Summer hols stressful for passport issuers

Summer hols stressful for passport issuers
With vacations and summer holidays around the corner, travel figures are up, and Sweden’s passport-issuing police are buckling under the pressure.

In Stockholm County, the mountain of passport applications begins to grow steadily as early as March. It then continues to swell, reaching its peak in May and June, when some 40,000-42,000 applications come in every month.

July and August are also intense months for the passport police.

On their website, Stockholm’s passport police remind visitors that they are also open Saturdays, and in general recommend visitors to try to come outside of rush hour.

“On Mondays and Tuesdays our office usually has most visitors. Many of these come in the morning, when we open, and many others at lunch time every day,” write the police on their website.

The passport offices’ staff must work overtime, and the opening hours are extended, to satisfy the annual deluge of visitors eager for overseas travel.

Police offices in other parts of Sweden, such as Västra Götaland and Skåne, report similar patterns.

A high-tech way of handling the long queues was introduced for Stockholm earlier in 2012. It’s now possible for visitors to book their visit online ahead of time, instead of dropping by unannounced and having to sit and sweat in a crowded waiting room.

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