Angry Australians who are planning trips outside of the country are often forced to wait in line for more than four hours only to learn whether or not their newly issued passports are being processed.
Long lines have begun to form in front of the Sydney Passport Office far before the office’s scheduled opening hour.
Many of those waiting in line have not received any information regarding their applications and are unable to reach the office by phone.
Andrew Barron revealed to 9news.com.au that he intended to take his son on a trip to the United Kingdom the following week in order to reunite with his wife and other family members who were already residing in England.
He took the time off work that he was entitled to in order to wait in the line, which he anticipated would be at least six hours long.
Barron stated, “I submitted the application nine weeks ago, so at this point, all I’m doing is trying to figure out where it stands.”
“You don’t know if it is one day away or two weeks away so today is just trying to get some certainty as to where it is up to.
In exactly three weeks, Nick Hill, who lives in Sydney, will go to the United Kingdom to attend the wedding of his brother.
“It’s really frustrating because you just don’t know what’s going on and it’s also really cold.
“There’s lots of mums out here with strollers and things, it’s a joke really,” Hill added.
Hill said his trip is three weeks away and he was not worried about missing the wedding, he was angry that due to the long waiting, he had to take a day off work.
After long COVID travel restrictions ended, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has seen “unprecedented high demand” for its passport services, a spokesperson said.
“We normally receive between 7000 and 9000 applications per working day. Currently, we are receiving 10,000 to 12,000 applications per working day,” the spokesperson added.