Aussie travellers caught out by passport crackdown

Aussie travellers have been warned to carry pristine passports.

Aussie travellers 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?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    19th Jan 2019
    A forged passport can be more easily disguised or changed when the passport is damaged. It's not that hard to look after it.
    Pass the Ductape
    19th Jan 2019
    No it isn't hard to look after, but you might want to tell that to the customs people in Bali
    19th Jan 2019
    It's really easy, just don't go there.
    The Sheriff
    19th Jan 2019
    I couldn't agree with you more, Allenmack. It is totally beyond me why anyone in their right mind would want to go to this filthy craphole.
    19th Jan 2019
    But if you do, it's not that hard to take care of your passport. Don't whinge if you choose not to.
    19th Jan 2019
    You are correct-Don't go there-It is a filthy crap hole. However, what does one do if a customs officer causes damage to your passport?
    19th Jan 2019
    Good comments!
    It's the place where they shot two reformed Aussie drug mules, while they let out of jail the leader of terrorists recently. No patriotic Aussies should go there.
    It's also the place where a SMH article a few years ago said one Aussie dies there every nine days! Of course, that also reflects on the type of people who go there!
    20th Jan 2019
    went twice over 25 years ago. no desire to go back ever. too many Aussie yobbos who would never be able to go further than Bali so it is a cheap holiday for them. sadly many spoil it for others and the locals, by their shocking behaviour.
    19th Jan 2019
    No my passport is not damaged in any way and yes I knew it could be rejected if it were.

    Once more we see people who whinge when they are forced to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings.

    I agree with Rosret. It's not that hard to look after your passport. Or anything else for that matter.
    19th Jan 2019
    The problem now is that everyone wants to look at your passport so that everytime you put it back in its protective slip you have to pull it out again to show the next official

    19th Jan 2019
    Bali? I might go there if you paid me.... now that Japan in winter trip up there.. hmmmmm...
    19th Jan 2019
    I very much doubt I'd ever go there, even if someone paid for me to go. Never, ever been on my list of places to go.

    Yes, how hard is it to look after your passport. It is probably the most valuable document we can own. I never let mine out of my sight except at home where it is locked away.
    20th Jan 2019
    Just don’t go there
    20th Jan 2019
    It is not only it is Perth Airport as well, some years ago our home was broken into and my handbag was stolen, it was found later with 2 passports inside and 1 poking out slightly, there has been rain before the bag was found, my husbands passport was slightly stained on the top of the front 2 pages, checked to make certain it was ok, left via Perth, went to Holland, England, America, Singapore, Malaysia, no problems, back to Perth our country of birth of over 50 years, we are white Australians, WHOOOO, my husband cannot return to our home because of his passport damage, we were holled up at the Airport for over 4 hours while they argued back and forth as to whether he could enter, it went from 1 supervisor to another, eventually they allowed him to enter but cut up his passport. Strange we had no problem leaving with that same passport and did all our travelling with that same passport.

    20th Jan 2019
    mystifies me as to why people let them get into such a state of repair. you get a cover provided so it is easy enough to put it back in there after you have used it. my passport still looks new after 9 years
    20th Jan 2019
    My daughter in law went to US, and the customs person tore a page in her passport. When she arrived left LA, nor problem, but when she and husband arrived back in Bris. whoa, big problem. They were held back at the customs for over 20 mins , explaining that the passport was damaged at LA, and then finally begrudgingly let back in.

    21st Jan 2019
    I'm on my second 10 year passport that's always protected by a simple plastic pouch cover, it's a very very important item so why not take good care of it.
    Yea, Bali (Kuta) is full of pestering street mugs. Under that pretentious smile most dislike westerners...until they scam you.
    20th Jul 2019
    I have a passport cover which is leather and has a map of Australia on the front purchased on eBay.

    I've cut out silver cardboard and put it silver side out so that it cannot be read by scammers (just like an RFID cover, but not the expense). Then it's ready for any trip I take (not that I'm taking any in the near future - yet). The plastic covers the passports come in are OK, but, they too, can become in a state of disrepair.

    Then all I need to do is to take the cover off and present my pristine passport to the border control authorities.

    I would never carry my passport in the pocket of my clothing - too easy to lose.

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