Travel – Cologne – High demand for new passports – Society

Berlin / Cologne (DPA) – A few weeks before the start of the summer holidays, many Germans want to get a new passport. The Federal Ministry of the Interior reports that applications for passports are currently very high. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior told dpa that this is mainly due to the easing of restrictions on the epidemic linked to Corona.

Another reason he gave was that no identity card would be accepted for trips to Great Britain since 2021. “In addition, due to reunification in 1990, an increase in passport applications can be expected every ten years,” the spokesman added. It seems that this “wave of applications”, which was suspected in 2020 and 2021, has been postponed to 2022 due to Corona.

According to figures released by the ministry, higher demand also leads to longer waiting times: the average production time for passports has increased from 10.1 working days in January 2022 to 18 working days in April 2022. In addition to production, this also includes shipping times and postal times . Before the Corona pandemic, it was said that between 9.4 and 10 working days for ordinary passport applications. In addition, operations in local authorities took time.

The ministry spokesperson assumes that after the summer holidays at the latest, the number of passport applications will decrease and therefore the average production time could decrease slightly. The demand for speedy passport application has also increased sharply. More than 99 percent of passports ordered in an express order are ready for collection within three working days.

The Association of Towns in North Rhine-Westphalia requires that the Bundesdruckerei send identity documents directly to citizens. “This saves the group in the office and thus relieves management and citizens alike,” said managing director Helmut Didi of the German Press Agency (dpa). Then significantly more orders can be processed. This long-held requirement must finally be implemented by the cities.

The Municipal Assembly is appealing to citizens to submit applications as soon as possible. After the Corona restrictions expired, the demand for appointments was especially high in many cities. “Corona has ensured that many people do not want or cannot apply for their identity papers in a timely manner,” Didi said. In some cities, the number of people over 16 without a valid ID has tripled, according to the North Rhine-Westphalia City Association.

This mountain of applications that have been made and still have to be processed, along with the seasonally growing demand for travel documents, now have to be processed. In the previous year, additional registry offices were set up for a limited amount of time, working hours were extended, appointments were allocated and operations improved. And NRW City Day announced that a lot of this will be there again now.

According to the city, appointments can be made at customer centers and also at the Identity and Temporary Registration Office in Cologne. According to the city, appointments for passports in Bonn are currently available in two to three weeks. “Facing the Corona pandemic and the large number of refugees from Ukraine remains a great challenge for the service center,” a spokeswoman said. Individual solutions will be found for “emergency customers” in the case of short-haul flights.

Düsseldorf employs additional staff and entry-level staff so you can save more appointments in a short time. A spokesperson explained that appointments made online every day sold out very quickly. Citizens are currently not satisfied with this. After far fewer applications for passports were made in Corona 2020 and 2021, there is currently a 66 percent increase.

According to the city, the number of passport applications in Bielefeld falls within the usual range. Assignment status is not a problem. According to a spokesman, “everything is still fine” in Dortmund. There is a “peak” before every holiday season. “Citizens’ services in the city of Dortmund are ready for this,” he stressed.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220513-99-268627 / 2

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