Five countries where Australians lose their passports the most

New data reveals the top five countries where Australian passports were lost and stolen in 2023, and the destinations will surprise you. 

In the 2023 financial year, records show approximately 7.27 million Australians travelled internationally. More than three million new passports were issued between 2022 and 2023, and a little more than half of Australia’s population currently holds a passport. We’re a nation of travellers, with New Zealand being our destination of choice for the past 50 years. That is, until Indonesia kicked the Land of the Long White Cloud off its perch in 2023, taking out the top spot as the most visited destination by Australian travellers. Portugal, Italy, Fiji, Japan and France also saw an influx of Australian tourists, Unfortunately, an increase in vacationers means an increase in holiday mishaps. 

Australian passport
© Adobe Stock

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) 2022-23 Consular State of Play report, 2043 passports were reported lost overseas in the past financial year, while 1578 passports were reported stolen. Emergency passports were issued more than ever before, clocking up 10,801 urgent replacement cases. To rub salt in the wound of those with misplaced or pilfered passports, Australian passports are one of the most expensive in the world, priced at $346 for a 10-year adult document, or $175 for five-year under-16 and over-75 documents. It’s something you want to get your money’s worth out of. 

Statue of Liberty in New York
New York, USA © Adobe Stock

The DFAT data revealed the United States as the destination with the most lost and stolen Australian passports, clocking up 452 cases. Italy came in second place with 387 lost or stolen passports, the United Kingdom reported 315, France 230 and Spain 203.

The top five countries where Australians most often lose their passports are, in order:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Italy
  4. Germany
  5. China
Beijing skyline
Beijing, China © Adobe Stock

The top five countries where Australian passports were stolen the most are, in order:

  1. Italy
  2. United States
  3. Spain
  4. France
  5. Greece

What to do if your passport is lost or stolen while overseas

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re travelling overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate, or call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre, to have a new passport, emergency passport or temporary travel document issued. Report your lost/stolen passport to local police within 24 hours of the disappearance, and Australian police upon your return to Australia. Be sure to notify DFAT that your passport has been lost or stolen. When you apply to replace your passport, you may need to tell issuing authorities about how the previous passport was lost or stolen, and present any police report or provide the police report number related to the theft. If you’re concerned that your identity has been compromised, you can get advice from IDcare.

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