Australian passport office delays threaten travel plans

With intercontinental borders now reopening and vacation again on the agenda, delays in processing passports have established a nightmare for Australians hunting to escape.

Australians are renewing their expired passports in droves, with ballooning processing moments threatening extended-awaited travel ideas.

Though the Section of Overseas Affairs and Investing endorses candidates to make it possible for up to 6 months to get a passport, delays have found that time prolong by weeks and in some conditions months.

Footage from 9Information showed lengthy lines outside the Sydney arm of the Australian Passport Workplace, with some complaining of wait around moments of up to 5 hrs on social media.

Talking to 7News, Western Australian couple Sharnyce Hudson and Ethan Hall stated they experienced waited 9 weeks for their passport software to method, however they were being nevertheless left waiting around the working day ahead of their holiday break.

In a past-ditch endeavor to make their Bali journey, the pair drove for 5 hours from Geraldton to Perth, in order to queue exterior the passport business.

“We are meant to be traveling out tomorrow at 3.40am and at this position it does not glimpse like we’re going anyplace,” stated Ms Hudson.

Yet another mom claimed her software for her 5-thirty day period-aged baby has taken much more than a few months. With their British isles journey date now less than a week absent, she reported the aid line was “completely dead” due to the quantity of inquiries.

Two-position-four million Australian passports have expired since January 2021, with DFAT having difficulties to continue to keep up with people keen to travel, 9Information experiences. Though Sydney’s passport office normally receives concerning 7000 to 9000 purposes amongst Monday and Friday, that determine has due to the fact ballooned to 10,000 to 12,000.

Though Australian citizens can shell out $225 to have their software expedited in two days through priority processing, it appears demand from customers has noticed these wait around periods soar as nicely.

On Twitter, 1 angry resident tweeted at DFAT, criticising the business for their absence of “care and compassion”.

“I visited passport office Sydney to expedite my son’s passport on 2nd June, because my father in legislation handed absent and we required to journey immediately,” they wrote.

“They stated they can expedite the application immediately after having to pay the precedence charge, but can not get it till 7th. Because there is 10 periods normal load it would seem. What should people today do in case of emergencies? There is no help on cell phone. Completely no care or compassion.”

In Oct 2021, a DFAT spokeswoman warned that Australians with expired or expiring passports need to get their application in as soon as doable to avoid delays. Speaking to The Australian, she mentioned surging apps had been found in other nations as a final result of global borders reopening.

“Recent knowledge in the US and the United kingdom has shown that there was a substantial improve in purposes ahead of intercontinental vacation limits currently being lifted in these nations, ensuing in long hold out moments for passports,” she mentioned.

“While the office is doing anything it perhaps can to put together for a identical eventuality, lengthier than typical processing situations are unable to be ruled out.”

However, it’s not just individuals with expired passports who may well need to double look at the expiry day on their vacation documents.

Some nations like Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore also refuse entry to travellers with passports that are set to expire in a lot less than six months. Others need travellers to have a passport with at minimum 3-months of validity.

This involves countries in the European Union and New Zealand.

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