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Home NATIONALPassport backlog worsens as summer nears
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Mon, 16 May, 2016 12:07:26 AM
FTimes – STT Report, May 16
Passport of Finland. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The processing of passport applications often extends for longer than usual time when summer holidays approach.
At the moment, the length of the queue varies from two to five weeks across the whole country.
In Helsinki, Turku and Oulu police departments, those who have applied for passports would be able to get the passports in June. In Tampere, the waiting period is two weeks.
In Turku, an applicant has to wait for around five weeks at the Turku police station, said Inspector Stephan Sundqvist of the Southwestern Finland Police Department.
“In Turku and Pori passport applications will be received on two Saturdays of May. This is a trial which will be tested to address backlog in the beginning of summer,” said Sundqvist.
 According to Chief Inspector Vesa Hietala, the queue in Helsinki is three and a half weeks. Similarly, the chief inspector at Oulu police station, Juhani Saranki said the backlog in Oulu will extend until the beginning of June.
Even though the passport waiting period is about two weeks in Tampere, Chief Inspector Hannele Koskela of the Central Finland Police Department said applicants receive their passports earlier than in other police stations in the Pirkanmaa region.
Koskela also pointed out that passports can also be applied electronically in some cases.
“This requires the old passport has finger prints and there has been no changes to the holder’s name,” said Koskela.
The renewal of passport whose validity was 10 years, however, requires the applicant to visit the police station. Some of the 10-year-old passports expire within the current year.
If a person wants to travel in July, one should apply for the passport as soon as possible. According to Hietala, especially the Midsummer period will be crowded.
In case of an emergency, the Fast-track passport and Express passports which are more expensive than the ordinary passports may solve the problem. 
Fast-track passports are obtained after 3-5 days while Express passports are obtained on the same day, if the application is submitted in the morning before 11am. The validity of Fast-track and Express passports is the same as regular passports.
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