Global Passport Fees 2023
Update: Turkish passport fees are up by 122% due to the stark inflation of the Turkish currency. A 10-year passport is now at a whopping $202 in 2023, which makes the Turkish passport, compared to the average national income (AI), THE MOST EXPENSIVE PASSPORT.
Passports are essential travel documents
that allow individuals to cross international borders. However, the cost of obtaining a passport can vary significantly between countries. Ideally, passport fees should be related to the average income of its citizens to ensure that everyone has access to this important document. In the European Union, passport fees are usually between 1.x% and 3.x% of the average monthly income, with some exceptions such as Italy, Serbia, or Romania, which charge more than 4%. A few countries charge less than 1%, while others charge up to 24%.
There is an extreme case in Africa where the figure goes up to 285%! I’m German, and our average income (AI) is €3230. Imagine if we Germans had to pay €9348 for a passport! Global Passport Fees 2023
But that’s the case in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where a passport costs you the equivalent of $185 at an average income of only $65/month. Two readers of my website even commented that a DRC passport is now $250, making the Congolese passport one of the most expensive in the world for its citizens.
The DRC is among the five poorest nations in the world. In 2021, nearly 64 % of Congolese, just under 60 million people, lived on less than $2.15 a day. Global Passport Fees 2023
Rather expensive passports are those from Liechtenstein, Australia, and Venezuela.
While Argentina, Vietnam, Belarus, China, India, Hong Kong, and Thailand charge citizens the lowest fees.
Bulgaria has the cheapest passport in the European Union.
Passports are big business. The global e-passport market size was valued at $24.57 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $125.13 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 27.5% from 2021 to 2028. The International Civil Aviation Organization’s Doc 9303 also recommends a new passport design to maintain document security and integrity every few years.
People need passports, but at what fees? Global Passport Fees 2023
Should a passport office profit, and should your embassy charge you a higher fee abroad?
If the fees of a passport are within the earlier mentioned range of 1% to 4%, then it’s fine with me. How does a passport office justify higher costs? Did they negotiate just a bad purchasing contract? Governments like to brag about having the “most advanced” and “most secure” travel document every time a passport is updated (which is always good timing to increase the fees).Global Passport Fees 2023
Several countries managed to keep the costs for a new passport unchanged or slightly higher. Even if the current passport was significantly updated with state-of-the-art technology and security. Passport pricing is also a political issue. Global Passport Fees 2023
Passport fees might be significantly higher abroad
Why countries charge significantly more for a passport at their embassies or consulates is a riddle for me. While German embassies charge up to €141 compared to €60 at home, United States passports cost the same worldwide as at home – $130.
As a reader wrote, obtaining a Cuban passport abroad, e.g., in the USA, is extremely expensive. “The Cuban passport is valid for six years, its price is over $450 now, and every two years, we have to pay an extra entry extension of over $200, which makes the Cuban passport most likely the most expensive consular passport! Which adds up to around $900 in 6 years.” Global Passport Fees 2023
The same seems true for the Syrian passport, which is just $12 at home but more than $300 abroad.
Citizen services should not profit, but they should cover their costs. Citizen service is a state obligation without extorting its citizens. By the way, China lowered its passport fees significantly in mid-2019, and the Chinese passport is one of the cheapest travel documents in the world at only $18!
The new iconic Belgian passport with a homage to the comic culture (so cool!) remains at the same price. The same is valid for the latest updated Singapore passport.
More than 171* out of 196 countries use ePassports
All data are in $USD and for a standard adult passport. Fees can be significantly higher abroad at consulates/embassies! *Source: Inverid.com
The passport fees worldwide are based initially on an old British Passport Office list. It is interesting to see how passport prices have increased over a decade. If possible, data comes from readers and web sources (passport office). However, the list and its data are incomplete, but I will update them whenever I can.
|Country||Fee||Validity||% of AI|
|Antigua and Barbuda|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Central African Republic|
|Eswatini (fmr. "Swaziland")|
|Trinidad & Tobago||20||10|
Readers might still remember the British Visitor Passport (BVP), a travel document used within Europe; one could get it instantly at the post office – for £1.50 (1971).
In Cambodia, the passport fees are three times higher at $100 than in the neighboring country, Thailand! The Thai passport was improved several times but is still at a moderate level of 1500 THB ($43). The new generation of Thai eMRTD is now valid for ten years. The New Zealand passport was in 2010 at $100.
Australia was $145 (2010) but today at $218. Germany $66 – same fees since 2010, even after a complete redesign in 2017. Until the end of 1999, Austria was $38 and increased in Jan 2000 to $76. Today the Austrian passport costs $84.
Some countries like Denmark or Malaysia would charge you an extra fee (penalty) for your new passport if you lost your old one. I think that is justified.
Many countries facing massive delays in issuing new passports, still today – mid-2023! Social media is full of complaints about angry citizens, especially from the UK, Australia, Canada, and other countries.