Or should I say the adventurous of renewing a Dutch Passport in Australia? Since we are staying longer than the two years we initially planned, Luka and I are now looking at passports that are about to expire and we are planning to travel abroad in the not too far future. So, we can just go to the consulate in Melbourne, right?
Wrong! Since 2015 the consulate in Melbourne does no longer deal with passport renewals.
There is only one Dutch embassy in Australia and it is located in Sydney.
Although it does not look too far on the Australian map, it is a 878 km drive from where we live. This is equivalent to driving from Amsterdam to Verona in Italy. It can be driven, but it is a bit far, just to have your passport renewed.
The ‘Rijksoverheid‘ provides information on how to apply for a Dutch passport in Australia, that answers all my relevant questions.
It comes down to the following steps:
- Make an appointment
- Book flights to Sydney
- Fill in the application form
- Proof of legal residency
- Bring passport size photo’s
- Proof of identity
- Bring a copy of the appointment
- Return envelope
- Parent Consent
1. Make an appointment
It is not possible to renew your passport online, you need to be at the embassy in person. We could schedule an appointment online. I first checked when the appointments can be made, as I read that it can not be done short term. When I checked there was about a two week wait.
2. Book flights to Sydney
As the distance Melbourne – Sydney is too far for us for a short trip, we opted for a flight. Although we still had one free Virgin Australia return flight through our credit card, I managed to get cheaper flights for two people on a TigerAir sale.
3. Fill in application form
The application form does not look too complex, so we should be able to manage that.
4. Proof of legal residency
As visa’s are all done electronically there is no longer a piece of paper in our passport. It Easiest way to check this was online Department of Immigration, where you can do a Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).
Hmmm, has the visa agency made the correct adjustment in my visa? Initially it was registered under my married name, which does not work on a Dutch passport. Since both my names were on the visa I was not aware if this, but I discovered that the hard way, as I almost did not get me into Australia the first time. Better make sure this one is correct now. We received an e-mail that it is all changed, but I have not seen the physical change.
5. Passport pictures
The Dutch requirements for a passport picture are not the same as the Australian requirements. So we have two options
- DYI, look at the long(!) list of requirements, make picture and resize the image to the required size.
- If that fails, the embassy is located in a Westfield shopping mall and we can have pictures taken at the DigiDirect in the same mall.
6. Proof of Identity
We both need to be there in person.
7. Bring a copy of the appointment
Check, should not be too hard
8. Return envelop
To prevent having to fly to Sydney twice, we can have our passports mailed to us. They do this if you bring a return envelop. Since the Australian post can be really slow, I think we are going to opt for the Express Post option there.
9. Parent Consent
If you need a passport for a minor, both parents need to be present. Or if that is not possible, you need a parent consent. This need to be the parent consent form that you can download. Both the passport and the form need to be certified by a notary public, in Australia that can be a justice of the peace. They do that for free.
10. Transport in Sydney
From the airport there are a couple options to get to the Dutch Consulate:
- Taxi/Uber, 15 min depending on traffic, from $45-55 one way
- Train, takes 30 minutes, frequent connections, cost $ 16.81 one way
- Bus, line 400, takes 56 min, not so frequent, cost $3.58 one way
Cost Australia vs Netherlands
This is what it cost us to renew two passports, 1 adult/1 child
$ 366 – two passports
$ 186 – two TigerAir return flights
$ 100 – transport costs, train and Skybus Melbourne/train Sydney
In Tilburg the same would have cost us:
$ 174 or € 116.20
All goes well all ends well?
So, now we only have to wait until the date of our appointments arrives. Luka is already looking forward to a visit to Bondi Beach and Kai is slightly yealous as we are going on a school day at which he will have to go to school.
Had it been smarter to renew all of our passports before coming to Australia? Yes!
Apparently it is also possible to renew your passport on arrival in Schiphol, even if you go for a visit. Had we had the time for that that would have almost paid for one flight and it would have been great to visit friends and family. Too bad that is a 24 hour flight (I did consider it….)