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Police report record number of passport applications

The trend will likely continue well into the summer, according to the police.

Scheduling an in-person appointment to submit a passport application can take weeks, or even months Image: Mikaela Löv / Yle

An unprecedented number of people in Finland applied for or sought to renew their passports this spring, according to the National Police Board of Finland.

March saw the biggest uptick in applications, with 191,000 passports granted, an amount more than five times greater than the same time last year.

The upsurge came shortly after Covid restrictions relaxed across the country and Russia began its attack on Ukraine.

Police stations throughout Finland have seen application numbers more than triple since last spring, with the National Police Board estimating that the trend will likely continue well into the summer.

Police said the rush was mostly due to citizens allowing their passports to expire during the pandemic.

Police: long wait times

Those wishing to apply for passports may need to book a time to visit a police station.

Appointments for submitting passport applications are backlogged at police stations across the country, and scheduling an in-person appointment can take weeks, or even months in some cases.

People can also renew their passports by walk-in appointment. This has, however, led to long queues forming in and outside some stations.

Those seeking available times should regularly check for cancellations, the police recommended, adding that appointment times often may be more readily available at police stations in less populated areas.