Holiday starved Aussies hurt more trying to go abroad with passport waiting times up to THREE MONTHS
- Aussies looking to venture beyond their limits may have longer wait times
- Passport applicants face longer-than-usual delays due to ‘high demand’
- Overseas travelers who want to return are also delayed by three months
Australian travelers face a new buzz in the making as their plans to go abroad are halted by appallingly long wait times for passports.
Anyone wishing to renew or apply for an Australian passport must wait three months.
For millions unable to book a trip within two years due to Covid, passport delays have forced some to postpone or cancel their holidays altogether.
Western Australia’s Sharnyce Hudson and Ethan Hall were looking forward to a holiday in Bali, but are still waiting for their passports after nine weeks.
Travelers hoping to get away may have to wait a while for their passport renewal or application to process as DFAT is experiencing ‘unprecedented’ demand for the documents
For millions of people unable to book travel within two years due to Covid, passport delays have forced some to postpone or cancel their holiday altogether (pictured very busy Sydney airport)
The pair said they were driving from Geraldton to Perth at five o’clock in the morning to get to the Australian passport office, a day before they were due to leave.
“We’re here at 3 a.m. to plead our case, it probably won’t work, but we’d rather fight it,” said Mr. Hall. 7News†
A mother said she wants to go to the UK with her five-month-old baby but has to wait months for her child’s passport to be approved.
‘I’ve been waiting for his passport for three months and we’ll be traveling for a week on Monday. I’ve tried e-mailing, the phone line is completely dead,” she said Friday.
Another mother said she queued for two hours every day at the passport office, hoping to get answers about her daughter’s application.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the workload has resulted in longer-than-usual wait times at the call center and huge queues at passport offices (Sydney airport queue photo)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the workload has resulted in longer-than-usual wait times at the call center and huge queues at passport offices.
On the other hand, overseas Aussies who were not allowed to return to the country due to border closures also experience long queues for passport renewals.
The unprecedented demand for the travel documents has caused the long waiting times.
DFAT said it had gone through numerous applications, with more than 1.2 million passports issued since June last year – which would be nearly double the amount from the 2020-21 fiscal year.
DFAT apologized for the delays and said customers should see fewer wait times “in the coming weeks.”
“Whether in Australia or abroad, customers should have up to six weeks to get a new passport or renew it,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“We currently have about four weeks of work in the processing queue.
“This results in longer waiting times in the call center than usual, as well as a higher number of customers queuing at our passport offices.”
Most Australians were banned from traveling to other countries from the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and the strict travel ban was lifted in February this year.
Aussies have been waiting more than two years to travel abroad (pictured Australian woman Nicole Shiraz in Bali)