Travellers hoping to get away may have to wait a while before their passport renewal or application is processed, as DFAT experience 'unprecedented' demand for the documents
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Holiday starved Aussies face more pain trying to head overseas with wait times for passports up to THREE MONTHS long

  • Aussies wanting to venture outside their borders could be in for more wait times 
  • Passport applicants are facing longer-than-usual delays due to ‘high demand’ 
  • Overseas travellers wanting to return are also experiencing three-month delays

Aussie travellers are facing another spanner in the works as their plans to venture overseas are halted by shockingly long passport wait times. 

Those wishing to renew, or apply for an Australian passport have been forced to wait for as long as three months. 

For millions who were unable to book a trip in two years due to Covid, the passport delays have meant some will have to postpone or cancel their holidays altogether. 

Sharnyce Hudson and Ethan Hall from Western Australia were looking forward to a holiday in Bali, yet they are still waiting for their passports after nine weeks. 

Travellers hoping to get away may have to wait a while before their passport renewal or application is processed, as DFAT experience 'unprecedented' demand for the documents

Travellers hoping to get away may have to wait a while before their passport renewal or application is processed, as DFAT experience ‘unprecedented’ demand for the documents

For millions who were unable to book a trip in two years due to Covid, the passport delays have meant some will have to postpone or cancel their holidays altogether (pictured a very busy Sydney airport)

For millions who were unable to book a trip in two years due to Covid, the passport delays have meant some will have to postpone or cancel their holidays altogether (pictured a very busy Sydney airport)

The pair said they drove five hours through the night from Geraldton to Perth to get to the Australian passport office a day before they are due to fly out. 

‘We got here at 3am just to plead our case, it probably won’t do anything but we’d rather fight it,’ Mr Hall told 7News.  

One mother said she wants to go to the UK with her five-month-old baby, but has had to wait months for her child’s passport to be approved. 

‘I’ve been waiting three months for his passport and we travel a week on Monday. I’ve tried to email, the phone line is completely dead,’ she said on Friday. 

Another mother said she lined up at the passport office for two hours everyday hoping to get answers about her daughter’s application.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its workload has resulted in longer-than-usual call centre wait times, and huge queues at passport offices (pictured queue at Sydney airport)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its workload has resulted in longer-than-usual call centre wait times, and huge queues at passport offices (pictured queue at Sydney airport)

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said its workload has resulted in longer-than-usual call centre wait times, and huge queues at passport offices. 

On the flip side, overseas Aussies who were not allowed back into the country because of the border closures are also experiencing long waiting queues for passport renewals.

The unprecedented demand for the travel documents has caused the extended wait times.

DFAT said it had been going through mounds of applications, with more than 1.2 million passports issued since June last year – working out to be almost double the 2020-21 financial year.

DFAT apologised for the delays and said customers should start seeing less wait times ‘over the coming weeks’.

‘Whether applying in Australia or overseas, customers should allow up to six weeks to get a new passport or renew one,’ a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said. 

‘We currently have around four weeks of work in the processing queue.

‘This is resulting in longer-than-usual call centre wait times, as well as an increased number of customers queuing at our passport offices.’

Most Australians were denied travel to other countries from the start of the pandemic in March 2020, with the strict travel ban lifted in February this year. 

Aussies have been waiting more than two years to travel overseas (pictured Australian woman Nicole Shiraz in Bali)

Aussies have been waiting more than two years to travel overseas (pictured Australian woman Nicole Shiraz in Bali)

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