Price hike: Australian passports to cost almost $400 from July

Price rises across 2024 will make the Australian passport one of the world’s most expensive.

By David Flynn, January 13 2024
Price hike: Australian passports to cost almost $400 from July

Australians will have to pay an additional $50 for new or renewed passports from July, adding to the cost of what is already one of the world’s most expensive passports.

This will in fact be the second price rise for 2024, following the annual ‘cost of living’ increase on January 1, which was tied to the consumer price index and bumped the cost of a 10-year adult passport to $346.

On top of this, Treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed a second increase of 15% or $50 would take effect from July 1, lifting the cost of a 10-year Australian adult passport to almost $400.

Chambers promised this “relatively modest change” would be a “one off”, and will raise $349m over three years to cover the increased cost of producing Australia’s super-secure ‘R series’ passports.

“The funds from this one-off are all about making sure we can resource our passport system to make them modern, and fit for purpose, especially at a time where there are ongoing threats to people’s security and their identity,” Chalmers told media in Canberra gathered for today’s release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

As long-time frequent flyers will recall, the government phased out the 66-page Frequent Traveller passport in 2017, with all Australian passports now containing 34 pages for immigration stamps and visas.

The Australian passport is currently ranked sixth on the list of the world’s most powerful passports, with Singapore in the top spot, followed by the many European countries and the UK, while the United States sits eighth on the ladder.

Australia’s new-look R Series passports

Australia’s R series passports – named for the first letter in the individual passport number – are packed with advanced security compared to the current P series introduced in 2014, with innovative features responding to touch, movement, ultraviolet and infrared light.

The photo page is made of a tough, high-security layered plastic that’s laser-engraved, not printed with ink – as a result, the photo on the main photo page is in black and white, although it appears in colour on the facing ‘Observations’ page.

Some of the new features on the photo pages of the new R series passport.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Some of the new features on the photo pages of the new R series passport.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

A tactile raised map of Australia is embedded in the lower-left corner of the main photo, while a radio antenna for the embedded ePassport chip is visible at the far right of the page.

The front cover is more refined than the P series, while the back cover is decorated with two embossed kangaroos in Indigenous design, while inside pages showcase Australia’s natural beauty.

Australia's new-look R series passport.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Australia's new-look R series passport.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The inside front and back cover pages represent the country’s coasts – rather apropos, as that’s how all travellers enter and leave Australia – the blank ‘visa’ pages are decorated with photo-realistic double-page colour illustrations of iconic landscapes from around the country.

Under ultraviolet light, the sky in each image becomes a unique nightscape, and a local species of native fauna appears.

UV light turns colourful landscapes into night-time images with native fauna.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
UV light turns colourful landscapes into night-time images with native fauna.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Other hidden features: the wattle on the ‘security features’ page changes colour when held at different angle, and under ultraviolet light a red and white wattle appears on the inside front cover, under the Governor-General’s message on the inside front cover.

UV light reveals extra hidden details on the new R series passports.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UV light reveals extra hidden details on the new R series passports.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Although the first batch of R passports saw the Governor-General’s message still referencing “her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second,” the Australian Passport Office is now issuing passports that reference His Majesty King Charles III on the inside cover.

Also read: Expert tips to speed up your Australian passport renewal and How to use your Australian passport in Hong Kong’s e-Channel lanes

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 165

I can tolerate increased costs (although I don't claim to like it). It's the lying politicians I can't stand. Today, a politician claimed the passport fee increase is simply a "one off" cost (implying there are no further passport cost increases). That was a bold-faced LIE. Passport fees have only ever gone up, since I received my first in 1979, and they have gone up every time I paid for a new one. Is the good Treasurer now claiming he has magically frozen for all time the cost of a passport? Don't hold your breath, and don't believe any career politician claiming "one off" cost increases.

21 Jun 2019

Total posts 7

I'd guess he was referring to the July 15% as a 'one off'. The 1 January CPI increase are regular and written into a pricing schedule. Yep, things do go up in price. And factored into the spend associated with a passport (your travelling) its probably very small. I appreciate though that some ppl may travel int'l infrequently, but like everything (getting to the airport, flights accom,...) its part of the 'budget'.

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 59

Even the extra is not a "one-off". It last had an additional increase in 2016.

And what's wrong with aiming for best practice? The US has the same technology, but their passport only costs US$130 (=~$200), so basically half the cost.

There's no justification for ours being so expensive.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 46

Glad i got one last week :)

22 Sep 2017

Total posts 79

With the proliferation of e-Visas and reduction in physical entry and exit stamps, the lack of a 66-page option isn't such a concern.  But it would be nice to move those functions to an app to keep track of all the ETAs and travel history in one place.  Of course that would require integration amongst many countries' immigration departments, but they probably have the back-end integration anyway to check passport details for those electronic documents, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 93

The removal of the Frequent Traveller Passport was a massive price increase as frequent travelers had to get new passports more often.  

Interesting how when they want to, Dept of Border Control can produce a list of countries you have visited in the last 25-years.  Guess it is only when they want to look at how long you have spent in and out of the country for Government purposes, but they do hold this information.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 47

Absolute daylight robbery ! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 125

Prices should have been frozen just like xmas hams. 

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 15

… and popsicles.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 372

I'm still waiting on a partial refund from the government for my last passport which we pretty much weren't able to use for the best part of two years.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 19

Was it  rebuilt / designed" In-house"  or as we have grown to expect "outsourced" at great expense with the never ending loss of "in house" expertise?

21 Jun 2019

Total posts 7

I dont know the answer to that question, but, if you re-design a passport every (lets say 8years 2014 - 2022), would you employ someone for 6 years to have little focus and work for 2 years to produce it, or, pay bit more to get the best tech, design and features at a slightly to double annual investment?
With humour: no doubt the more expensive option LOL

The answer is here: Note Printing Australia: https://www.noteprinting.com/history-passports

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 15

… “The R series replaces the P series” … Whatever happened to the Q series? Perhaps, given the passenger processing speed (or lack thereof) at many airports in the South Pacific basin,  a “Queue” series would attract (rightful) ridicule.

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 319

Keep in mind that it'll be just $39 a year, which is a pretty small cost component for any international trip.

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 59

How is that relevant to the many who don't travel internationally every year?

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 15

And keep in mind that if you fly internationally twice a day it’s “only” 5.34 cents a day. Or perhaps keep in mind that it’s just another example of a cash strapped government desperately searching every dark, damp corner of the population’s wallets to see if they’ve missed a cent here or there … particularly considering that the cost of producing/renewing passports is probably way lower today (guessing here) than when it was all done “by hand”. Here’s a cash raising thought “for free” … how about performance based pay for politicians? Performance rated by public opinion.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 165

Phil, the problem is that in the real world you must add 'just $39 a year' along with all the OTHER increases in gov't fees, taxes, charges, so called "one offs", levies etc. etc. On their own they are 'a pretty small cost' (in your own words). But combined, it all adds up to an obscenely massive haul for our good Treasurer. 

Perhaps, we wouldn't be taken for suckers if more of us adopted a more objective and questioning stance towards politicians and their real intentions?? (Instead of automatically justifying and accepting every impost that gets shoved down our throats?)

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 241

I understand what Phil is saying, and I agree that anybody who has the money to travel overseas is not short of the extra $50 for a passport, as he says, this comes out at $39/year. Nobody likes to pay more for anything and yes prices are going up everywhere you look, but seriously in the grand scheme of things, this $50 increase won't break the bank.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 93

For those of us who travel each year, but not for those who travel every 3 or 5 years.

21 Jun 2019

Total posts 7

So going up $66 for a 10y passport. being about $6.60 a year. You get more security in one of the worlds most 'valuable' travel docs (no pun intended LOL), and, enjoy the experience and freedom of travel. If you are not happy with the change, forego once per year (pick one): 2 espressos, a berry muffin or a pot of beer. There done. (if ya got enough to travel o/s, you can afford a $6.60 increase).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 46

Agreed, but im renewing now to save $100 to blow on cocktails in Fiji.

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 15

Absolutely! It’s exactly the same logic that says if you’ve got the silly money being asked to put a roof over your head “ya” got the money to pay a little more (and therefore should).

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

They owe us a 20% discount on renewing passports valid while they prevented us from leaving.

19 May 2021

Total posts 5

Way too many apologists here. Fee increase is unwelcome, on what is already a very high fee by global standards (including other developed countries) is unreasonable, the excuse not very justifiable. Singapore passports use the same polycarbonate card for their passports, the cost is S$70 for 10 years - additional manufacturing costs are neglible if spread over the tens of millions they produce over the lifecycle of this passport series. Don't forget those based overseas get tagged with an overseas processing fee as well, nudging them close to A$600. I would stomach it better if the number of pages were bumped up in return but no, this is just extra cost for no additional reason.

To me it is same old class targetting, in that overseas travellers are better off and can be slugged more. But this actually hurts the lower class more - those who go on overseas holidays once every 5 years are paying an extra $32.50 per trip. All those who are bending over backwards with mental arithmetic to try to justify this as only a $6/year cost increase conveniently disregard the impact on occasional travellers who don't travel every year, and for whom that extra $6/year gives them absolutely nothing in most years.

Next time you meet overseas friends or colleagues, start asking them how much their passports are. It'll surprise you if you're not aware.

21 Jun 2019

Total posts 7

Not apologists, merely giving other factors and concepts to consider. Didn't disregard the infrequent traveller if you read the response to sunnybrae. $66/10 is hardly 'bending over backwards...mental arithmetic'

Please also understand that the revenue goes back into dfat who you may need for assistance one day, although we all hope not.

18 Nov 2023

Total posts 15

Right on the button there “qaz”. I’m self employed with a reasonably healthy income stream and I can, with 99.9% confidence, assure anyone that government cash raising endeavours like this, that target supposed “fat cats” who can afford luxuries like travel … and any other perceived luxuries … that increased costs simply get passed down the food chain … almost certainly with a “margin”. This is simply a cancerous taxation grab, that spreads to all corners of the population.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 165

Too true. I'll never understand anybody who gets slugged with the highest administrative fees in the world (a.k.a the infamous "one off cost) would happily pat the responsible politician on the shoulder for a job well done(!!!) Then again, I'm not a sadomasochist. Instead, we should all be giving them a kick up the ***** for this, and not be drooling all over them.

10 Apr 2020

Total posts 11

So we have money to fund overseas wars but dont have the funds to cover the production of new passports for Australian citizens, not sure who is more silly here, the  pollies spinning this crap or the citizens accepting their spin

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 467

Although Mine still has two more years to go till January 2026 of which I would be replacing in 2025 I might get in before July and get it done before the price hike.I will explain to my agency about this in the new year.

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 93

Only costs NZ$206 (AU$189) for a NZ 10-year passport using same technology with 49 pages versus our 42.  They have a much smaller population.  All the justification goes out the window.  

Even a UK passport cost GBP75 or AUD 141.70.  So who are the suckers who are being sold a load of rubbish in the Government's efforts to drag more money from Australians' pockets?

18 Sep 2018

Total posts 6

I am tired of the "Australia tax", my Serbian passport was $103 for 10 years including the overseas emabssy surcharge. If you say it isn't fair to compare a Serbian passport to an Australian one let's look at a South Korean passport. The Korean is superior to Australian as it provides visa free or on arrival to 192 countries and territories, six more than Australia.  The Korea passport comes in 2 sizes the 26 page which is ₩50,000 (AUD57.40) and a 58 page version at ₩53,000 (AUD60.84).  The Korean passport is highly secure and the last renewal we had to do for a child's passport, they apologised for the delay where it took 5 days instead of 3 days to issue, while the child's Australian passport took 8 weeks at the same time.  The Australian passport provides limited protection for citizens in trouble zones short of advice to get the next commercial flight out or in the unlikely event they evacuate you a bill you unless the flag carrier is trying to regain its reputation. As for the spin it's only $39 per year, 2 things 1.  I don't pay by the year, I pay for 10 years. 2. The Korean passport is only $5.74 per year which is less than the Australian price rise.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 467

It's Insane.I forget how much it was to get my kid passport in 1988 which was the first one in my own name but we are being punished all because of a pandemic that should have never happened(the only thing good to come out from that was extra money from job keeper)and will not get a refund for the two years we were not allowed out of the country.I was supposed to in 2021 be on a New Caledonia cruise but that got cancelled on me so ended up booking in it's place a Cairns trip.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Price hike: Australian passports to cost almost $400 from July