British passport delays: HK website tracks wait times

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image captionDelays to passports have hit tens of thousands in the UK and around the world

A Hong Kong-based journalist frustrated at delays to British passport applications has set up a website to publicly track how long it takes to process hers - and she wants others to join in.

Laura Ma's website - which says No in big letters at the top - has a counter totting up the days, hours, minutes and seconds since she applied for her passport on 1 August. It also invites readers to share the time they've been waiting for their passport.

Britain's passport system has been hit by huge delays after a change in the way applications are processed. The UK's Passport Office says it is dealing with the highest demand for passports in 12 years. In July, the number of delayed passports was put at over 30,000, and hundreds of UK passport workers went on strike over pay and staffing.

"The thinking behind the website is to boost awareness of the backlog," Ma tells the South China Morning Post. Ma, 26, holds three passports - she was born in Hong Kong, acquired British citizenship as a child and has since become a naturalised citizen in in Canada. She had to send off all her documents to renew the UK passport. "It means I will have no travel documents whatsoever for as long as it takes for them to process everything," she says.

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