Australian passport delays of four months cause travellers to cancel holidays

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‘It’s becoming a joke’: Travellers are forced to cancel holidays after facing a FOUR-MONTH wait for passports

  • Many Australians are still being impacted by extended waits for passports
  • In August the Commonwealth Ombudsman received 42 complaints about delays
  • Most states have passport wait times between four and eight weeks
  • Some people in Western Australia are waiting up to four months for a passport 

Passport wait times are still causing massive headaches for Australians looking to enjoy some post-pandemic travel. 

Most Australian states have a wait time of four to eight weeks for a passport but the situation is far more dire in Western Australia with some people experiencing delays of more than four months.

Alysha Singh, 27, booked a trip to India in December but now finds her plans in limbo after she was left waiting for a passport for her son.

She is one of thousands of travellers unsure if they will be able to make their holiday as wait times continue to wreak havoc. 

Most states have a wait time of four to eight weeks for a passport but the situation is far more dire in Western Australia with some people experiencing delays of more than four months

Most states have a wait time of four to eight weeks for a passport but the situation is far more dire in Western Australia with some people experiencing delays of more than four months

The Ombudsman has received 649 complaints in relation to passport delays from July 2021 to June 2022. They have received 42 complaints to date in August alone

The Ombudsman has received 649 complaints in relation to passport delays from July 2021 to June 2022. They have received 42 complaints to date in August alone

Ms Singh told 9News she lodged an application for her son’s passport in May and is still yet to receive it. 

‘Six weeks, I was happy to wait but any longer than that, it’s just becoming a joke,’ she said. 

The 27-year old said when she called the passport office they told her they were still processing the application. 

‘They keep telling me that it’s in the final processes, but that’s been the last four or five weeks now,’ she said. 

Meanwhile, WA man Bilal Ahmed had to actually cancel his holiday after a four-month wait for a passport. 

‘I have no idea if it’s even going to come now or how long it’s going to take because I can’t get a word from them,’ he said. 

Bilal Ahmed (pictured) had to cancel his holiday after a four-month wait for a passport. 'I have no idea if it's even going to come now or how long it's going to take because I can't get a word from them,' he said

Bilal Ahmed (pictured) had to cancel his holiday after a four-month wait for a passport. ‘I have no idea if it’s even going to come now or how long it’s going to take because I can’t get a word from them,’ he said

Numerous complaints have been lodged to the Commonwealth Ombudsman over the past 12 months.

The Ombudsman has received 649 complaints in relation to passport delays from July 2021 to June 2022.

They have received 42 complaints so far in August alone.

With 2.4 million passports expiring over the course of the pandemic, processing times have doubled since October 2021.

Travellers with concerns are advised to call the Australian Passport Office for a status check

Travellers with concerns are advised to call the Australian Passport Office for a status check

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advised holidaymakers to allow six weeks for their new passport, but many people have waited substantially longer.

Citizens can choose to pay an extra $225 on top of the $308 application fee for their passport to be priority processed in two days.

Sydney’s passport office usually receives 7,000 to 9,000 applications every week, however requests in recent months have ballooned to 12,000.

It remains a similar story at the Melbourne office, where desperate Aussies – including mothers with children – have spent three hours waiting in the cold.

Travellers with concerns are advised to call the Australian Passport Office for a status check. 



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