Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Passport application requirements

Using your passport


How long does it take to get a passport?

Whether you apply in Australia or overseas, you should allow three weeks to get a new passport.

If you need to travel urgently, you can request priority service (an additional fee is payable). This will ensure we issue your passport within two working days of receiving everything we need from you.

Can I lodge my application form online?

Passport application forms can be filled in and printed online, but not lodged. You will need to sign the completed application form in black ink and lodge it in person, together with all the needed supporting documentation.

In Australia most forms are lodged at Australia Post outlets. Clients who can demonstrate an urgent need to travel may call APIS on 131 232 to make an appointment to lodge at an Australian Passport Office.

Overseas applicants should contact the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission to obtain details for lodgement.

Why can’t I use the renewal form?

If you cannot access the passport renewal form online, you may not be eligible to renew. See Renewing your passport for more information.

Alternatively, you may be answering the security questions incorrectly. The answers to these questions must match exactly the information we hold on your passports records. If you believe you are eligible to renew but are unable to access or complete the renewal form online, call the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) on 131 232 or, if you are overseas, contact the nearest Australian diplomatic mission or consulate.

Do I need to provide an original document or will a certified copy or extract do?

When you apply for an Australian passport you must provide original documents which confirm your Australian citizenship and your identity. Birth extracts, commemorative certificates, photocopies (including those that have been certified as a true copy) and fax copies are NOT acceptable.

An original document is one produced and not altered by the authority or organisation named on the document. A duplicate copy issued and certified as a true copy by the authority or organisation named on the original can be accepted as if it were an original document. A photocopy, even if certified, is not a duplicate copy.

Who can be the emergency contact person?

Your emergency contact person can be anyone you like, but it is advisable to nominate someone who is not likely to be travelling with you. If you are completing your child’s passport application form, you might like to nominate a grandparent, other relative or close family friend rather than yourself or the child’s other parent.

I have a senior’s card; can I have a concessional passport?

Australian citizens aged 75 and over may opt to have a five-year passport for half the cost of an ordinary 10-year passport.

The decision to offer a five-year passport to persons aged 75 and over was taken in response to representations by Australians in this age group who wished to undertake limited overseas travel and did not need a full validity passport.

I don't speak English well. Can I use an interpreter at my passport interview?

If you are not fluent in English you can bring someone with you to your passport interview to interpret for you. This could be a family member or a friend. The Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) can also arrange an interpreter for your interview through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National at no cost. Please notify APIS that you will need an interpreter, giving as much notice as possible. To contact APIS with the assistance of a phone interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450 (from overseas call 613 9268 8832).

APIS, or the passport interviewer, will ask for your permission for an interpreter, family member or friend to talk for you. Once you have given permission, that person can continue to ask you questions, and explain the process. For further information, see the We speak your language page.

Do I need six months validity left on my passport before I can travel from and then re enter Australia?

You passport is valid from the date it is issued until the date it expires, and you can use it throughout this period subject to meeting the visa and immigration requirements of the countries you wish to visit or transit.

Some foreign governments require visitors to carry passports with at least six months validity beyond their planned stay, and you may be refused entry if you do not comply.

Well before you travel, you should check the entry requirements of the countries you plan to visit or transit. Contact the foreign diplomatic and consular representatives of the country you wish to visit in Australia, or seek advice from your travel agent.

My passport is nearly full but is valid for another four years. Is it possible to add extra pages?

No. You will need to obtain a new passport.

My passport has been lost or stolen. What should I do?

If your passport has been lost or stolen, you should report this to us without delay. We will cancel your passport so it cannot be misused by anyone else.

How do I find information on whether I need a visa and how to get one?

You should seek advice from the governments of the countries your plan to visit or ask your travel agent.

I have turned 18 and have a child’s passport. Can I still travel on it?

Yes, your passport is valid until its expiry date.

A member of my family died recently and their passport is not due to expire for some time. What should I do?

If you report the details to us, we will cancel the passport to ensure it cannot be misused by another person. Take the passport and the original death certificate to an Australia Post passport agency. If you wish to retain the passport as a memento, we will return it to you after it has been cancelled.