It seems the Australian Passport Office has increased the pressure for those wishing to renew their passports as it is revealed that many long-term residents have had to prove their citizenship.
Despite holding multiple Australian passports in the past, families across Australia are having to cancel long-awaited holidays – and lose out big-time financially – as their passport renewals are going through rigorous testing.
Speaking to ABC Radio, Victorian resident Alice Mayor said that she had to cancel a trip to Europe with her sister and nearly-90-year-old father as she was asked to prove her citizenship when renewing her passport.
Alice Mayor (left), her sister Sarah (right) and their father Chris (center) had to cancel their trip to Europe when her passport renewal application required further proof
Alice was born in Bombay in 1969 and moved to Australia with her parents at five months old
Alice was born in Bombay in 1969 to Australian parents who then moved back to the country when Alice was just five months old.
Her father, Chris Mayor, told the radio station that Alice, now 48, had held three Australian passports since then and had never had any issue with renewal.
‘When Alice tried to get her new passport they said you have got to prove your citizenship,’ he said. ‘She was a citizen by descent from her two Australian parents and they said it would take anything from two to four months to get all that processed’.
And Alice is not alone as her story sparked similar outrage from a number of listeners who have had issues with passport renewal in recent months.
‘Thank you for talking about this because it has been so upsetting and isolating and no-one’s known about it,’ said one listener who described the traumatic process her husband – who was born in Bangladesh and then adopted – is going through to renew his passport.
Another Victorian-based listener explained that she arrived in Australia with her parents when she was 10 months old, but when she went to renew her passport recently, she was told her existing paperwork was no longer applicable.
Residents are being asked to prove citizenship despite holding Australian passports in the past
The DFAT website states that the wait-time for receiving a new passport once an application is successfully lodged is approximately three weeks.
A spokesperson for DFAT said that in cases where citizenship is hard to fully establish, the applicant is asked to obtain evidence from the Department of Home Affairs – the government agency responsible for establishing whether a person is an Australian citizen.
‘Given the personal circumstances of the applicants vary, the Australian Passport Office encourages all passport applicants with questions to contact the Australian Passport Information Service to discuss application requirements.’