Kent woman faces leaving her son 11,000 miles away due to passport delays

Penny is desperately trying to get her son's passport in time for her dads funeral. Credit: ITV Meridian

A woman from Kent who moved to New Zealand says she's close to 'falling apart' after attempts to get her son a passport were delayed.

Penny Marshall, who is from Herne Bay, lost her father earlier this month and now faces leaving her son, Archie, more than 11 thousand miles away to attend his funeral.

The funeral is being held in 10 days time and Penny says she is running out of options to get Archie his passport.

She originally applied for a standard passport over 10 weeks ago, before her dad passed away.

Usually an application for a British passport takes around 10 weeks to be issued when you are out of the country, however due to the Ukraine crisis there are delays in the system.

Penny applied for an emergency passport 12 days ago, and the process should take 14 days, but has received nothing yet.

Penny with her Dad on her wedding day. Credit: ITV Meridian

Archie was born 15 months ago, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. As Penny is not a resident in the country, Archie is not eligible for a New Zealand passport.

Travel wasn't possible under New Zealand's strict border policies, which saw the country have very few covid infections.

Penny had always planned to sort a passport for Archie, and with circumstances changing and a relaxing of travel rules she applied through the embassy.

She is now desperate to get the document, so that she and her son can travel back to Kent together and pay their respects to her father.

Watch: Penny explains her situation.

However each time Penny chases her application she is given various reasons as to why the document hasn't yet arrived.

"I must have rung the embassy... 30 or 40 times." She said.

"I get different excuses all the time. Number 1 being to do with people coming over to do with the Ukraine war, which I completely understand.

"But I also sit in the situation where I think that I am wasting someone's time, but at the same time I know that people are in a full time job to do this.

"If I was in England it would take Archie just one week to get a passport... yet an emergency document on the other side of the world takes two weeks, minimum."

Penny added that she can't miss her dad's funeral, and if worst comes to worst, she will leave Archie in New Zealand and fly back to the UK alone.

But that is something she doesn't want to do, as it would feel like she is leaving the people who support her most behind.

She was told today, 25 April, that her paperwork will be reviewed and processed.

However her emergency application was submitted on the 12 April, 12 days ago, and there is no ETA for the documents to arrive.

ITV News Meridian has approached the Home Office for comment.