Travel | May 4, 2022 2:12 pm

You’ll Never Guess How Much the World’s Most Expensive Passport Is

And we thought the $20 increase in U.S. passport fees this past winter were not great...

You’ll Never Guess How Much the World’s Most Expensive Passport Is
Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

The passport is the holy grail of personal identification. And yet, not all passports are created equal. Based on the country of issue, some passports are actually more powerful than others. Some people, as a sort of birth right, also have — or are eligible for — more than one passport, which in turn grants them various (and sometimes, a more abundant array of) freedoms while traveling.

Further, not all passports cost the same amount, either. For the uninitiated, an adult U.S. passport costs $165, and it’s good for 10 years. Come time to renew, that cost drops down to $130. Per a report from CNN Travel, that’s pretty on par with most other countries, with the average cost of a passport falling somewhere in the $100-$170 range. Both New Zealanders and Japanese nationals, for example, pay roughly $125 (the latter tied with Singapore for most dynamic passport in the world in 2022), Swiss citizens around $150 and Mexican nationals nearly $170.

It bears mentioning that $170 is not necessarily a small fee…but it does sort of pale in comparison when looking at the cost of passports in other countries. That’s because, after Mexico, the next most expensive passport hails from Australia and costs around $220. After that is Liechtenstein, who — despite being a microstate — charges $260 for a passport and Cuba, who charges $105, but requires that passport (which is technically only valid for six years) be renewed every two years for a roughly $21 fee. By that math, having a passport costs Cuban citizens somewhere in the vicinity of $270 over the course of 10 years.

Similarly, Syrians living abroad have to pay $300 for new passports which last only six years, meaning they must pay $600 for a valid passport for 10 years. The irony there, of course, being that — per The Henley Passport Index, the “authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa” — the Syrian passport is actually one of the least powerful passports in the world, despite its lofty price tag.

The most expensive passport, however, is actually the Lebanese passport, which — according to the Lebanese General Directorate of General Security — costs somewhere in the ballpark of  $795 to be renewed. Interestingly, expats renewing their passports at either the New York or Los Angeles consulates can expect to pay just $600 by comparison. It, too, is one of the lowest ranking passports in the world.

That said, the costs associated with having a passport renewed aren’t always that cut and dry…in any country. Should you be curious to see exactly how much your next passport will run you, you can use the State Department fee calculator or check out this PDF chart of passport fees, which breaks things down a little further. The silver lining — at least in most cases — is this: while there are a handful of variables that inevitably impact the cost of having a passport renewed, it all goes toward a document with a 10-year expiry.

Unless, apparently, you live in Cuba. Or Syria.