The real reason for agonising passport delays

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Pent up Victorians waiting for their passports to be processed have been dealt a new blow.

Amid staffing shortages and a backlog of orders from those desperate to head overseas, printing problems can be added to the growing list of reasons for the delay.

While thousands of Aussies wait in passport limbo, those in Victoria have been told that a broken printer is to blame for the hold up, according to the Herald Sun.

As hundreds of would-be flyers were turned away from the Australian Passport Office in Melbourne on Tuesday, many revealed that they’d been told there was a “printing error”.

Australian passport
Printer problems have been blamed for a hold up of passports in Melbourne. Source: Getty

Among them was a Melbourne father who had been waiting more than 10 weeks for his daughter’s passport to arrive.

“It’s been so incredibly stressful,” he told the publication.

“We still don’t have our daughter’s passport and we’re travelling overseas on Sunday.

“We were told about the printing error by a worker at the office.”

Cases not escalated until a week before flight

While fed up Aussies wait on bated breath for their crucial documents to arrive, there’s little that can be done to ease their worries.

Staff at the passport office call centre say they’re unable to “escalate” cases of hopeful passengers until a week before they leave.

If their cases can’t be resolved, travellers are told to visit the office three days before they are scheduled to depart.

People queueing outside the Australian Passport Office in Melbourne
People were seen queueing outside the Australian Passport Office in Melbourne. Source: AAP

Added pressure on the system

With horror stories of some desperate travellers waiting in line for 12 hours to get their passports, the true state of the national crisis has been revealed.

For months long queues have been forming outside passport offices across Australia with some determined Aussies driving through the night to get there before opening hours.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade previously told Yahoo News Australia of the “unprecedented high demand for its passport services”.

In June the Federal Government slammed the delays as “completely unacceptable”, vowing to working on fixing the problem.

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