At present UK passports are taking longer than normal to process, my daughters recent passport renewal (child) took approx 7 weeks (3 weeks shorter than the 10-week current estimate).
Due to an upcoming business trip to India (and the fact that India has temporarily suspended e-visas for uk citizens), I find myself needing to apply for a paper visa. Paper visas require you to have 2 consecutive pages free, and I only have 1.
My passport is valid for another 5 years so its good for a while, but the lack of pages leaves me with an issue. I need a new passport for the visa, but I can’t risk a 10 week wait as I have a holiday in August. So I find myself needing to request an urgent 1-week passport appointment which wasn’t quite as straight forward as I expected.
To book an appointment you visit the following webpage;
What i didn’t expect was this
I checked on and off, but it was the same.
How I used a 3rd party to alert me when appointments were available.
To save time from checking over and over again, I setup an account on Sken.io, Sken is a service which alerts you to when a site’s content changes.
Visit sken.io and create an account, you’ll need to validate your email, and create your first job;
wait for step 2 to load and adjust the box over the content
then click on Check: Custom at the bottom to adjust the frequency of the checks.
Select the boxes in the bottom box – labelled every day – select the boxes from 9 to 5.30 – I’m assuming that no appointments will be released out of hours. The trial account has a limited number of checks, so this ensures you don’t waste them.
Click on okay (to confirm the schedule), then confirm selection, to get to step 3.
Then enter your email address, and give the job a name, and click Start Monitoring.
then leave sken.io to do its magic and wait
At some point you’ll receive an email, which will look something like this;
And as quickly as you can, go visit the site and book your appointment.
For me, i missed the email by 10 minutes, and got this;
I kept on retrying for 10-15 minutes and was about to give up when eventually I got through and was offered these slots.
I managed to book an appointment for 1 week in the future in London.
By using tools such as sken.io you can get alerted to when the booking service is accepting appointments, and get that slot before anyone else does.
For those who want to try without the above – slots appear to become available at 3pm! (based upon the alerts i’ve been receiving).
For more tips please read my blog here