Marthe Høyer-Andreassen has been trying to get a new passport for four months, but standing in long queues at the embassy in London is almost impossible.
Marthe Høyer-Andreassen (46) tries to book a passport at the Norwegian Embassy in the UK several times daily. She says she is greeted with the same message every time: no free time.
– I stick my head in the wall, she tells Vijay.
For the past four months, I have been trying to get an appointment at the embassy – but have not been successful so far. His passport expires on Tuesday, and he must present it to the embassy to renew his passport.
– Until my passport is handed over to me, I am not in line. No one knows if I am waiting for a new passport. At least it should have been on the waiting list so I could sign up, says Hoyer-Andreassen.
She has lived in the UK for many years with her husband Stephen and their three children Charlie (14), Oscar (11) and Emma (7). They live on a farm in Leicestershire a few hours north of London.
On the other hand their family lives in Oslo. She has not seen her brother, mother or father since last fall.
– Dad is 80 years old and not well enough to travel. Because of the corona epidemic, we have seen less of each other in the last two years, says Hoyer-Andreassen.
Since it is not available anywhere, he has applied for UK citizenship. For the past two years, one or more additional citizens have been allowed to stay with Norway. He applied four weeks ago and has already passed one of the required exams.
– I do not know how long it will take, but I hope it will take more time to renew the passport than to become a citizen of a new country, says Hoier-Andreassen.
One day there were free times, but when she filled in the name, she says they disappeared.
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Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals, with many failing to renew their passports. On Friday, he waited in line for 1.5 hours at the passport office at the police station in Oslo, Høyer-Andreassen says.
– I do not know what to do, so I wanted to ask if they have any advice. I’m in despair. If I sit here in the UK with my passport nothing will happen.
Now it is doubtful whether the family will be able to fulfill the holiday plans. Police Warns against booking a holiday for those who do not have a valid passport. The United Kingdom is not a member of Schengen or the European Union.
– We were looking forward to seeing them this summer and now I do not know if we will travel. It is sad and frustrating.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware that the embassy in London is currently crowded with Norwegian citizens who want to apply for a passport.
– The embassy has taken a number of steps to increase capacity, and now receives more passport applicants than ever before, but unfortunately still has to wait several hours, senior adviser Ann Katherine writes in an email to Ambo VG.
He says the embassy continues to evaluate the inquiries they receive from the public with requests to prioritize queues.
Individuals with an Norwegian passport that has expired in the United Kingdom must apply for a new passport or emergency passport to return to Norway unless they have a travel document from another country valid for travel to Norway.
The Foreign Ministry says there has been a setback since the new rules on epidemiology, the Brexit process and dual citizenship led to the break of the record for passport time. They do not have statistics on how many Norwegians are abroad with expired passports.
– Whether you apply for renewal in Norway or abroad, the preparation time for passports is the same. Because all Norwegian passports are made in one place. Aambø writes that delays in the production of Norwegian passports also unfortunately have implications for Norwegians applying for passports in Norway’s foreign service assignments.
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