Getting an Australian passport will soon be quicker and easier – here’s what is changing

Australians will have another option when renewing their passport come July 1.

Australians will have another option when renewing their passport come July 1. Photo: Getty

Australians will soon have a more affordable way to get their hands on a new passport.

This year’s budget revealed a major change Australians will be able to take advantage of starting on July 1, with a fast-tracked passport option.

Australians are currently advised to allow for six weeks to get a passport, or renew an old one.

The new option will mean people can get their passport in just five business days for an extra $100.

There is already a priority option available, where people can pay an additional $252 to get their document two days after the application is lodged.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesperson confirmed to TND that the service will be in addition to the exisiting priority service.

“The new service is aimed at giving customers more choice in deciding the passport processing option that’s right for them, particularly for those with urgent travel needs,” the spokesperson said.

“This will be offered alongside the existing ‘Priority (two-day processing)’ service, which guarantees processing within two business days of a complete application being received by the Australian Passport Office.”

The spokesperson added that the service will only be eligible for people who lodge their application in Australia, either at an Australia Post outlet or passport office.

The government expects the new tier will generate $27.4 million over five years.

Australians in need of a new passport should also get in quick if they want to save about $50.

As of July 1, the base fee to get a 10-year passport will be increased to $397.90, up from $346.

The $397 is just for the passport that could take weeks to be processed.

pictured is an Australian passport, to illustrate passport-free travel at the airport

Australia has one of the most expensive, but also powerful, passports in the world. Photo: Getty

Passport wait times around the world

Demand for passports in Australia reached an all-time high in 2022 when borders reopened.

Wait times are now back to normal but there are a few reasons as to why they take a while.

DFAT says adult renewals can be done pretty quickly, but some applications like first-time adult and child applications can take longer, as additional security checks are required and supporting documents need verifying.

Australia’s time frames seem to align with other comparable countries.

In the US, people are advised to allow for six to eight weeks to get their passport sorted, though there is an option to have the process expedited, which can take between two to three weeks.

In the UK, the process generally takes three weeks, the government says. But there are one-day premium or one-week fast-track options available.

New Zealand actually recommends people allow up to 10 weeks, plus time for postage. But just like Australia, there is an option to have “urgent” passports processed in three business days.

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