Global Passport Fees 2024: How much do you pay?

Breaking News!
New Latvian passport released, which will be issued from Feb 12th on. Now with 42 pages, up from 34 pages. Passport fee €34 (up €4).

Passport Costs and Global Trends

Passports serve as vital travel documents, enabling international mobility. Yet, the expense of acquiring a passport varies significantly between nations. Ideally, passport fees should align with a country’s average income to ensure widespread access to this crucial document. In the European Union, passport fees typically range from 1.x% to 3.x% of the average monthly income.

However, exceptions exist, with countries like Italy, Serbia, and Romania charging over 4%, while some nations charge less than 1%, and others go as high as 24%.

In Africa, the figure can go up to 285%! I'm German, and our average income (AI) is €3230. Imagine if we Germans had to pay €9348 for a passport!

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 was valued at $28.8 billion in 2022, and is projected to reach $256.2 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 24.8% from 2023 to 2032. The International Civil Aviation Organization’s Doc 9303 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 costly. “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.

CountryFeeValidity% of AI
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra4910
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina1091.3
Armenia
Australia218104.8
Austria80101.8
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus12101.0
Belgium7371.7
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia826
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil45107.0
Brunei4351.7
Bulgaria22101.7
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cabo Verde
Cambodia100107.6
Cameroon
Canada125103.1
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile8410
China18101.8
Colombia4710
Comoros
Congo18510
Costa Rica7267.0
Côte d'Ivoire
Croatia55103.8
Cuba1006
Cyprus60102.2
Czech Republic27101.6
Denmark97101.7
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic326
Ecuador90618.1
Egypt4577.7
El Salvador255
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia47102.7
Eswatini (fmr. "Swaziland")
Ethiopia
Fiji
Finland6351.4
France102102.8
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Germany66101.8
Ghana
Greece10056.0
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guyana
Haiti
Holy See
Honduras
Hong Kong32100.7
Hungary50103.4
Iceland70101.3
India23105.9
Indonesia2310
Iran1053.4
Iraq
Ireland80101.3
Israel86102.0
Italy135104.5
Jamaica
Japan115103.2
Jordan
Kazakhstan5410
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia36102.3
Lebanon5010
Liechtenstein26410
Lithuania6310
Luxembourg6050.8
Lybia398
Malawi10010
Malaysia4755.3
Malta7010
Mexico1701021.3
Monaco9410
Morocco50516.6
Myanmar125
Netherlands78101.7
New Zealand128103.4
Nigeria411023.7
Norway51100.8
Pakistan5410
Panama1005
Paraguay405
Peru305
Philippines20106.6
Poland35102.5
Portugal7453.7
Romania65105.5
Russia70107.9
San Marino10510
Serbia36105.1
Singapore59101.1
Slovakia35102.4
Slovenia53103.0
Somalia1405
South Africa33106.0
South Korea5010
Spain33101.3
Sri Lanka19105.7
Sweden4550.9
Switzerland140102.2
Syria126
Thailand43107.3
Trinidad & Tobago2010
Tunisia205
Turkey2021024.5
UK100102.7
Uruguay8510
USA130102.2
Venezuela21610
Vietnam10103.3
Zimbabwe10010

Throwback to 1971

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).

picture passports fees 1970s
UK passport fees, 1971

Further Remarks

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.

Noteworthy

VfS Global is the monopolist when it comes to visa applications. Most countries have outsourced visa processing to this company. They also handle passport applications in different countries and asking an extra passport application fee, which makes your passport even more expensive.

FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...