British passport office workers are currently on a five-week strike, as more than 1,000 workers walked out on Monday, April 3.
Unfortunately, the timing of the strike coincides with the time when most Brits are planning for their summer holidays, causing inconvenience to travelers.
But how does the strike affect Brits in China?
The strike may cause concern for those who need to renew an old passport or apply for a new one in the coming months.
Despite the streamlined workforce, there is no official guidance on how long it takes to get a passport. The passport office advices applicants to allow 10-12 weeks to process a new passport.
For those applying for a new passport in China, they must apply in person at one of the UK Visa Application Centres, with official guidance found right here or by scanning the QR code below:
Before going to the nearest UK Visa Application Centre, applicants need to book an appointment by email, as the centre will inform them of the earliest available time slot.
UK Visa Application Centres in China
UK Visa Application Centre, Beijing
Beijing Inn, A901-919, B Zone, 9th Floor, Building B, Second Group, No. 5 Dongshuijing Alley, Dongcheng District, Beijing, China 100010
UK Visa Application Centre, Chongqing
Room 3-3, 3rd Floor, Tower B, Reliance Centre, Xihu Zhi Road No.2, Liang Jiang Xin District, Chongqing, China 401147
UK Visa Application Centre, Guangzhou
Room 215, Cheng Jian Mansion, No. 189 Tiyu Rd. (West), Tian He District, Guangzhou City, China 510620
UK Visa Application Centre, Shanghai
2/F, Jiushi Commercial Building, 213 Middle Sichuan Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China 200002
Although the strike has caused disruption to travelers, there is no need to panic.
One Brit we spoke to, Gareth, who has been living and working in China for more than 11 years, recently renewed his passport in Guangzhou and said that the process seemed to speed up before the strike took place; he submitted his passport application on March 7, and was informed to pick up his new passport on March 31, meaning it took less than four weeks to process.
For those who need to plan for a new passport application now, they may need to hurry, as the UK Visa Application Centre will soon run out of all time slots in April, as of press time.
Another Brit we spoke to, tech engineer William in Foshan, emailed the application centre in Guangzhou on April 4 and found out that the earliest available time slot for a new passport application is April 27.
If you have any experience regarding the disruption caused by the passport office strike, let us know in the comments or follow us on our WeChat Official account, ThatsGBA.