How to obtain an Australian Passport
The procedures for applying for an Australian passport overseas are different from those used in Australia and they may vary according to where you live. Please read the information on this website in conjunction with the instructions in the Form PC8, Application for an Australian Passport Overseas. You will also find other useful information on the Australian Passport Office's website at www.passports.gov.au.
How to lodge your application
For Renewals: If you are renewing a passport that was issued after 20 August 1986 and it had an original validity of two or more years, you may lodge your application either by post or in person at your nearest Passport Office. If this passport was issued to you as an adult and has been expired for less than twelve months, you may be eligible for a shorter application, the Form PC7. Check the criteria here.
For first passports:
Children: Applications for a child’s first passport must be lodged in person by at least one parent or a person with legal caring responsibility for the child. The child is not required to attend the interview.
Adults: If you are applying for your first passport or your first passport since your 18th birthday, you must lodge your application in person.
For replacing lost or stolen passports:
If you are replacing a passport that has been lost, damaged or stolen, or one that had an original validity of 12 months or less, then you must lodge the application in person. You will also be liable for the payment of a lost or stolen fee. Look here for further information and how this fee is calculated.
This fee is always charged at interview. There are no circumstances where the fee can be waived by a passport interviewer or office.
You can find out how many passports you have lost or had stolen by logging into your passport details here.
Normal processing time is ten working days from the time your application is received, provided that all the required documentation and suitable photographs are submitted with the application.
Identity documents you must submit with your application
In addition to your existing passport (even if it has expired), you must provide up to three original documents, in various combinations, to confirm your identity. The requirements are set out on page 2 of the Form PC8 and here.
The child’s existing passport must be provided as well as the child’s original full birth certificate. If the birth certificate is in a language other than English, a full translation must also be provided with the application.
For children born outside of Australia applying for a first passport, an original citizenship certificate must also be provided.
For all child applications, the lodging parent (or other person with a caring responsibility) must also provide one form of original identification.
*All documents must be original. Notarized copies are not acceptable.
Children born of Australian citizens outside Australia, including in Brazil and Venezuela, must acquire Australian citizenship before applying for a passport. This process is not a function of the Passports Office. For further information, please contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Entering and leaving Australia
Read comprehensive travel Information for dual nationals here.
To avoid delays at airline check-in and again at the border entry point, Australian citizens who are dual nationals are advised to leave and return to Australia on their Australian passport. An Australian citizen cannot be granted a visa for Australia.
When entering Australia, all Australians, including those who hold dual nationality, must be able to prove that they are an Australian citizen. An Australian passport is conclusive evidence of a person's identity and citizenship, and provides the holder with unfettered right of entry to Australia.
An Australian citizen who arrives without an Australian passport may be delayed until their identity and claims to enter Australia have been checked. If a person holding a foreign passport claims to be an Australian citizen, immigration officers must confirm and verify this through official databases. This will invariably cause some delays to the person while the authorities undertake the necessary enquiries.
International airlines have an obligation to ensure that they only carry appropriately documented passengers to Australia. In the absence of an Australian passport, airlines are unable to assess an Australian citizen's claimed citizenship at the time of check-in and may decline to carry the traveller. Or, they may have to make inquiries with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia to seek approval to carry the passenger, which takes time and may cause inconvenience to the passenger.
The size and quality of your passport photograph is of critical importance. The size of your head in the photograph must comply with Australian passport requirements, which differ from Brazil and Venezuela passport photograph standards. Familiarise yourself with these requirements and ensure you submit compliant photos. Your application may be rejected because of unusable photographs.
Return of original documents
All original documents, including your old, cancelled passport will be copied in the Passports Office and returned at the interview or with your new passport by courier. Neither Emergency nor demaged passports are returned and will be destroyed by the Passports Office.
Generally, current visas in your old passport will remain valid even though the passport has been cancelled. However, you ought to check their status with the authority that issued them.
The Passports Office is unable to assist with any visa matters.
Changing your name
An Australian passport cannot be altered to reflect a change of name. A new application must be made and a new passport produced.
You may change your name in your passport by completing the Form PC8 and by providing an original name change document as well as the other documents required for your application. The name change document can be in the form of a change of name certificate, a marriage certificate issued by the state (for a marriage in Australia you must present the marriage certificate issued by a state registrar of births, deaths and marriages), death certificate or a divorce decree.
If you were born in Australia or normally reside in Australia and you wish to change your name, you must have this name change registered through the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your Australian state of birth or residence. The overseas name change document (even marriage certificates) will not be accepted as proof of a name change for your application. We regret that there are no exceptions made to this policy. If you were married in Australia and you are presenting the marriage certificate issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages, this is acceptable evidence of name change (for your family name only).
If you were born overseas and wish to change your name then the overseas name change document will be acceptable for your passport application.
Please note that there is a difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate. The Passports Office requires a marriage certificate to proceed with a change of name based on marriage.
You may not substitute one of your given names for a maiden name through a marriage certificate; this must be done with a name change certificate or amended birth certificate.
You are eligible for a free (gratis) passport if:
- your current passport has more than 2 years validity,
- the reason for name change is a result of a marriage, divorce or death and the event occurred during the validity of the current document,
- the name change event has occurred within the 12 months prior to you lodging your application.
The gratis passport will be issued up to the expiry date of your current document.