Caught out by passport crackdown

If your passport is damaged, it might be time to get a new one – or suffer the same fate as the Aussie travellers who have been turned away from entering popular destinations over the past couple of months.

Bali-bound travellers, in particular, are being warned to update their tatty passports, as the Indonesian hotspot is just one of many overseas destinations cracking down on damaged passports.

Travellers with passports showing signs of wear, torn, folded or stained pages, or even just signs of being ‘well used’ have been warned by the Bali Tourism Board to get their paperwork in order. In other words, don’t go there without a pristine passport and, if you do, face the consequences: rejection. 

The Indonesian National Law Ministry is clamping down on damaged passports in an attempt to deter illegal visitors. 

“This national law is not targeted at Australians specifically,” said Bali Tourism Board head of secretariat Gilda Lim Sagrado.

“We can feel the anxiety of Australian families and we are also feeling anxious.

“Australians remain our favourite visitors due to a long-standing warm relationship over many years.

“Australia contributes 20 per cent of Bali’s economy and definitely 100 per cent on the Balinese heart.”

One Perth passenger was unable to board a Batik Air flight at Perth Airport because his passport was ‘slightly damaged’, the passenger’s partner told PerthNow.

Evidently, airline staff told her that “Denpasar is enforcing a policy whereby if a passenger has the slightest imperfection with their passport, they will fine the airline $5000 and send the passenger home”.

According to the same passenger, around 20 Aussie tourists with damaged passports were prevented from flying to Bali in the past month.

As reported on Travel Talk, Indonesia Institute chief Ross Taylor said the crackdown would also prevent foreigners seeking to gain illegal entry into Australia by using Indonesia as a stepping stone.

Do you have a damaged passport? Were you aware that the condition of your passport could prevent you from entering a country?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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