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Passport Fee Changes 2005 Frequently Asked Questions

Changes to New Zealand Passport Fee
As of 4 November 2005 the fees for New Zealand passports and travel documents have changed. For further information about the fee changes and the processing of passport applications please see the frequently asked questions below.

Fee Changes

What are the new fees for passports?
Please see the tables below for details of the new fees.

Lodged in New Zealand
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)NZ$80.00NZ$230.00NZ$580.00
New Zealand Certificate of Identity NZ$80.00
New Zealand Refugee Travel Document NZ$80.00

Lodged in Australia
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)A$83.00A$245.00A$543.00

Lodged in London
Standard ServiceUrgent ServiceCallout Service
Child (under 16 years)GBP32.00GBP94.00GBP207.00

When is the new fee effective from?
The new fees are effective from 4 November 2005 as specified in the Passport (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2005.

Was an announcement made? If so, where?
An announcement was made in the Gazette of 3 November 2005. The Department of Internal Affairs also issued a media release on the 3 November and posted information onto our website at the same time. All travel agents and key audiences possible were advised of the increase.

Why was there no notice of the new fee? Isn't this a breach of usual practice?
The Department of Internal Affairs did not provide advance notice of the fees review because analysis indicated that this would create unmanageable demand for passports. This would have seriously compromised our ability to deliver passports for those people who had already arranged, booked and paid for their travel.

While we usually give some notice of fee changes, there is provision for new fees to come into force the day after their notification in the Gazette, which in this case was 3 November 2005.

Why are we introducing the new fee?
We are introducing the new fee to cover the costs of a range of security enhancements including the new e-Passport. These security enhancements will ensure New Zealanders have access to one of the best and most secure passports in the world with visa free arrangements to many countries for NZ$30.00 per year.

For further information about the e-Passport please see the e-Passport Frequently Asked Questions.

Can I pay less and get a "lower standard" passport?
No. All New Zealand passports are of the same standard and from 4 November all applicants will receive an e-Passport. There are no different standards of passport, as this would compromise the integrity and reputation of the New Zealand passport.

Do the new fees apply across the board (i.e. are there any exceptions?)
The fees apply to everyone. We are unable to apply any exceptions other than for people applying in the transitional period (i.e. just as fees are changing).

Are we introducing the new e-Passport just to satisfy USA requirements?
No. The e-Passport is a more secure, fraud resistant document that over time may well become the new standard for entry to other countries as well as the USA.

The New Zealand government is committed to ensuring New Zealanders maintain visa free access to a number of countries and the e-Passport and other security enhancements will ensure we can meet international requirements.

For further information about the e-Passport please see the e-Passport Frequently Asked Questions.

Is the fee likely to change again soon? Is there any chance it may be reduced in the near future?
We review our fees every few years and they are set by regulation to reflect changes in our costs. There are no plans to change our fees again in the near future.

How does the fee for the New Zealand passport compare with passport fees overseas?
The fee for the New Zealand passport broadly reflects the cost of the document. Generally our fees compare on par or favourably with other countries' passport fees.

With the recent change in passport validity from ten years to five years why has the fee increased, not reduced?
The validity of a passport does not determine the cost. It costs the same to produce a passport irrespective of the validity period.

The reduction in the validity of the passport from ten years to five years was included in the recently passed Passports Amendment Act. The reduction in validity ensures we can keep ahead of fraudsters and provide a passport with up-to-date security features and also more readily meet international border control requirements.

What does the new NZ$50 handling fee for passport applications made via MFAT Posts or Embassies cover?
This fee covers all the costs associated with handling passport application, such as provision of diplomatic bag services, staff and administration costs.

Passport Application Processing in the Transitional Period

I sent/lodged my application before the new fees came into effect. Will I have to pay the new higher fee?
If your application was posted to us before the new fees came into effect and is post marked with a date before Friday 4 November 2005 then the old fee will apply.

What happens if I short pay the fee? Will this affect the progress of my application?
If you enclose the old fee we will contact you to arrange payment of the difference. You will also be contacted if any of the rest of the application is incomplete. If this is the case the processing time for the passport will begin from when the full fee, and correct and complete information has been received.

I completed our applications using the old forms. Even though I'm applying for my passport now the new fee is effective can I get it for the old fee?
As mentioned above if your application is post-marked prior to 4 November 2005 it will be processed at the old fee. If it is postmarked 4 November 2005 or later then the new fee applies. We cannot accept any applications from 4 November 2005 at the old fee.

I left my application in the drop box in your office? Does that mean I have to pay the new fee?
Providing you left it in the drop box before 4 November 2005 the application will be processed at the old fee. If it was left on or after 4 November 2005 you will need to pay the new fee.

I sent my passport application before the new fee came into effect. Why can't I get my passport for the old fee?
We can only process applications at the old fee if they are were sent prior to 4 November 2005 or left in one of our drop boxes, in our offices, prior to 4 November 2005. We are adopting this approach to ensure fairness to all our customers.

Will I be able to check the progress of my application?
Yes, you can
contact us to check the progress of your application. If you have sent the old fee and additional payment is required, we will contact you to arrange payment of the additional fee. If we don't contact you it is most likely that your application has been processed under the old fee.

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Last updated: 22/12/2005