General Information

Passport Interviewing responsibilities

Purpose—interview

The principle purpose of the passport interview is to positively confirm the identity of the applicant.

The interviewer must also ensure information provided on the form is correct and supported, where necessary, by appropriate documentation so the applicant’s Australian citizenship status and entitlement to a travel document can be assessed by the Australian Passport Office (APO).

Three inter-related identity elements—interview

There are three inter-related elements of the passport interview that the passport interviewing officer must assess to be satisfied about the applicant’s identity. These are:

Interviewer accreditation—interview

Those officers undertaking a passport interview must be appropriately trained and accredited to perform this work.

See ‘ ’.

Australian Passports Act 2005—interview

All passport interviewers are bound by the provisions of the Australian Passports Act 2005 [the Act] and must carry out their work with all due care and diligence and in compliance with the Act. Breaches of the Act attract heavy penalties involving a fine of $110,000, ten years in jail or both.

The Passport Fraud Section (PFS) of the Australian Passport Office (APO) is responsible for investigating breaches of the Act and referring cases on to the Australian Federal Police for prosecution.

See also ‘ Legislation ’ and ‘ ’.

Client service—interview

When performing their role, passport interviewers must:

The Australian Passport Office Service Charter can be viewed at https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/ServiceCharter.aspx. See also ‘ ’.

Assistance—interview

Where an issue arises at interview that is not covered in the procedures, interviewing officers are to consult their supervisor/manager for advice.

Australia Post interviewers are to contact the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS).

Fraudulent passport applications—interview

The Australian Passports Act 2005 contains penalties for a person who, for example:

Attachments/Supporting documents

Original documentation—interview

Interviewing officers are required to carefully inspect all original documentation presented at interview. They should ensure that the documentation is genuine and there has been no attempt to fraudulently alter it as alterations may not be evident on a photocopy.

Cardinal documents are the original full Australian birth certificate and the original Australian citizenship certificate.

Copies of original documents—interview

It is a requirement that a photocopy of the cardinal document be attached to the application form (except for the Renewal application form PC7).

In addition to cardinal documents passport applications must be supported by other attachments of supporting documentation where appropriate.

Where a photocopy of an original supporting document is attached to the application it must be carefully checked against the original and each page certified true copy and signed/dated by the interviewing officer.

Note: Where appropriate photocopies of personal identity documents should have their bank/credit card numbers blanked-out to comply with the Privacy Act 1988.

Translations of foreign language documents—interview

If supporting documentation is in a foreign language, an English translation must be provided. This must be a translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators & Interpreters (NAATI).

The Community Relations Commission (CRC) for a multicultural NSW employs NAATI accredited translators, therefore translations on CRC letterhead certified as an extract translation of the document(s) attached and which include the ID number of the translator and editor are acceptable.

Passport interviewers must endorse, sign and date photocopies of the original documentation and its translation and attach both to the application.

Unless otherwise instructed, do not send foreign language documentation to the Passport Office without the translation.

Documents in foreign languages submitted overseas must be accompanied by an English translation from a translating service recognised by the Australian overseas mission.

See also ‘ Foreign language documents—translations ’.

Passport declaration forms—interview

Declarations/statements must be completed and submitted by passport applicants where circumstances apply. The relevant form should be handed to the applicant as required. The original completed form must be attached to the application for forwarding to the Passport Office.

Statements written in foreign languages are acceptable if accompanied by English translations, see ‘Translations of foreign language documents—interview’.

There are six passport declaration forms (often referred to as ‘B’ forms). Each form explains when it should be completed and provides full details of what information is required.

The latest versions of these forms should be downloaded from the passport website, https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/SiteIndex.aspx. Australia Post interviewers can also access these forms internally via ‘Print on Demand’, however it is essential that the forms are the latest versions issued by the Australian Passport Office.

Passport application forms—interview

Five form types can be used to apply for an Australian passport or travel document:

PC 1/4/7 forms

The following forms can be lodged at Australia Post and Passport Offices:

Applications for diplomatic and official passports must only be lodged at Passport Offices or overseas posts.

PC 5/8 forms

Two additional application forms can be lodged at Passport Offices in Australia and overseas:

Form versions


The form version for each passport application form can be found under the small barcode on the data pages that are filled-in by the applicant. In the example the form version is “F”.

The current versions of the passport application forms are as follows:

Check circles—interview

There are numbered check circles on each of the passport application forms. These are for the passport interviewing officer to cross as they verify the information whilst working through the form.

Alterations to applications—interview

Application forms containing significant alterations and a large amount of white-out are not acceptable. The applicant should be asked to complete a new form.

Unacceptable alterations

Signatures: Alterations cannot be made to any signatures on an application form.

If the applicant’s declaration signature extends outside the box the applicant should be asked to sign again and a note made in the interviewer’s Comments box.

Applicants must not alter any details on the guarantor page. Interviewing officers must not alter any part of any form on behalf of an applicant, parent or guarantor.

PC7: No alterations may be made by the applicant to the family name, given names, date of birth or sex on a PC7. If these details have changed the applicant must complete a PC1.

Acceptable alterations

Minor alterations are acceptable on other areas of the forms, such as telephone numbers and declaration dates. The applicant, guarantor, parent or interviewer (as appropriate) should place a line through such an error, correct it and initial the alteration.

White-out

Application forms containing significant alterations and a large amount of white-out are not acceptable. The applicant should be asked to complete a new form.

White-out is not acceptable in the applicant’s declaration, guarantor’s declaration or parent consent declaration and witness areas.

Minor use of white-out in other sections of the form may be accepted at the discretion of the interviewing officer.

When using white-out, care must be exercised as it can affect the scanning equipment.