Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

 

When should I apply for or renew my passport?

The earlier the better.

Allow a minimum of six weeks to get a new passport or renew your old one.

Where possible, don’t book travel without a valid passport.

If you’re likely to travel in the next six months – for example, during the upcoming Christmas/New Year holiday period – you should apply or renew now.

Some countries won’t let you enter on a passport that expires in less than six months. 

You may need a valid passport to obtain a foreign visa.

Your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate will be linked to the passport you’re travelling on. 

 

What is the current timeframe to get a passport?

Allow a minimum of six weeks to get a new passport or renew your old one.

But remember, while most passports are being processed in less than six weeks, some are more complex and take longer.

If you’re likely to travel in the next six months – for example, during the upcoming Christmas/New Year holiday period – you should apply or renew now.

 

I applied for my new passport weeks ago. Why is it taking so long to get it?

Like many countries, we’re experiencing unprecedented demand for passports.

This is because nearly two million Australians didn’t renew or apply for a passport during the pandemic.

Child applications have extra security checks and can take longer to process.

Incomplete applications will also take longer.

 

Why don’t you extend your operating hours?

In most cases, customers only need to visit a passport office when their passport is ready to be collected.

We’re working extended hours, seven days a week to get Australians their passports.

Many of our staff are working on weekends and into the evening to process and print passports as quickly as possible.

 

How do you prioritise applications?

Some applications are processed faster than others.

When a customer opts for our priority service, we’re required to issue their passport in two business days once we’ve received all customer documents from Australia Post.

When a customer has a compassionate reason for urgent travel, we’ll prioritise their application.

Customers with imminent travel plans, usually in the next three days, are also prioritised to reduce the risk of missed travel.

 

Will I get my passport any sooner if I visit my local passport office in person?

No. Visiting our office won’t guarantee your passport will be issued on that day.

We’ll notify you when your passport is ready to be collected.

 

I don’t want to wait six weeks or more.

If you don’t want to wait, you can use our priority passport processing service.

For more information, visit our urgent applications page.

 

I’m travelling soon, what can I do to get my passport quicker?

We’re processing applications based on a few criteria, including travel date.

If you’ve already given us your travel date, we’ll be processing your application according to that.

If you’re travelling in the next three days and haven’t given us your travel date, call us on 131 232.

 

What are you doing to reduce passport delays?

We’ve recruited more staff to process applications and answer phone calls.

Since early June, we’ve more than doubled our workforce from about 700 staff to over 1,600.

We’re working extended hours, seven days a week to get Australians their passports.

 

Can my local Member help speed up my application?

Enquiries through local Members of Parliament are managed the same way as enquiries directly to us.

Contacting us through multiple channels won’t speed up your application.

 

I’ve waited more than six weeks, should I just submit a new application?

No.

You can opt for a priority service after submitting your application. Call us on 131 232 for advice on how to do this.

Don’t lodge another application. It’s more expensive than opting for the priority service and it won’t speed up the process.

 

We lodged our applications at the same time.  Why didn’t all our passports arrive at the same time?

If you lodged multiple applications, you may not receive the passports at the same time.

This is because all applications are assessed individually and processing times differ, depending on the type and complexity of the application.

Some applications – for example, adult renewals – can be processed quickly.   

Others, such as first-time adult and child applications, can take longer because they require additional security checks and all supporting documents need to be verified.

 

If I’m a dual national, can I depart/return to Australia on my foreign passport rather than my Australian one?

The Department of Home Affairs advises Australian citizens to leave and enter Australia on their Australian passport.

Some airlines may not allow you to board a plane to Australia without a current Australian passport or an entry visa.

If you travel on another passport, local authorities may not recognise you as an Australian citizen. This may limit the Australian Government’s ability to provide you with consular assistance.

 

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

If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must report this to us.

Phone us on 131 232 or contact your nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.

For more information, visit our lost and stolen passports page.

 

For more advice in response to other frequently asked questions, please go to our general information page.