Who can be issued an Emergency passport
Only Australian citizens can be issued with an Emergency passport in circumstances where either they cannot complete all requirements (other than identity, citizenship and entitlement) for the issue of a full validity passport or they can complete all requirements but there is a need to travel urgently within the standard 10 day turnaround time.
In all cases, without exception, applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Applicants must prove their Australian citizenship, identity and entitlement to hold a passport. Under no circumstances may an Emergency passport be issued where the applicant’s identity, citizenship and/or entitlement is in doubt;
- Children require written consent from persons with parental responsibility before an Emergency passport can be issued, or in the absence of consent, the written approval of the Approved Senior Officer (ASO);
- A priority processing fee (PPF) must be paid when an Emergency passport is applied for at a post, see ‘ Priority Processing ’.
When can an Emergency passport be issued
Emergency passports may be issued to a client either:
- In conjunction with an application for a full validity passport where the applicant cannot wait the 10 working days for the full validity passport to be returned to the originating post; or
- In defined circumstances (see below), on its own, without a full validity passport being applied for or issued by the regional production centre.
Defined circumstances: Emergency passport
The issue of Emergency passports must be strictly controlled in line with the following defined circumstances:
- Where an applicant can meet the full requirements but must travel urgently and is therefore unable to wait 10 working days for the issue of a full validity passport;
- Where an applicant can present their most recently issued passport but cannot meet all the requirements for the issue of a full validity passport (due to lack of documentation, a suitable Guarantor etc) and the person needs to travel in a hurry and the overseas mission can positively confirm identity, Australian citizenship and entitlement;
- Where the applicant has lost (or had stolen) his/her full validity passport but is travelling and needs to apply for the full validity passport at their final destination (to allow for the 10 working day turnaround time). In such cases the overseas mission must be able to satisfy the applicant’s identity and entitlement. In this situation the applicant MUST attend a personal interview to be issued with either a full validity passport or an Emergency passport; and
- Where the applicant has not previously held an Australian passport (normally overseas this would be a child) then the applicant must appear for a personal interview or in the case of a child, the parent or person with parental/caring responsibility must lodge on behalf of the child. The overseas mission must positively confirm the applicant’s identity, citizenship and entitlement before any type of document is considered. If confirmed, and the applicant cannot wait for the 10 working days or cannot meet all the requirements, then an Emergency passport can be considered by the overseas mission. However, where the applicant is a child and there are any doubts about the identity or parental responsibilities or if both parents (or those with parental responsibility) have not given consent to the issue of a passport then the application MUST be referred to the Approved Senior Officer (ASO) for consideration. All children’s applications for Emergency passports must have the consent of both parents or the prior approval of the ASO.
All other applications outside those mentioned above must be referred to Canberra for determination / instructions.
When an applicant is issued an Emergency passport overseas, completed their travel and returned home, they should seek a replacement full validity passport prior to their next travel. There is no guarantee that a consecutive emergency passport will be issued. See ‘ Consecutive Emergency passports ’.
Where an applicant who already holds a full validity passport, can demonstrate that they meet the requirements for a concurrent passport and there is a demonstrated urgent need to travel, a concurrent Emergency passport may be issued with validity restrictions, see ‘ Emergency concurrent passports ’.
In special circumstances, where a personal interview is not possible, a Document of Identity may be considered in accordance with the Australian Passports Determination, Section 6.3, provided the overseas mission is satisfied as to the identity and nationality of the applicant, and the applicant is of a nationality entitled to a Document of Identity. In these cases approval should be sought from the Regional Eligibility Centre (REC).
Letter to be provided to applicant before issue of an Emergency passport
All applicants for Emergency passports must sign Letter 18 prior to the issue of a travel document. The letter informs the applicant of important information and criteria that must be adhered to by the applicant in relation to the use of Emergency passports.
Once the letter is signed by the applicant a copy should be scanned with the application. The applicant should be given the original signed letter when the passport is collected.
Observations to restrict travel: Emergency Passport
Observations can be included in an Emergency passport. Such observations would be used to:
- Restrict travel geographically; or
- Restrict travel as one-way to Australia.
DIAC will confiscate all one-way Emergency passports at the border and return these documents to the Passport Office for cancellation and destruction. In accordance with the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48, a decision to cancel and demand the surrender of a travel document is a reviewable decision. See ‘ Review of decisions ’.
Name to appear in Emergency passport
An Emergency passport can only be issued using the name contained in the holder’s last travel document (provided this document was issued on or after 20 August 1986 with validity of at least 2 years) or, if a first time applicant, the name appearing in the cardinal document (i.e. Australian birth or citizenship certificate).
A name change cannot be included in any Emergency passport, even when the applicant can provide all the necessary supporting documentation and/or has lodged an application for a full validity passport in the new name.
Replacing an Emergency passport
The applicant must complete all procedures (not just the outstanding ones) and pay the application fee to replace an Emergency passport with a full validity document, where this is applied for separately (or subsequently).
The Emergency passport will not be accepted to confirm citizenship, identity or other personal details in this process.
An Emergency passport must be presented for physical cancellation (i.e. cutting off the machine readable zone from the bio-data page and the corresponding part of the front cover) before handing it back to a client who has requested the cancelled document be returned.
If the client fails to present the Emergency passport, a lost/stolen fee is payable regardless of whether the Emergency passport has expired or not , see ‘ Additional fees for passport replacement of lost/stolen ’.
Processing fee:Emergency Passport
An application for an Emergency passport will attract the priority processing fee (PPF) only. No application or document fee applies.
However, when there is a failure by the Australian Passport Office to meet the 10 working day turnaround time for the issue of a full validity passport, overseas posts and it becomes necessary to issue an Emergency passport to allow an applicant to meet their immediate travel commitments, under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3 (6), Extenuating or unusual circumstances, the applicant may request a refund of the PPF for the issue of the Emergency passport, see ‘ Priority processing fee refund ’. There is no provision under the Determination to waive the fee.
In all other cases a PPF is to be charged for issue of an emergency passport.
The Australian Passports Determination, Section 5.1 allows for a one year maximum period for which an emergency passport may be valid. However, as a general rule, overseas missions will issue an Emergency passport with the minimum validity needed to meet the immediate travel needs of the client. Where countries require six months residual validity for visa issue, overseas missions may issue an Emergency passport with validity of up to seven months (i.e one month to complete travel and six months for visa purposes). In extenuating circumstances, the default validity period of seven months may be extended up to a maximum of one year.
An Emergency passport cannot be extended in validity.
Consecutive Emergency passports
Consecutive Emergency passports may not be issued without reference to Canberra.