Processing times and priority service

Key Points

  • We are committed to finalising eligible passport applications within 10 days of receiving all the information and documentation we need
  • We also have a priority processing service in Australia and at our diplomatic missions in London and Washington if you need your passport more quickly

Please apply well ahead of your proposed travel

We are committed to finalising eligible and complete passport applications within 10 working days of receiving all the information and documentation we need. In return, we ask that you apply for your travel document well in advance of your expected travel date.

If you need your passport in a hurry, you can use our priority processing service, under which applications can be completed within two working days. The priority processing service is available from our outlets in Australia and our diplomatic missions in London and Washington.

Please note that if you lodge your application at an Australia Post outlet, the 10 working day period for a standard application and two days for priority service does not include the time taken to forward your application from the postal outlet to the nearest passport office and for the passport to be sent to you by registered post.

Allow extra time for postal delivery

You should allow extra time for your application to be forwarded to us and for your passport to reach you by registered mail. Australia Post can advise about delivery times in your area.

If you are overseas your passport will be available for despatch or collection from the Australian diplomatic mission or consulate where you applied within 10 working days from the date of receiving your complete application.

You can help keep processing times to a minimum by ensuring you provide everything we need at the time you lodge your application. Your application may be delayed if you do not provide the necessary supporting information and documentation at the passport interview. For example, child passports will take longer to process if full parental consent is not provided.

Applying in Australia

More than 1650 Australia Post outlets act as passport agencies. You can collect and lodge application forms, attend passport interviews and pay fees at these outlets. To find an Australia Post outlet near you that provides these services, call Australia Post on 131 318 or visit www.auspost.com.au. You may need to contact Australia Post for an appointment before lodging an application form.

You may also lodge applications at our passport offices in Australia if you need to travel urgently because of unforeseen, compassionate reasons or other exceptional circumstances, or if you require a travel document other than an Australian passport (except for applications for Documents of Identity for travel to Norfolk Island, which may be lodged with Australia Post). However, you will first need to make an appointment for an interview by calling the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) on 131 232.

Applying overseas

Overseas you can lodge passport applications at any Australian diplomatic mission or consulate. To find one near you visit www.dfat.gov.au/missions/

In some circumstances and some locations overseas you may lodge your application by mail. You should contact your nearest Australian diplomatic mission or consulate for advice on lodgement and passport interview procedures.

Interviews

In Australia, passport application forms must be lodged in person at the time of interview. To avoid delays, make sure you provide everything you need on the day. Bring to the interview:

Note: All documents must be originals, not photocopies.

Priority processing service

This service is available only within Australia and from our diplomatic missions in London and Washington.

The service guarantees that your passport will be ready for despatch within two working days of us receiving everything we need from you. However, as noted above, you should allow extra time for your application to reach us by mail and for your passport to be returned to you by registered mail (unless you arrange to collect it personally). The priority processing service cannot be provided for children’s passports until full parental consent has been given. The service is also not available for applications for Certificates of Identity or UN Convention travel documents.

Priority processing fee

A fee for priority processing is payable in addition to the normal passport application fee.

In special circumstances overseas, applicants may need to be issued with an emergency passport. There is no application fee for issuing an emergency passport but you need to pay a priority processing fee. You must present your emergency passport when applying for a new full validity passport.

Refund of priority processing fee

If we fail to reach our service standard of finalising your passport within two working days, you may apply for a refund of the priority processing fee. You may also be eligible for a refund if you are travelling for compassionate reasons, due to the death or serious illness of an immediate family member. If you are the primary carer of a person who needs to travel with you, that person may also be eligible for a refund.

To apply for a refund of the priority processing fee for a full validity passport write to The Manager, Australian Passport Office, in your capital city or to the Passport Manager, Australian High Commission, London or Australian Embassy, Washington.

To apply for a refund of the fee for an emergency passport, write to the Consul at the Australian diplomatic mission or consulate where the application was lodged. Include your full name, a return address, passport number, the date and place your application was lodged and details in support of your claim.

If you are applying on compassionate grounds, your letter should include supporting documentation such as a death certificate, funeral notice or letter from the treating doctor of the immediate family member you are travelling to see. We will reply within 14 days of receiving your inquiry. If you are eligible for a refund, a cheque will be posted to you within 30 days of our decision. If you are not eligible for a refund, we will write and tell you why.

Right of review

A decision not to refund a priority processing fee is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005. If you think there are grounds to appeal a decision not to refund a fee, you may apply in writing, setting out your reasons for requesting an internal review of the decision. Applications must be lodged within 28 days after you received notification of the decision.

For the current priority processing fees, guidelines, definitions (such as who is considered a member of your ‘immediate family’) and how to apply for an internal review of a decision visit our website www.passports.gov.au or call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232.


Please safeguard your passport

Remember to safeguard your passport at all times. When travelling overseas, it is often the only proof of identity that will be accepted. Please store you passport in the wallet provided to prevent damage. Additional fees apply to replace lost or stolen passports.

Further Information:

For the latest information about passports and copies of our other publications, visit our website, www.passports.gov.au or call the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) 131 232 in Australia. If you are overseas, contact an Australian diplomatic mission or consulate.

For travel advice and practical information to help you prepare for safe overseas travel, go to www.smartraveller.gov.au

Accessibility

If you are not fluent in English, you can use the Australian Government's Translating and Interpreting Service at your passport interview at no cost. If you need an interpreter or are visually impaired and need general passport information, please call APIS on 131 232

If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service: TTY users telephone 133 677 and Speak and Listen users telephone 1300 555 727. Ask for APIS on 131 232.

We value your comments

We work hard to improve our service to you and we welcome your input about how our staff can make it even better. Please submit any compliments, complaints or comments to us in any of the following ways:

Online:

Telephone:

APIS 131 232

In writing:

Communications Unit
Australian Passport Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
R G Casey Building
John McEwan Crescent
BARTON ACT 0021