Have You Written to Your Federal MP Complaining about The Poor Value of Australian Passports?

Even before the pandemic hit Australian passports were some of the most expensive in the world to apply for.

But with the Federal Government banning Australian citizens from outbound travel and leaving those overseas at the mercy of private airlines and draconian and expensive quarantine facilities run by state governments… how can an Australian passport administration fee be justified?

Who thinks it is an issue? Anybody complained to their federal MP about it? Think you should get a refund for an official document you simply can't use?

Poll Options

  • 78
    Not written to MP and think passports are poor value in the 2020s
  • 2
    Written to MP about how poor value passports are in the '20s
  • 48
    Actually think Australian passports are great value for money
  • 9
    Not Australian or have no interest in passports


  • +17

    is this a bait and switch
    talk about passport which u can travel the world
    but then close borders?
    what a scam

  • +11

    "Think you should get a refund for an official document you simply can't use?"

    Why not? If the product is not fit for purpose then the vendor should issue a refund.

    • They should at least provide a pro-rata refund.

    • +2

      Are we moving to a complete user pays society, because if that is the case, I'd like some tax dollars back too please?

      • It's a kleptocracy, no refunds for you!

  • +1

    Yep poor value since I got a 5 year, multi visit visa to China in 2018…

    Not going to complain about it. Covid isn't something I could've predicted

    • +2

      Yep you're getting poor value from that multi visit visa to China for sure! Don't think you'll be using that again

      • +1

        And at the time I was thinking "this is great value!" lol

    • +1

      Wouldn't you have paid China for that visa, not Australia?

      • That's correct - sorry I guess that info is added on top of the fact that I've paid for my Passport, and now I can't use either! Oh well. It'll make the first trip back ever the more enjoyable after this wait.

  • +14

    Technically it isn't just for travel, it can be used as a form of identity as well.

    • it can be used as a form of identity as well.

      Don't need it. I already have 100 points without it.

  • +1

    Even before the pandemic hit Australian passports were some of the most expensive in the world to apply for.

    $300 for 10 years…. Yes that ~$30/yr is so 'expensive' /s

    • +2

      Australian passports are among the world's most expensive.
      Other expensive countries are Turkey ($230) and Switzerland ($205), both significantly cheaper than Australia's.


      Canada seems expensive too, C$423
      UK passport £75.50
      US passport US$110
      New Zealand passport NZ$191
      Germany 81,00 €
      France 86 €
      Ireland €110
      Italy 116 EUR
      Sweden SEK400 (A$61)

    • It's about $200AUD for 10 years for a Japanese passport. It's the best passport in the world.

      • +2

        It's the best passport in the world.

        Not really, the 'best' passport in the world is the one you can get. Which for most people they don't have a choice over what passport they get.

        So talk over what is the 'best' passport, who really cares. If all you can get is an Australian one, who cares what is better or cheaper etc.

        It is what it is. Don't want to pay $300/10yr passport, then don't pay it. No one is FORCING you to get a passport.

        • +2

          From the wiki, 'With 191 visa-free travels, it's the strongest passport in the world.'

          My bad choice of wording. Strongest instead of best. It had a lot of value having the visa free travels in the world.

          It's OK to say that the Australian Passport is overpriced. Prior to covid Australians were very well travelled, so there are plenty who don't complain.

  • Welcome to the Monopoly game.

    • +1

      going to set up a rival country and issue passports, ozbargainland

      come one come all

  • +1

    I used to think they were expensive when the facial recognition would fail every time and I had to still get manually verified. Now that I can get through Immigration in a matter of minutes in most cases I'm not too concerned. My old passports are a history lesson in my life and something I plan to take my daughters through once they are old enough to (hopefully) get bitten by the travel bug.

  • Yeah, but they'll jack the price up somewhere else…

  • +7

    Can you add the option DILLIGAF.

    • -3

      Is this like MILF?

      • na thats IDGAF :D

      • Something on your mind on this nice Monday morning? 🤣

  • +13

    You've really got nothing else you can think of to complain about?

  • +1

    You can use it though you just need to fit into the categories allowed to leave and be able to get into your destination.

    OP is there any route you would have taken if they government had let you leave, and the destination country would have let you in?

    May I suggest when you tell your MP word it that it's rich liberal donors most likely to be affected and we should refund them. That'll get their attention.

  • +5

    Should I get a refund on my 65cm suitcase that I can't use because of the Covid-19?

    I see Karen everywhere

  • +1

    Ability to use it as a form of proving your identity

  • What happens if you try to leave the country, will you get arrested / jail time / fined?

  • +8

    Surely there's a way we can sign up for an Australian Passport via a VPN to Brazil or India.

  • Expired right at the start of covid.. Pretty lucky

  • +5

    I am more interested in whether we can get extensions to the current passports due to the overseas travel ban. I had a Village Roadshow year pass and that got extended as I couldn't attend the parks for a long period in 2020. Shouldn't the same thing apply to our ridiculously overpriced passports?

    • Unlikely given its in print… And I wouldn't trust the government (s) to read a notice that allows it.

      Perhaps a discounted renewal for the next X period to cover those that expire during this time.

    • +1

      I am more interested in whether we can get extensions to the current passports due to the overseas travel ban.

      There is no chance that we will get extensions on a passport's validity. Imagine all the dramas it'll cause at the check-in desks in foreign countries when you present a passport that's past it's expiry date. The airline takes responsibility for getting you back if they fly you to a country that you're not allowed to enter (if you don't have the right visas or documents, etc), so unless they're 100% sure, they will not allow you to board.

  • -2

    It is disgusting that regular Jane and John's and their 2.3 children have paid significant money for passports that they aren't allowed to use - at zero fault of their own.

    • +2

      It is disgusting…. have paid significant money for passports that they aren't allowed to use

      How disgusting is it really? A passport is generally valid for 10 years. It's been about 1 out of those 10 years so far that we've had travel restrictions for.
      At ~$30/year for an adult, how significant is the amount you're losing out on? Given the situation as it is, I'd say that you're doing pretty well if that's your main concern.

      • The situation is ; many come to OzBargains to find bargains, save a few dollars here and there - $30/year is not to be sneezed at when you have mum, dad plus a few kids in the family and this is entering the 2nd year with very little prospect of international travel for the rest of 2021 as of now, some would even say borders to remain shut until 2024 at the earliest. so it does add up and not that 1 out of 10 so far.

        If you can afford $30/ year times x number of people … then cool. But for me and others, it is a cost that is a lot for very little in return.

        • +2

          If you can afford $30/ year times x number of people … then cool. But for me and others, it is a cost that is a lot for very little in return.

          So you are telling me that people like yourself can't afford the $30/year x the number of people? Well, something doesn't seem to add up because from your earlier post at this time last year, the following were your booked travel plans for 2020:

          I'll start off with my situation:-

          4 to 18 March
          Thailand (Koh Samui / Koh Phangan)
          Yes + wife

          8-21 April
          Thailand (Bangkok), Cambodia (Phnom Penh) and Singapore
          Yes + wife

          14-19 May

          11 July - 3 August
          France (Paris) and TBD european cities.
          Yes + wife, however my parents may cancel if situation gets worse.

          3 to 18 August
          Singapore and Japan
          Yes + wife

          With all these plans you had, a slight movement in the exchange rates would be easily be more than the total cost of whatever you're claiming you can't afford here! lol

          • -1

            @bobbified: And again you missed my point … 'alot for very little return' remains true because we have passports that are effectively useless, for the past 12 months, and with zero prospects of travel in the next 12 months … so that's two year of passport value for nothing. I did not say I could not afford it;
            I just said that the cost of $30/year per person is for zero benefit …

            • +2


              I did not say I could not afford it;

              In the same line that you said it's cool if I could afford it, but for you and others…
              Remember it's not just you that is "getting very little in return". And if your travel plans for last year are anything to go by, I'd say that you are probably one of the few who gets good use of their passport fees every other year. If you look at it in the scheme of things, the $30/year is really a drop in the ocean relative to what you would spend on all your trips.

              Fact is, it's a sht time right now - not only in Australia, but right across the world. Everyone is copping it in one way or another and usually at no fault of their own. Like I said earlier, if this $30/year is the biggest hit you're taking, then you should probably count yourself lucky. Spare a thought for those who have lost their lives, lost their jobs, lost their homes or lost their families.

            • @TheMindsetTraveller: So, should Victorian drivers get some sort of compensation for not being able to use their driver's licenses during lock down? Car registration? What about those who have purchased parking spaces they weren't able to access during lock down?

    • -1

      Lol…. "disgusting". Get a life.

    • +1

      I dropped a lot more on airfares that I haven't been allowed to use.

    • how do u get point 3 of a child?

  • With family of 7 people who planned to travel last year and unlikely to travel this year until the things are back to normal, I think we lost $400 in passport fee.

    I understand COVID is not gov's fault, bit should be offered partial refund or discount on next renewal. That's a considerable amount to lose :(

    • You haven't lost anything. You got a passport which is valid for 10 years.

      • Yes but we can't use passport for 2 out of those 10 years so lost money.

        We have DL or proof of age card so not dependent on passport for ID verification.

        • First world problems huh. $30 a year is cheap.

          • @lunchbox99: can I pay on payment plan of $30 a year tho?

            • @Forfiet: If someone can afford to be flying 7 people around the world, they can afford it.

  • +4

    I think Federal MPs are busier trying to dissociate from being outed as 'the 1988 guy' right now.

    • -1

      You would think so, well at least the male MPs, and yet not one of them has stated "it was not me".
      I wonder how their family conversations went at the weekend.

      • +1

        When do you think the MP Guess Who charade will end? It seems pretty obvious on twitter and wikipedia's 26 edits suggests who it is. It will be an interesting test of natural justice vs self preservation.

        • +1

          OzBargain exclusive! Christian Porter said he danced with the accuser at the Hard Rock Cafe before walking her to her room. 1988.

          The Hard Rock Cafe only opened in Sydney in 1989!

          (Gavin Hopper was undone by a Bacardi Breezer discontinuity.)

  • +6

    Imagine if I asked for a refund for every year I didn't use my passport. I probably travel once every 2-3 years so I don't use my passport 6 out of the 10 years I have it.

    Imagine if I asked for a refund for my drivers license for every day I didn't drive. Typically I'd drive everyday but in the last year it's gone down to 1-2 days a week so I only really used it like 100 days out of the last 365.

    • +1

      It is your choice for not utilising your passport.

      The truth is most of us cannot utilise our passport even though I and some would fly out tomorrow if we were allowed or restrictions lifted .

      • +3

        This assumes a. that the government had a choice in allowing people to travel b. that all other countries would let us visit them.

        I don't believe there is a choice either way.

    • -1

      Apply the same logic from your drivers license example to passport use. Almost no-one uses their passport for a whole year; most would be lucky to use it for more than one month/year? Or even one month every couple of years?

      This same logic could be used for my business shirts; I haven't used them for the last year.

  • +9

    I really envy you. Imagine in a year with pandemics and job instability one of the most pressing issues on your mind was losing value of your passport. So much so you thought about writing to your MP about it. You mustn't have another problem in your life.

    I guess I'll go back to the rat race thinking about what I'm having for dinner. I wish I could only worry about my passport….

    • Come on man… they lost $30 per passport. A whole goddamn $30!! Call the feds.

      I had my passport but didn't go overseas for 2 years. Maybe I should get that paid back too? It's disgusting…. DISGUSTING I tell ya.

    • Sometimes principles are at stake that aren't the worst thing in the world.

      A country rampantly overcharging for a document you cannot even use… there's a principle involved. If you bought a fridge from a retailer and the fridge didn't work you'd be entitled to a refund.

      Maybe you have much bigger problems than trying to get a refund on a fridge you can't use. Write to your MP about your worries. But other people are entitled to demand a just government and to call out when it is behaving unjustly.

      • +1

        To use your analogy, but a little more accurately:

        If you bought a fridge from a retailer, but your electricity supply was interrupted for a week. Would you ask for a refund from the fridge retailer?


        If you paid for the government services of issuing you with a valid passport, and you tried to visit North Korea and N.Korea refused to allow your entry. Would you write to your MP and seek a refund for the (valid, correctly issued) passport?

        • If the fridge retailer owned the electricity company and made a decision which makes use of the fridge impossible then that would be a comparable situation.

          • +1

            @DisabledUser205979: I look forward to your questions about rego when there was a lockdown, utilities usage charges when you go on holidays, and question about taxes when you don't use services like pension, defence, schools.

            Have you looked into the ACCC? I hear they deal with consumers being misled. Today tonight? Mannn so jealous.

            • @lolz112: This is about who controls your ability to use a product while simultaneously demanding a fee for the product they chose to stop you using.

              In the case of rego it is the state government locking you down and it is that same state government demanding you pay rego when they are stopping you from using it.

              Your choice to go on holidays is completely different because you are in control of what you don't use in that situation.

              • @DisabledUser205979: You're absolutely correct. How could I miss the clear differences? I reckon I've read your response three times and I can't make heads or tails of it.

    • Typically you can't actually use party logos or even name on material funded by parliamentary services budgets ie. your taxpayer money but yeah sure

    • +1

      Well of course you did - why the hell would you complain to a state MP about a federal matter?

      Also what has this got to do with labor? The federal government is LNP - that is who should should complain to in any case. It literally doesn't involve Labor in any way.

      • +1

        Lol downvoted. You can't complain to the NSW opposition about a passport matter. Well you can, but they have no more authority than anyone else.

  • +1

    Another annoying thing is that you generally need 6 months validity on it to travel, so practically, it's really only < 9.5 years of potential use.

  • +1

    The real scam used to be the fee you had to pay if your passport was lost or stolen. That was some real bullshit right there. Thankfully it seems like either the fee has been scrapped or reduced but it really didn't seem fair.

    I suppose the argument could've been made that it's to make people "Take better care" of their passport. But it's not like people know the cost of replacing until they actually need to replace it. Losing it is one thing, and would be considered "my fault". But it can't be my fault when someone breaks into my house and steals it along with my camera and macbook.

    • The real scam used to be the fee you had to pay if your passport was lost or stolen

      Completely agree. I felt outraged when I learned about this years ago. So if you're the victim of a robbery or theft the Australian government not only discourage you from admitting it (so they can put out alerts on the passport number) but they pile on with an outrageous punishment, too. Australia should get awards for lack of compassion and encouraging identity theft by discouraging notification of lost passports.

      If you're reckless enough to just lose a passport then the pain comes in having to apply for another one or being denied entry onto a flight if you can't produce your passport at the gate.

  • Taxation by another name

  • We are lucky to travel on AU passport with visa free travel, had you have to pay for visa every time you had travel then you will understand the value you are getting to have a AU passport. You have to see the smile on immigration officer when he stamp your Passport comparing to frown and questions he ask to a man or family in front of you and fear on thier face, if thier entry is rejected because immigration officer is not satisfied that with the reason of his travel to thier country. I had this experience when ever i travel to middle east, Africa, Asian countries and many time i just walk out the airport to meet my friend and have a lunch or dinner during my long stop over during transit without thinking that i need visa.

    We only value privileges once we are denied of those privileges ask anyone who had become citizen due to naturalisation.

    • +1

      An Australian passport is relatively widely accepted, but there are plenty of countries where you still need to apply for a visa to enter (at a $ cost), even if just visiting as a tourist.

  • Everything in Aust is a rip-off

  • Slow bargain day?

    It's a rip, but I'm glad we did our USA trip before covid bs.