacation (Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Passport workers are planning a five-week strike just before the main summer holiday months.

Over 1000 members of The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will pull out as it demands fairer wages and working conditions amid the cost of living crisis.

Of course, they’re far from the only industry taking part in strikes – since last year everyone from rail workers to teachers to nurses have acted in a historic first-ever strike.

But what does that mean for summer vacation planning – if you need a new passport, when should you apply for it?

Should I apply for a passport now?

The first thing to consider is whether you actually need a new passport or are you just panicking.

So check your expiration date first.

In general, the rules state that your passport should be valid for at least 30 days from the intended date of travel, but it is recommended that you have at least six months on your passport before it expires.

Woman gets on the plane

Do you want to go on vacation this summer? Check your passport and renew it early! (Image: Getty)

How much time it takes you to get your passport depends on the country you’re visiting, so it’s best to check first.

If you have enough space in your passport to be valid for the summer holidays, it may be best to apply after you return from a pre-booked trip.

This is because as per advice, you should allow up to 10 weeks from receipt of your old passport, any supporting documents or confirmation of your identity details if required, to receipt of your new passport.

With the strikes likely to affect turnaround times, you could expect wait times in excess of 10 weeks.

The downside, of course, is that you might not be able to plan last-minute trips while you wait for the next one.

PCS union workers go on strike

The PCS Union will be phased out for over a month in April (Image: Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

In that case you could always opt for a staycation – we have them At least some top spas and photogenic spots on home soil.

If you need a passport to travel urgently for medical treatment, a friend or family member is seriously ill or has died, or for urgent government business, call the Passport Adviceline.

When is the passport office on strike?

More than 1000 members of the PCS union working in passport offices in England, Scotland and Wales will take part in the action from April 3rd to May 5th.

Workers in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough and Southport will go on strike from April 3rd to May 5th, while those in Belfast will go on strike from April 7th to May 5th.

PCS Secretary General Mark Serwotka said: “This escalation of our action has come about because ministers, in sharp contrast to other parts of the public sector, have failed to hold meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and continued targeted action , which lasts six months.”

“They seem to think that if they ignore our members, they will disappear. But how can our members ignore the cost of living crisis when 40,000 civil servants use panels and 45,000 of them claim the benefits they administer themselves?’

MORE: All strikes planned for March 2023 – from trains to teachers

MORE : Now might be the best time to ditch everything and move to Europe to save money

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Justin Scaccy

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