Foreign documents

Does my foreign document need to be translated?

Before you show us any documents that are not in English, you’ll need to get them translated in full and stamped by an approved translation service.

You don’t need a translation if your document is written in multiple languages and one of those languages is English.

Does the whole document need to be translated?


We don’t accept partial translations.

What translation services can I use?

If you’re in Australia, you can contact the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) for a list of approved translators in your area.

We accept translations on the letterheads of the following government agencies that use NAATI translators:

If you’re overseas, contact your nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission for a list of approved translation services in your country. When you lodge your passport application, the mission will certify at no extra charge that the translation was made by an approved translation service. You’ll then be able to use the translation again for any future passport applications, wherever you lodge them. You won’t need new translations made in Australia.

Does my foreign document need to be legalised?

Some foreign documents have to be legalised when you apply for a passport:

  • A birth certificate of a child passport applicant that’s only available in digital format (i.e. the issuing authority doesn’t provide a hard copy)
  • A certificate (including a re-issued birth certificate) that proves a change in your name. We only accept foreign certificates for this purpose if you can’t get an Australian certificate because you were born overseas and live overseas and the name change took place overseas after you became an Australian citizen.

No other kind of document has to be legalised.

Our requirements for legalisation apply no matter what foreign country issued the document.

Legalisation is always performed by the government of the country that issued the document. Many countries legalise documents by affixing an ‘apostille’; some countries use other kinds of stamps and seals.

To find out how to get your document legalised, contact the relevant foreign diplomatic mission or consulate in Australia.

This information is only about foreign documents that need to be legalised when you apply for an Australian passport, not about legalising Australian documents for use overseas.

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