North East UK news Teen's six-month passport battle leaves her fearing she will miss first holiday PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Lucy Stuart plans to travel to Portugal with four friends to celebrate the end of their A Levels - but she is facing a race against time
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! A teenager fears she will be unable to travel on her first holiday abroad following a six-month battle to get a passport. Lucy Stuart planned to travel with four friends to Porto in Portugal to celebrate the end of their A Level exams. The 18-year-old applied for her first adult passport on January 17 this year and is due to travel on July 3. Following a series of issues with the Passport Office, which resulted in her having to apply twice, she has still not received a passport. She was told she must attend an interview but there are no slots available until after her travel date. Read more: Sunderland mum found out she was pregnant weeks after burying partner killed by danger driver Lucy, who lives in Callerton, Newcastle, has spent around £600 on her holiday and passport applications. If she does not receive a passport in time she will be unable to travel with her pals and will lose her money. She said: "This is my first trip abroad so it's quite exciting but the situation is not great. At this point it looks like I'm not going on holiday, it's very upsetting. "There's no reason why I shouldn't be able to get a first adult passport. Both of my parents were born in the UK and I was born in the UK. For me it's a simple application. I gave it the 10 weeks they told me it would take and it's not worked out for me. It's been six months." Lucy, who attends Gosforth Academy, said she worked as a retail assistant at Tesco over the Christmas period to pay for the holiday, which was almost £400. She said she applied straight away to the Passport Office for her first passport, which cost £80, back in January after booking the 12-day trip. Lucy says she was told by the Passport Office that she needed a more detailed birth certificate which contained more information about her parents. She claims she immediately paid the Civic Centre in Newcastle £11 for the document, received it on March 5 and sent it straight off to the Passport Office. The A Level student claims she began to receive emails saying that her application would be withdrawn but to ignore them if she had already sent off the correct documents, which she had. Despite this, her original passport application was withdrawn on March 22. Lucy said the Passport Office claimed they hadn't received the document - yet both of the birth certificates were later returned to her. The teenager first applied for a passport in January (Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive) Lucy said: "That made me quite angry. The Passport Office clearly had the document. It could have been in a pile and they hadn't opened them but they had received it and it wasn't lost in the post like they indicated it might have been. It was frustrating and enraging to see that happen." She forked out another £80 for a second passport application and paid the Civic Centre £35 for another detailed birth certificate through their priority service, before sending them to the Passport Office.
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. Lucy, who is studying A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, was then informed that she must attend an interview to obtain a passport. However there are no appointments available until after she is due to travel to Porto from Manchester Airport on July 3. She said: "I am quite upset and frustrated about it because I have spent a lot of money trying to get it sorted. I cannot afford to lose the money that I have spent on this travel and the situation at hand is through no fault of my own. "I have spent quite a lot of my exam period, when I should have been studying, trying to sort it out. I think it has put more stress on me than necessary at this time. I wouldn't be surprised if it affects my performance."
Lucy planned to go to Porto with friends
(Image: Craig Connor/ChronicleLive)
Lucy, who plans to study Zoology at the University of Aberdeen, said the holiday was supposed to be a final chance for her and her school friends to spend time together before they go their separate ways. She said: "This is extremely distressing to me given the timeframe. This is supposed to be our last little trip together before everyone goes off and does their separate thing next year. "My friends were excited about the fact I have never flown and I have never been abroad because they were going to be with me the first time. I think everyone is feeling upset about it. They feel guilty that they are going without me. "When people go on holiday they post it on social media and I think it will be hard to see my friends on the holiday. With it being a 12-day holiday, it's quite a long one to have to watch." HM Passport Office has apologised to Lucy for the delay. They said they will prioritise her application via their expedited service at no additional cost. A spokesperson said: "We apologise for the delay in issuing Ms Stuart’s passport. We have now prioritised this application given the travel date, and will be in contact with Ms Stuart directly to progress the application. They added: "Staff are processing approximately 250,000 passport applications each week and the latest figures show that 98.5% of applications have been completed within 10 weeks. But we cannot compromise security checks and people should apply with plenty of time prior to travelling. "Since April 2021, we’ve clearly stated that people should allow up to ten weeks when applying for their passport to factor in the increased demand, which has seen 5 million people delay their passport application due to the pandemic. An expedited service is available to help the small percentage of people whose applications take longer than ten weeks to receive their passports before they travel." Read more: Man killed after car collides with pedestrian on A189 in Blyth Attempted murder probe launched over attack on John Henry Sayers outside Newcastle home Newcastle's summer plan after Nick Pope transfer after Amanda Staveley's 'too high' admission 'I have never slept a wink': Neighbours describe how man with 'heart of gold' allegedly killed in Wallsend Police investigation after death of 23-year-old solider based at Albermarle Barracks in Northumberland
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