Running out of pages in your passport? Here’s a reminder to renew your travel document before the planned price increase this Thursday.
On 25 May the cost of applying for an adult passport increases $7 to $206. A child’s passport increases $5 to $120.
This is part of the planned $24 (12.5 per cent) increase over a three-year period, with the final increase due next year to $215 for an adult passport.
The Department of Internal Affairs announced the change last year in response to falling passport applications.
Unlike other countries the New Zealand passport system receives no direct tax funding and is designed to be entirely self-funded by passport fees. Last year the ministry said that additional costs and the lack of people renewing documents during the pandemic meant that passport income had taken a significant hit.
New security features introduced in 2021 and redesign following the death of Queen Elizabeth II meant that there had to be some tweaks to the book.
The Department stated that passports issued under the Queen would still be valid.
“In the future passports will be issued in the name of the new sovereign. All passports issued until then will bear the name of Her Majesty.”
Even passports being issued under the increased fee from Thursday are likely to bear the name of Elizabeth until the middle of this year, to ensure wastage is minimised of existing book stock.
When should you renew your passport?
You might still have time valid on your passport, that doesn’t mean you will be able to travel.
A few destinations will not grant visas or allow entry to passport holders without sufficient validity on their travel documents.
“Some countries require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months after you intend to depart from that country,” reads the department’s advice.
You can also have your passport denied for travel for not having enough empty pages in your passport. If you do not have at least 1 empty page for entry stamps you can be refused entry to a country.
Seemingly superficial damage to your passport can also render your document invalid. Your passport photo and details page be protected, however other damage can affect your ability to travel.
Water damage, tears or marks to any of your passport pages can be reason to refuse a traveller entry to a country, as signs of being tampered with. It’s up to the discretion of the border agency whether to allow a traveller entry.
The department also says a common reason for a passport being deemed invalid is travellers forgetting to sign the details page. All adults, and children aged over ten, must sign their passport.
It is up to carriers and airlines to check the passports of travellers for enough validity before allowing them to travel.
The department currently lists processing time as 4 weeks for a new passport so, if you’ve got travel coming up, remember to check your passport well ahead of time.
What is the value of the New Zealand passport?
Bearing the name of a deceased head of state has not harmed the value of the Kiwi passport. This week the consultancy firm Nomad Capitalist named the New Zealand passport the 8th most valuable travel document in the world.
Ranking citizenship of 199 countries for investment value, freedoms offered and international perception, the book climbed an impressive 10 places since last year. The ranking, published last week, placed the United Arab Emirates as the top scoring passport for the first time.