From tomorrow passport applications are about to get a lot more expensive for everyone in Britain.
For the first time ever postal applications are going to cost more than online ones although these too are increasing in price.
Currently the price for an adult passport regardless of how an application is made is £72.50 while for children under the age of 16 it costs £46.
However, from tomorrow the price of postal applications for children is increasing by 27 per cent to £58.50 with the cost for adults seeing a 17 per cent hike rising to £85.
People are being encouraged to apply online as it’s much cheaper with children’s applications costing £49 and adults’ £75.50.
The proposal for the price hike was passed earlier this month, March 7, in the House of Commons with a vote of 317 to 258 in favour.
During the debate, Labour attempted to block the increase warning it could be another burden on struggling families.
In a statement released on the party’s website, Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:
Labour is urging MPs to put party divisions to one side on Wednesday and do the right thing by voting against this unfair rise in the cost of getting a new passport.
This whopping increase will hit families badly and could see some families being forced to cancel their summer holiday plans as the costs become too high.
To emphasise her point, Abbott then gave the example of a family of four who would have to pay a whopping £287 to apply for passports for each member.
Under the Immigration Act of 2016 HM Passport Office were given new fee-setting powers to help them deal with the sheer amount of applications they get each year.
They process a remarkable estimated six million passport applications each year.
It is expected the office will receive an additional income of up to £50 million in the 2018-19 financial year thanks to the increase in prices.
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If you want to beat the price hike there is still time as long as you fill in an online application before tomorrow.
This is also the case if you want to renew as any time left on your old passport will be transferred to your new one up to nine months.
You will have to be quick though as you only have until midnight!
If you need a passport issued as soon as possible, a new ‘top-level premium collect service’ is being introduced which allows people to get a passport on the same day if you are happy to pay £177 for an adult or £151 for a child.
As long as you have an appointment, complete a form, bring the correct supporting documents with you and two photos you can receive a passport in an estimated four hours.
There is also the option for a ‘fast-track’ application which means it will take only a week you to get your passport compared to the usual three weeks to renew or six for a new one.
This will cost £142 for adults and £122 for children.
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