Federal Member for Bowman, Henry Pike, has warned local residents that due to the Passport Office backlog anyone looking to travel over the summer should immediately check that their passport is up to date.
“With the relaxation of COVID restrictions we have witnessed a massive increase in passport applications for international travel”, Mr Pike said.
“This has led to an overwhelming demand on the Passport Office and processing times blowing out to over 10 weeks.”
“My office has been absolutely inundated with panicked travellers still awaiting their passports and we have been helping local families to try to speed up the process.”
For locals seeking to travel internationally over the next few months, Pike offered some simple tips to avoid delays in passport applications.
“Firstly, locals should check now that their passport is up to date, remembering that some countries require 3 to 6 months still valid on your passport to be able to travel,” Mr Pike suggested.
“A streamlined renewal process is now available online for Australians over the age of 18 with a recently expired passport.”
Mr Pike noted that individuals with outdated passports or requiring children’s passports will need to do a full application. This needs to be lodged at a participating Australia Post Office rather than the passport office, unless the applicant can demonstrate compelling and compassionate circumstances.
“To speed up the process and save a few days, where possible instead of registered mail, opt to collect your passport from the passport office,” Mr Pike recommended.
“A priority fee is available for those who have left your renewal or application too late. This fast tracks the application to 2-3 business days from lodgement to collection at the passport office.”
Mr Pike encouraged locals to reach out to his office if they experience difficulties in getting a renewed or new passport.
“My office has been able to assist a lot of local families get their passports just in the nick of time and we are always happy to intervene in the process if any locals need help.”