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Police: Passport backlogs will take weeks to clear

Walk-ins at police stations face many hours' wait to renew passports.

People waiting to enter Pasila police station on Friday, 4 March 2022. Image: Sakari Piippo / Yle

The National Police Board reports a surge of applications for passports in recent weeks.

Appointments for submitting passport applications are backlogged at police stations around the country, the National Police Board told Finnish News Agency STT on Sunday.

Scheduling an in-person appointment now can take weeks.

People can also renew their passports by walking into a police station. This has, however, led to long queues forming in and outside some stations.

This week Helsinki's Pasila police station reported "unprecedented" queues, as the unit was seeing 800 people a day wanting to renew their passports on the spot. Wait times stretched to two hours, with some forced to wait their turn outside the station.

The cities of Vantaa and Turku have also reported a spike in passport applications.

People whose passports or ID cards expired more than a year ago must book an in-person visit to a police station to resubmit their fingerprints.

Some 250,000 adults and 138,000 minors in Finland did not have a valid passport at the beginning of February.