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HomeNewsNew Australian passport price rises to $325 with animal security feature

New Australian passport price rises to $325 with animal security feature

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It may seem like a cute gimmick, but images of native animals hidden throughout Australia’s new passports are actually a hi-tech passport security feature.

The Australian Passport Office has begun rolling out its innovative new “R Series” passports, which are “packed with advanced security features designed to keep Australians’ identities safe” – including the “secret” Australian animals which only emerge when viewed under ultraviolet light, Escape reports.

If you’re applying for a new passport in 2023, it’s likely you’ll receive the R Series passport rather than the previous “P Series”, which has been in use since 2014.

The new passports are more secure and more durable, with the photo page now made of tough, layered plastic, known as polycarbonate – making them less susceptible to damage.

The passport office says the new-look passports are not only jam-packed with hi-tech innovations, but also are visually stunning, with each book containing 17 prints of iconic Australian landscapes which transform into nightscapes under ultraviolet light.

The office has released a video (above) demonstrating the new passport’s elaborate design, which makes the documents harder to forge.

But the upgraded security measures do come at a price. Australian travellers are being slugged record fees for passports in 2023.

At a steep $325, up from $308 in 2022, Australian passports are among the world’s most expensive.

In comparison, New Zealanders pay about $NZ199 (about $A180), the British pay £85 (about $140), and a Portuguese passport costs just €65 (about $100).

The price hike for Aussie travellers comes after unprecedented demand for passports in 2022 led to huge blowouts in processing times.

For those receiving a new passport in 2023, there’s one inclusion that may surprise you – a mention of the Queen, rather than King Charles, will initially remain.

The Department of Foreign Affairs told 9 News that pages for more than one million R Series had already been printed before the death of Her Majesty the Queen.

Australian passports rank among the most powerful in 2023 – with access to 185 visa-free destinations according to the Henley Passport Index.

Japan was named the world’s most powerful passport.

This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission

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