I decided not to renew my passport before starting this trip because passports are very expensive in comparison to my income and my low travel budget.

But when asking people I find their passports in other countries are much more affordable than in my country. Typically Australian passports are in the range of roughly double the price friends have to pay in other developed countries or other western countries.

  • Ordinary adult passport:
    AUD $238 (USD $212; EUR 161)

  • Adult frequent traveller with more pages:
    AUD $358 (USD $320; EUR 243)

Is this a rip-off? Are most passports in "rich" countries so expensive or are they roughly half the price as the impression I have so far?

It's true I overlooked passport validity. That's the most important thing I've learned with this question. Assuming all passports have the same number of "visa pages" I should instead ask what the "price per year or decade of validity" is.

  • 2
    Data point, but not a complete answer: USA is $110, extra pages are offered on an as-needed basis for $82. Sep 2, 2013 at 4:21
  • 3
    One point in Australia's defence: that price still gets you a 10-year passport, when many Western countries (eg. most if not all of the EU) have switched to only issuing 5-year passports. Sep 2, 2013 at 4:52
  • 2
    The prices are always interesting. I see no rational reason for trains to be 4-times more expensive in Germany as compared to Poland, and even less for mobile Internet being about 5-times more expensive than in Austria. The fees for doing anything in public office are mostly dependent on how much public officers earn. Sep 2, 2013 at 7:46
  • 1
    One person's "secure" is another person's "invasive surveillance". Sep 2, 2013 at 8:21
  • 8
    @jpatokal: AFAIK, only 5-year validity passports issued in EU are the ones issued to kids <13 years. Adult biometric passports have 10-year validity (I know first hand that's it's the case for Italy, Poland and Spain).
    – vartec
    Sep 2, 2013 at 10:09

4 Answers 4


First, consider the value - it's a biometric, secure, popular passport. It requires fewer visas than some other countries, and so the price isn't the only consideration here.

However, let's look at other countries using biometric passports, and their costs, using some of your list from the comments:

  • USA - $110 (According to LessPop_MoreFizz) (EUR 83)
  • NZ - $144 and up, depending on urgency. (USD 112; EUR 85)
  • South Korea - US$55.00. (EUR 41)
  • Switzerland - CHF140. (USD 150; EUR 114)
  • Netherlands - 49.33 Euros. (USD 65)
  • UK - 77.50 quid. (USD 120.50; EUR 91)
  • France - 89 Euros. (USD 117.50)

so comparatively, much of a muchness, although EU ones do seem to be a bit less.

As a New Zealander, a bigger issue is the length of validity - ours are only 5 years, which in some places means 4.5 years as you need 6 months left on your passport to enter certain countries. We used to have 10 years, and there is quite a public drive to bring back the 10 year validity period.

  • 3
    It's worth noting that the cheapest on the list, Netherlands, only has a 5-year validity. And I stand corrected, apparently there are still plenty of EU countries where you can get 10y passports. (Not including mine. Sigh.) Sep 2, 2013 at 5:03
  • 4
    You assume biometric passports are a universal win. I know I'm not alone in hating them. They most certainly are not secure. Shortly after they were introduced some journalists tested one by hacking the data with Osama Bin Laden's likeness and had no problem using it! (theguardian.com/technology/2008/aug/06/news.terrorism) Sep 2, 2013 at 6:48
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    "it's a biometric, secure, popular passport" - it doesn't explain the price. Production costs are tiny in comparison to final costs, and it's about most of the products. Sep 2, 2013 at 7:43
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    €80 in Ireland for a 10 year passport or €110.00 for the larger 66 page passport.
    – Lt_Shade
    Sep 2, 2013 at 15:53
  • 3
    @ŁukaszL. In my case, applying for a passport involves seating for half an hour with a consulate employee (indeed, because he or she needs to take my fingerprints, etc.). Considering all costs involved (salary, bonus for being posted abroad, taxes, building security, office costs…), that's already a good chunk of the price. I pay my hairdresser a quarter of the price of a passport for about 15 min service.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 12, 2013 at 23:02

Comparing with the Italian Passport

Both ordinary and frequent traveller Australian passports do indeed seem to cost more than the Italian passport.

As of the 19th May 2010 the Italian government issues one single passport format for ordinary citizens. This is an electronic passport, with biometrics, consisting of 48 pages with a 10-year validity. As of the 24th June 2014 it costs 116EUR, (73.50EUR of processing fee + 42.50EUR for the actual cost of the booklet). This gives the following cost breakdown:

  • 11.6EUR per year of validity
  • 2.42EUR per page

We can now compare these values with the ones resulting from the Australian passport cost breakdown:

  • Ordinary: 238AUD - ca. 166EUR
    • 16.6EUR per year of validity
    • 4.74EUR per year of validity
  • Frequent traveller: 358AUD - ca 250EUR
    • 25.0EUR per year of validity
    • 3.73EUR per page

So yes the Australian passport wins on all criteria.

  • 1
    I think a fair comparison should take PPP into account :)
    – JonathanReez
    Jan 27, 2015 at 20:07

The passports in Sweden are only 350kr, that equates to approximately 60 AUD. Even with the 5 year validity coming into question, doubling the cost it is still half the price. I couldn't believe how cheap the Swedish passports were when I checked - having recently paid for a new Australian one, I feel somewhat ripped off!

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