Renewing passports

YOURLifeChoices subscribers, Isabel and Tony, are lucky enough to be both Australian and British citizens but this is causing them a headache when it comes to renewing their passport.

Q. Isobel and Tony

My wife and I migrated to Australia from the UK some 30 years ago, and became Australian citizens some 15 years or so ago, so we have dual citizenship.

We have not been back to the UK and Europe for over 10 years, and would like to make one final visit to catch up with relatives before it’s too late.

Our British passports expired in September this year, our Australian passports expired in 2007, and the cost to renew them for both of us is well over $1000, which as age pensioners we find excessive, and which in itself probably makes our trip impossible.

We could renew either the Australian or the British passports at about half the cost.

Renewing only our Australian passports for travel means our travel around Europe would (could) get complicated due to individual countries Visa requirements.

Renewing our British passports only would give us complete freedom of travel in Europe and possibly reduce any health costs by enabling us to access the UK Health system.

Accordingly, we wonder if we renewed our British passports only, and used our (expired) Australian Passports and Citizenship certificates to establish that we are Australian citizens and entitled to full residency here to remove any difficulties in returning to Australia.

We would welcome any advice you might be able to offer.

A. Lucky you heading over to Europe, with the Aussie dollar as strong as it is, now is the perfect time to take the trip.

As a rule, Australian citizens are not permitted to travel without a valid Australian passport. You will not be granted access to Australia on your return without this, regardless of whether you present your expired passports and citizenship certificates. The good news is that you will only need to renew your Australian passport, depending on the countries you wish to visit in Europe. As a rule, you can visit most countries for up to 90 days for tourist reasons without a visa, on a valid Australian passport. For more details of the countries you can visit, click the link below.

It is worth noting, if you are over 75-years of age, you can apply for a seniors passport which will only cost $104.

With regards to medical treatment, the Australian Government has reciprocal arrangements in place with certain countries which guarantees a certain level of assistance. However, you will also need travel insurance. For details of what is covered in which country, click the link below.

We hope you have a fabulous trip and please let us know if you need any further information.