Entitlement & Lodgement

Entitled to an Australian passport

In accordance with the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 7, an Australian citizen is entitled on application to be issued with an Australian passport. However Section 8 of the Act states that before a passport may be issued, citizenship and identity requirements must be satisfied. Sections 11 to 17 of the Act set out circumstances where the Minister may cancel and/or refuse to issue a passport.

Non entitlement to an Australian passport

An Australian passport must not be issued to a person who:

Non Australian citizen or citizenship in doubt

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is responsible for decisions of citizenship.

In cases where it is clear that an applicant is not an Australian citizen, the decision to refuse an Australian passport is the responsibility of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

If there is any doubt regarding the applicant’s citizenship status for any reason, their application must not be accepted.

See also ‘ Doubt regarding Australian citizenship ’.

Refusal to issue a passport to an Australian citizen

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Sections 11 to 17, set out the provisions under which the Minister can cancel a passport and/or refuse to issue a passport to an Australian citizen for reasons relating to:

Additionally, a passport should not be issued if the applicant has not paid the appropriate application fee (except where fee has been waived – see ‘ Gratis Passports ’).

Alerts

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. See ‘ Alerts ’.

Reviewable decisions

A refusal to issue a passport is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48, except where a declaration is made under section 11(3) of the Act (reasons relating to child without parental consent or court order for travel). If a decision is taken to refuse to issue a passport pursuant to these sections of the Act, the applicant must be informed in writing of the decision and notified of their right to seek a review of the decision. See ‘ Notification of decision not to issue passport and appeal rights ’ and ‘ Review of decisions ’.

Lodging and accepting an application at interview

Travel document application forms (PC1, 4, 5, 7, 8) stipulate the requirements that the adult or child applicant must meet when applying for an Australian travel document. A completed PC5 application (for Convention Travel Documents and Certificate’s of Identity) may be lodged in Australia by non-Australian citizens at a Passport Office only. See ‘ Certificate of Identity(COI) ’, ‘ Convention Travel Documents (CTD) ’ .

Lodging in Australia

Applicants residing in Australia must lodge their application in person at a Passport Office or an accredited Australia Post Outlet and attend an interview conducted by an accredited Interview Officer. See ‘ Delegations & Authorisations ’.

Lodging overseas – in person/mail

Applicants residing overseas must lodge their application with their nearest Australian Diplomatic or Consular Mission and should attend an interview conducted by an accredited Interview Officer or Authorised Officer. See ‘ Delegations & Authorisations ’.

Overseas missions have the discretion to accept renewal applications by mail if they believe that such practice is appropriate, taking into consideration local conditions (e.g. security and level of local mail service). The exception acknowledges the limited locations available overseas to attend an interview compared to the Australian network consisting of Passport Offices and Australia Post Outlets and the difficulty and costs applicants may incur in attending an interview. However, the overseas mission can request an applicant to attend an interview after lodging by mail if it is deemed necessary to establish identity/citizenship.

The passport to be replaced (and original supporting documentation for a PC8 application) must accompany the application.

Applicants whose previous passport was either lost, stolen or seriously damaged while overseas, and are seeking a replacement document, must attend a passport interview at an Australian diplomatic or consular mission overseas, see ‘ Lost/Stolen Travel Documents ’ and ‘ Damaged Travel Documents ’.

See also:

Purpose of the interview

The principle purpose of the 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.

Checking of the application form and documents that must be provided

Before accepting an application for an Australian passport, the interviewer must ensure that:

See ‘ Interview ’ for details of lodgement requirements.

Child applications

For additional lodgement requirements in respect to a child application, see ‘ Supporting documentation for child application ’.

First Adult Passport

All adults applying for their first adult Australian passport including those who held a passport as a child, must complete and lodge a full application form and attend a passport interview.

Renewing an adult passport: PC7 form

Applicants renewing an adult passport may submit a form PC7, provided they can meet the eligibility subject to certain conditions. (See ‘ Renewal Applications ’ for further information.)

See ‘ Renewal Applications ’ .

Incomplete application

Passport applications may be considered to be ‘incomplete’ where an applicant’s identity or citizenship is not in question but the applicant has failed within 28 days (or longer if an extension is agreed to) to:

When the applicant has failed to resolve the matter or provide the appropriate information and all efforts are made by the Passport Office to obtain the missing information from the applicant, then the application should be deemed to be ‘incomplete’ and removed from the system.

Letter 32 should be sent to the applicant, advising that the application is incomplete and cannot proceed. All application fees (including the PPF and lost/stolen) must be returned to the applicant.

An incomplete application does not provide a right to a review as no decision has been made on the applicant’s entitlement to a passport. The applicant will need to re-apply and pay the appropriate fees with all required documentation when they next lodge an application.

Applicant already has a valid travel document

The Passport Issuing Control System (PICS) may indicate that an applicant who has submitted an application already has a valid travel document of the same type and:

A replacement document is not to be issued without approval , however, where it is determined the application is genuine and the applicant can confirm that they are not seeking a concurrent document but wish to proceed to replace their current valid travel document then the applicant must surrender the valid travel document to the Passport Office or overseas mission so it can be cancelled both physically and on PICS before any replacement document is to be issued. There are no exceptions. If the holder cannot located and surrender the valid travel document, then the document should be considered as lost/stolen. See ‘ Lost/Stolen Travel Documents ’.

Letter 15 must be sent to the applicant to request that the valid document be surrendered and cancelled. If the applicant wishes to have the cancelled document returned the applicant must provide a stamped self-addressed envelope of suitable size to hold the document. The travel document may then be returned to the applicant separately from the new one after it has been physically and electronically cancelled . Where no self-addressed envelope is provided the travel document should be destroyed in the normal manner immediately after it has been electronically cancelled.

Foreign language documents - translations

If an applicant is required to submit documents such as a birth certificate written in a foreign language, a translation provided by a translating and interpreting service recognised or issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) (or the Australian diplomatic or consular mission overseas/post if DIAC is not represented at that mission) must be provided with the document.

In Australia DIAC recognises translators accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and 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.

When an applicant lodges overseas and provides a translation as part of their application, the post must confirm that the translation has been performed by a post/DIAC approved translation service. The interviewing or authorising officer must then certify the front page of the translated document (not the original foreign document) with an official stamp and seal stating that the foreign document has been translated by the overseas post approved translation service.

The certification confirms that the document has been translated by an approved service for that post/country. The applicant can use the certified translation for all future passport applications regardless of where the applicant lodges their application.

When an applicant provides foreign documentation that has been translated but has not been certified by an overseas post the applicant must provide a new translation. A new translation is required regardless of whether the applicant has used the original translation for previous passport applications.

Different procedures are in place for the provision of translated documents for child applicants who were adopted under Intercountry Adoptions process, see ‘ Adoption overseas ’.

Laminated documents

Not cancelling a passport whilst application being processed

Interviewing officers may accept a request from an applicant not to cancel a passport on applying for a new passport if the applicant can satisfy the Authorised Officer that the applicant has a genuine need to continue holding the passport being replaced. It is expected that this would only occur for overseas lodgements where an Emergency Passports or Limited Validity Passports are not a workable option.

The request can be made in writing if the applicant lodges their application by mail if lodging overseas. The applicant must provide evidence of:

Only in the above instances may the interviewing officer return to the applicant an uncancelled passport that is being replaced.

The interviewing officer must advise the passport holder in writing that they will not receive their replacement passport until the passport being replaced is returned to the mission and physically cancelled (Letter 15).