A message from the Consular Department
‘My mother in the Netherlands is seriously ill and I need to go there as soon as possible. She might not make it much longer but my passport has expired in 2015. I live in Broome.’
‘I lost my passport in 2017. I’ve got a job interview in the Netherlands next week. I live in Darwin.
‘I moved to Australia in 1957. Now my brother in the Netherlands hasn’t got long to live. I would like to say good bye to him’.
Every week consular staff of the Consulate General in Bondi Junction receives several phone calls and emails of Dutch citizens whose passports have expired and are in a hurry to travel to the Netherlands. Lately a lot of questions come in from elderly people who have migrated in the 50’s and would like to visit their birth country one more time to say a final good bye to loved ones.
Please be aware that the renewal of a passport – even if fast tracked – takes at least 1 week. Passport applications are being processed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague and then printed in the Netherlands. A courier brings the passport from the Netherlands to Sydney.
Most of the time the recent proof of legal residence turns out to be a problem, especially for the elderly who might not have traveled since their arrival in Australia. It could take some time before such evidence has been obtained from the Australian Department of Home Affairs. A delay that could be avoided.
Consular staff is always trying to lend a helping hand and think of the most efficient way to help out. However, a lot of stress can be avoided if passports are renewed approximately 6 months before the expiry date. If your Dutch passport has expired or has been lost, please apply for a new one as soon as possible. We would like to call on people to discuss with their older Dutch relatives and friends whether their passports are still up to date and if necessary, help them to start the renewal process early so they travel to the Netherlands whenever they want to.
Passport applications can be done at the Consulate General in Bondi Junction/Sydney. This year consular staff has visited Perth to take in passport applications. Later this year visits are planned to Brisbane (May 14) and Melbourne (August). Please check this newsletter, Facebook and our website for additional information.
Please note: traveling back to the Netherlands implies transferring in e.g. Dubai/Abu Dhabi or other cities in Asia. In general Asian countries require the passport to be valid for another 6 months after leaving the country. The UAE requires 3 months validity.