An ‘alert’ is an internal warning or notification placed on an individual’s record in the Passport Issuing Control System (PICS). Staff issuing travel documents must check PICS for alerts when processing every application.

If an alert has been issued for a person and the person applies for a travel document, the alert warns the officer processing the application that certain information must be considered in relation to the application or that a travel document must not be issued.

Alerts relate only to the issue of an Australian travel document. Alerts have no relevance to a person’s movements in or out of Australia nor can an alert prevent such travel where that person already holds a valid Australian or foreign travel document or is able to obtain a foreign travel document.

Checking for an alert

Requesting an alert

A person or eligible institution can request the placement of an alert on an individual’s record in PICS, as long as they can demonstrate a valid and reasonable case for:

All requests must be in writing and include:

DIAC creates citizenship alerts directly in PICS.

Law enforcement agencies and certain other organisations may request cancellation of a travel document and/or refusal to issue a passport. See ‘ Refusal/Cancellation Requests by Competent Authorities ’.

Advice to a person who requests an alert

When a person requests an alert, they must be advised in writing about the outcome of their request.

If the request has been successful, the person must be advised that an alert has been placed on PICS. A separate alert must be created for each application or issue. Under no circumstances should an existing alert be amended to incorporate new information.

The advice must state the period for which the alert will be in force and, if only for 12 months (for Stop Child alerts), indicate that it will be automatically deleted from the system after this period unless a request for renewal of the alert is received in writing and is accepted.

Validity period of alerts

Most alerts have a lifespan, after which they no longer apply. When alerts are created a period of time must be specified. See ‘ ’ for guidelines on alert periods.

A child alert is valid for 12 months only unless supported by a court order. If there is a court order which specifies a period of time, the alert must match the period specified in the court order. See ‘ Child alerts ’.

Child alerts

Entitlement to raise a child alert

A person can raise a child alert against the issue of a passport to a child if:

See also ‘ Lodging a child alert ’.

Lodging a child alert

A parent who wishes to lodge an alert must do so in writing by:

The original form may be lodged in person or by mail at:

A faxed copy, or scanned copy sent via email, of the PC9 form may be accepted in an emergency but the original form must be lodged as soon as possible. Under no circumstances is a child alert to be raised on the basis of a telephone call alone.

Request to withdraw a child alert after lodgement

The parent who requested the child alert must complete a PC9 marking "Withdraw an existing alert" in the appropriate box.

The original form may be lodged in person or by mail at:

Details of person requesting a child alert

The person requesting the alert must provide:

These details must be included on the PC9 form and recorded on PICS within one working day of receipt. Copies of any court orders should be retained with the PC9 form.

No guarantee child alert prevents passport issue or travel

There is no guarantee that acceptance of the child alert will prevent a passport being issued to the child nor will it prevent a child leaving Australia if he/she already has a passport or is entitled to obtain a passport from another country.

People seeking to use the passport alert system must also be made aware of the Airport Watch List operated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and should be advised to contact the AFP Family Law Unit in their State or Territory for details.

The information on the back of the PC9 form should be brought to the attention of the person lodging the alert request.

See also ‘ Advice to a person who requests an alert ’.