Temporary changes to passport delivery times will come into effect this month.
This is due to changes to the delivery service to the island, staff changes, and the significant increase in the number of passport applications being received by the Isle of Man Passport Office.
From the August 18, Isle of Man Passports will only be available on a Standard Service (currently taking up to 35 days), or as an Emergency Travel Document (one working day).
The ‘Express 5 day service’ will be suspended from the August 18.
The suspension of the service is temporary and the situation will be reviewed again by September 30, 2023.
Updated advice will be published at that time.
In recent months the Isle of Man Passport Service has been trying to honour ‘Express 5 Day’ applications, however, due to changes to the delivery service to the Island, this service has been taking longer. Currently the ‘Express 5 day’ service is taking around 8+ days, and as this service cannot be honoured, a refund of the service fee is given.
Residents planning to travel in less than 35 days urged to check the validity of their passport early, and if they need to make an application at short notice, to be aware that any Express applications must be received before 2pm on 18 August.
Express applications made before 18 August are still expected to take around 8+ days to deliver, in which case refunds will be issued of the service fee.
Diane Kelsey MLC, Cabinet Office Member with responsibility for Immigration, said: ‘Passport Officers are dedicated to delivering their services without uncertainty for applicants. In order to do this we need to focus our limited resources on Standard applications and, sadly, need to temporarily suspend a service that is now undeliverable due to a combination of factors. The team is working hard to solve the current issues.
She continued: ‘as we are currently in summer holiday season, we are keen to ensure everyone has notice of the changes as soon as possible. If you have any overseas travel planned in the next couple of months, please take time to check the expiry dates on your family’s Isle of Man Variant British Passports so you can take action if you need to before these changes come into force.’
The number of applications for passports reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic which has now resulted in a significant increase in demand as people check the validity of their Passports. Between April 2020 and March 2022 there were 12,927 Isle of Man variant passports issued.
In just one year after the pandemic (2022-23) there were 12,125 passports issued, and 2,983 passports have already been issued from April 2023 to June 2023.
Emergency Travel Documents, sometimes referred to as ‘temporary passports’, remain unaffected by these changes with a delivery of within 24 hours/one working day.
The Passports Public Counter is open from 11am until 2pm Monday to Friday.
Applications with cheque payments can be posted in the passports letterbox by the main entrance of Central Government Office. Alternatively there are card payments forms which can be completed. Please note cheques can't be made for the emergency passport, only card payments.
It comes at a time where the costs of an Isle of Man passport are set to increase later this year. Link here.