Travelling overseas soon? Here's how to avoid the two biggest passport mistakes

Expiration

Having an unexpired passport seems like the obvious one, though did you know that most countries will deny you entry if you have less than three months left before your passport expires? Some up to six months!

This is particularly important if heading to Europe, as nearly all countries will require that your passport be valid for at least three months beyond your intended date of departure. So if you’re intending to spend two months travelling through Europe, you will need at least five months left on your passport in order to avoid a disappointing end to your journey.

This is why many state departments, including the Australian Passport Office, recommend thoroughly checking passport and visa requirements for your destination and to not intend to travel on a passport with less than six months’ validity.

Blank Pages

If you’re an avid traveller, you’re probably running low on pages! Did you also know that not having enough blank pages left in your passport could see you prevented from flying? In most countries that require a visa for travel, you will need at least two blank pages to be granted entry.

Some countries such as the UK allow their citizens to simply add extra pages to their existing passport, though to maintain the security of the Australian passport, once it is full, you will need to apply for a new one. If you regularly travel internationally, you can apply for a Frequent Travellers Passport, which costs a little more, but will save you money in the long run.

Renewal

In Australia, passport applications must be lodged in person, luckily this can be done at an accredit Australia Post outlet.  Visit www.auspost.com.au or call Australia Post on 137 678 to find the nearest outlet that will accept your application. Some post offices will require you to make an appointment to lodge your application, others will accept walk-ins.

A passport application takes approximately three weeks, though if you find yourself in a situation where you need one sooner, perhaps to avoid one of the issues outlined above, you can pay a priority service fee of $127 and have one printed in two business days.

For more information and to download the required application or renewal forms we recommend visiting the Australian Passport Office’s site – www.passports.gov.au.

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