Travel Documents

Ordinary & Frequent Traveller passports

Purpose of the Australian passport

The Australian passport:

Ordinary Passport

Ordinary Passport Australian citizen’s may apply for the issue of an Australian Ordinary passport. The majority of applicants for a passport generally require an Ordinary passport.

To be granted a passport, applicants must be able to prove their Australian citizenship, identity and entitlement to hold an Australian passport. The information required by the applicant is listed in the passport application form.

Ordinary passports are:

Frequent traveller passport

People who regularly travel overseas may apply for a Frequent Traveller passport. Frequent Traveller passports look exactly like the Ordinary passport but have 67 visa pages.

Frequent Traveller passports are:

Concurrent Passports

Definition:concurrent passport

A concurrent passport is a second valid passport of the same type (i.e. Ordinary, Frequent Traveller and Emergency passport) as the first issued to a person (adult or child) to enable them to travel in circumstances as defined in the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 4.1.

Holding one Diplomatic, Official or Ordinary passport for dependants of officials when issued to a person who holds a private passport is not considered a concurrent passport. Holding two such passports however constitutes concurrent passports.

Circumstances for approval:concurrent passport

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 17(2), provides that a second concurrent passport may be issued to a person in circumstances specified in the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 4.1. Granting of a concurrent passport is to be very tightly controlled and only approved where all other options have been exhausted.

A concurrent passport may only be approved by an Authorised Officer provided that they are satisfied there is no alternative and the travel cannot be deferred for the following categories:

Validity: concurrent passport

The Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 5.1 (2) (e) and (f) specify that the maximum validity of a concurrent passport is three years except where the concurrent passport is an Emergency passport in which case the validity must not exceed twelve months, see ‘ Emergency concurrent passports ’.

In all cases Authorised officers are expected only to approve a period of validity appropriate to the demonstrated travel needs of the applicant

Supporting Letter 8/9:concurrent passport

All applicants for a concurrent passport must be provided with Letter 8/9, ‘Application for a concurrent passport’.

The letter sets out the conditions for the issue of a concurrent passport together with its attachment which must be completed by the applicant (Section A) and if the travel is for business purposes, by their employer (Section B).

To avoid significant travel delays

Australian travellers may apply for the issue of a concurrent passport to avoid lengthy delays while obtaining visas for other countries. In such cases the Authorised Officer should be satisfied that the concurrent passport is genuinely required to avoid costly delays and if travel is for business purposes then confirmation of this will need to be provided by their employer. Refer to the attachment of Letter 8/9.

Before approving such applications Authorised Officers should satisfy themselves that the case is compelling in terms of dates of proposed travel and the reasonable time needed to obtain visas and if required, the employer’s letter addresses all points covered in the attachment to Letter 8/9. If so, the validity of the concurrent passport must be restricted to the duration of the proposed travel plus six months. If the travel is for business purposes with no defined end of travel, the maximum validity is not to exceed three years.

In some circumstances it may be appropriate to approve the issue of Frequent Traveller passports, if requested.

Refer to ‘ Supporting Letter 8/9:concurrent passport ’.

Issuing concurrent passport when countries do not accept passports showing travel to specific countries

Some countries will not permit entry on passports which show that the bearer has visited, or intends to visit, certain countries where diplomatic relations do not exist.

Before approving the issue of a concurrent passport in these circumstances, Authorised Officers should be satisfied that other options, such as obtaining a replacement passport at some intermediate point or a loose leaf visa, is not workable.

Refer to ‘ Supporting Letter 8/9:concurrent passport ’.

The validity of the concurrent passport should be limited to the period needed to cover the intended travel plus six months up to a maximum validity of three years.

Diplomatic/Official concurrent passports

The same procedures on concurrent passports as set out in this chapter apply equally to requests from officials and their dependents to hold concurrent diplomatic and official passports.

Refer to ‘ Concurrent Diplomatic & Official passports ’.

Emergency concurrent passports

In limited circumstances, where an applicant can demonstrate that they meet the requirements for concurrent passports as set out in this chapter and there is a demonstrated urgent need to travel, a concurrent Emergency passport may be issued with a maximum validity of twelve months.

Refer to ‘ Validity: concurrent passport ’.

Fees and endorsements:concurrent passport

The Australian Passport Determination 2005, Schedule 4 specifies that the normal application fee must be paid when applying for a concurrent passport (including a priority processing fee where appropriate) regardless of the reduced validity granted to the concurrent passport.

Any additional lost or stolen fee must be paid on each concurrent passport reported lost or stolen.

DOI, COI, CTD, PTD concurrent travel documents

No concurrent Documents of Identity, Certificates of Identity, Convention Travel Documents or Provisional Travel Document should be issued without prior approval from the delegate/a senior officer.

Renewal of concurrent passports

Renewal forms (PC7) are not to be used to renew a concurrent Ordinary or Frequent Traveller passport.

The applicant must submit a PC1, PC4 or PC8 form along with all supporting information to allow the request to be considered. Should the request be refused the application fee will not be refunded.

Refer to ‘ Refunds ’ and ‘ Review of decisions ’.

Multiple concurrent passports

An Authorised Officer must not, under any circumstances, approve the issue of more than two concurrent passports to any person.

These applications must be referred to a delegate.

For the purposes of this section, Ordinary, Frequent Traveller and Emergency passports are all considered to be the same type.

Child concurrent passports

Where an application for a concurrent passport is lodged on behalf of a minor and the application meets the criteria for the issue of a concurrent travel document, full consents must be obtained or Approved Senior Officer (ASO) approval obtained.

This policy applies equally where the parents of the minor hold Diplomatic or Official passports.

Emergency and Limited Validity Passports

definition:Emergency and Limited Validity Passports

Emergency Passport Emergency and Limited Validity Passports are used for travel in the exact same manner and for the same purposes as a full validity passport.

Limited Validity Passports (LVP) are issued in Australia, London and Washington. They are Ordinary (35 page) or Frequent Traveller (67 page) passports issued with a limited validity period. Refer to Limited Validity Passports.

Emergency passports (referred to as EYs) are issued by overseas posts to people who have had their passport reported as lost or stolen, or were unable to wait for the delivery of a full validity passport from the regional production centre.

An Emergency passport:

Emergency passports are widely accepted by other countries. The issuing office however must ensure that this is the case for the applicant’s immediate travel plans.

Emergency Passport

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:

When can an Emergency passport be issued

Emergency passports may be issued to a client either:

Defined circumstances: Emergency passport

The issue of Emergency passports must be strictly controlled in line with the following defined circumstances:

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:

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.

Validity: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.

Limited Validity Passport(LVP)

Issuing Office:LVP

Limited Validity passports are only issued by Passport Offices in Australia, London and Washington.

When can a LVP be issued

Replacing lost/stolen passports:LVP

As a general rule Limited Validity passports are not issued within Australia to replace lost/stolen passports.

Non-Validated cardinal documents:LVP

Limited Validity passports are issued to those applicants who are not eligible for a full validity passport due to a discrepancy with an applicant’s cardinal document and the inability to validate the name that appears in their previous passport.

Incomplete documentation (Australia, London and Washington only):LVP

If a passport is required urgently for immediate travel and the applicant is unable to provide complete documentation before departure, Passport Offices in Australia, London and Washington may issue a limited validity passport similar to the defined circumstances as described in ‘ When can an Emergency passport be issued ’, provided the person’s identity, citizenship and entitlement have been confirmed and there is no reason to doubt the applicant’s bona fides.

Such a document should be issued with the minimum validity to meet the person’s immediate travel needs but in any case no more than 12 months.

Validity:LVP

The validity period of a Limited Validity passport must be restricted to the minimum necessary to undertake travel with 12 months being the maximum.

Note: 12 months should not be the normal validity.

Processing fee:LVP

The applicant must pay the full application fee for a Limited Validity passport and where applicable, the priority processing fee (PPF).

However, in the case of the PPF, 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 and it becomes necessary to issue a Limited Validity passport to allow an applicant to meet their immediate travel commitments, under the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 8.3 (6), Extenuating or unusual circumstances, the applicant may request a refund of the PPF for the issue of the Limited Validity passport. There is no provision under the Determination to waive the fee. See ‘ Priority processing fee refund ’.

Observations:LVP

When issuing Emergency or Limited Validity passports, do not place any observations related to the circumstances of the limitation of validity in the passport unless instructed to do so by Canberra.

Replacing a LVP

A Limited Validity passport may be exchanged for a passport with the residual validity (up to ten years for adults and five years for minors) from the date of issue of the Limited Validity passport with the amended details or reassigned gender when cardinal documentation is provided.

All requirements for issue must be met regardless of whether the documentation was provided at the office issuing the Limited Validity passport.

There is no fee for a replacement full validity passport issued under this provision provided the full application fee was paid at the time the Limited Validity passport was issued and full validity application made before the Limited Validity passport expires.

Document of Identity (DOI)

Definition:DOI

A Document of Identity (DOI) is issued under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 9 to:

Document Of Identity A DOI does not request the competent authorities to afford the bearer protection and freedom of passage. Some countries do not accept it as a valid travel document or do not accept it for entry purposes unless it is endorsed with a visa or meets other special requirements.

DOIs are not to be issued in lieu of an Emergency passport.

DOIs are issued free of charge to Australian citizens who intend to travel to Norfolk Island and have a maximum validity of three years. Applications for DOI’s required for travel to Norfolk Island can be lodged at Australia Post outlets or a Passport Office. See ‘ Travel to/from Norfolk Island:DOI ’.

All applications for DOIs involving different destinations or circumstances must be referred to a Passport Office.

Who can be issued a DOI

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 9 and the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 6.3 allow for the issue of a Document of Identity (DOI) and may be issued in the following circumstances:

Compassionate issue of DOI to persons from Commonwealth countries

The Australian Passport Office will consider the issue of a Document of Identity (DOI) in very limited compassionate circumstances to people who possess the nationality of a Commonwealth country and who have an urgent need to travel but cannot obtain a travel document from their own embassy/country.

Criteria for issuing Document of Identity – compassionate circumstances

Any application that does not meet these criteria should not be accepted by a Passport Office and the individual referred direct to their own government for a solution.

Delay is not an acceptable reason for entitlement to a DOI. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that it is not unreasonable to wait six months to be issued a passport from the country of nationality.

One-way travel and validity period of Document of Identity for approved applicants

Where DOIs are approved for issue to persons who meet the limited criteria outline above, the document should be restricted to one-way travel to their country of nationality or to a country where they can obtain their own passport. A maximum validity period of 3 months is sufficient in most cases.

Details shown in Document of Identity

Nationality and place of birth - The applicant’s nationality and place of birth is shown in the DOI.

Sex – The sex field is always left blank.

Travel limitations:DOI

The Authorised Officer has discretion to restrict the time and geographical validity of a Document of Identity (DOI) for reasons set out in the Minister’s Determination. In most cases a DOI is issued for a short-term or one-way journey only generally due to a history of multiple lost or stolen passports or consular considerations.

A DOI does not request the competent authorities to afford the bearer protection and freedom of passage and all applicants who are eligible to apply for a full validity passport should be advised of this.

Some countries:

Travel to/from Norfolk Island:DOI

Documents of Identity (DOI) for travel to/from Norfolk Island are issued where an applicant who is an Australian citizen needs to travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island.

No fee is payable unless the client requests the priority processing fee service.

An observation should be placed in the document stating “Valid for travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island only.”

Countries that accept/not accept DOI, COI and Emergency Passport

WARNING: It is the responsibility of the holder to ensure the travel document is suitable for entry, exit and transit for any ongoing travel, including visa requirements.

Provisional Travel Document (PTD)

Definition:PTD

A Provisional Travel Document (PTD) is a contingency document to be used in an emergency when there are no other options available. It is only issued to Australian citizens after identity and entitlement is established.

Provisional Travel Document PTDs are generally only issued by accredited Honorary Consuls and approved Canadian missions to Australian citizens who require an identity document to enable travel to the nearest passport issuing overseas mission.

PTDs are only to be issued on the prior approval of the supervising Australian mission.

Consular sharing agreement with Canada:PTD

Under the Consular Sharing Agreement Canadian responsible missions will issue a Provisional Travel Document (PTD) when directed to do so by an Australian supervising mission. The document will be valid for a one-way journey to the nearest Australian passport issuing post only (i.e. not valid for travel to Australia and/or not issued in such a way as to allow the person to complete his/her travel itinerary).

PTDs must be presented to the Australian supervising mission for destruction prior to a replacement travel document being issued.

In certain circumstances it may be possible for a Document of Identity (DOI) to be issued by the Australian supervising mission and sent to an applicant via the Canadian responsible mission.

Validity:PTD

The validity of a Provisional Travel Document (PTD) should only be sufficient to permit the holder to travel to the Australian supervising mission.

In any case it must not exceed ten days.

Replacement of PTD at overseas post

The holder must surrender the Provisional Travel Document (PTD) at interview before being issued with a replacement travel document. The document must then be cancelled and the status on PICS updated.

If the applicant cannot produce the PTD then the document must be recorded in TARDIS as a lost or stolen document. Where this happens the applicant is to be charged the appropriate lost/stolen fee.

Certificate of Identity(COI)

Definition:COI

A Certificate of Identity (COI) is issued only in Australia or its territories, under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 9.

Certificate of Identity It is issued to people who are:

Applicants need to provide:

Applications for COIs can only be lodged at an Australian Passport Office using a PC5 application form.

Categories for issuing a COI

Summary: four categories of applicants:COI

There are five categories of applicants who may be considered for the issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI).

Stateless person:COI

1. A stateless person is a person who does not have citizenship of any country. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) can only confirm the status of persons holding one of its subclasses of visa. It is unable to confirm nationality or status for persons not holding a visa.

2. It is the applicant’s responsibility to furnish proof of statelessness through DIAC if applicable.

Class BA subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian visa holders:COI

1. Subclass 202 applications are assessed on criteria similar to United Nations refugee criteria but with a test of substantial discrimination rather than persecution. As a matter of policy, successful subclass 202 visa applicants are not requested to obtain a travel document from the country of which they claim to be a national, nor do they need a letter from the Embassy.

2. All subclass 202 visas are evidenced in a Document for Travel to Australia (DFTTA). The DFTTA is valid for a single journey to Australia and is not a long-term substitute for a passport or other identity document.

3. A subclass 202 visa is sufficient evidence for issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI) if an intention to travel is also provided. If verification required, the Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre can confirm the visa status and personal details of the visa holder.

Special Assistance Category 208–217 visa holders:COI

1. A Special Assistance Category 208–217 visa is issued on humanitarian grounds. Presentation of this visa is sufficient evidence for the issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI) in Australia. If verification required, the Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre can confirm the visa status and personal details of the visa holder.

2. Applicants are not required to attempt to obtain a travel document from their consular representative as a prerequisite.

Resolution of Status (RoS) (Class CD) subclass 851 visa holders:COI

Holders of RoS 851 visas may be eligible for either a Certificate of Identity (COI) or Convention Travel Document (CTD) depending on what category of visa they held prior to being granted the RoS visa.

Visa classes 202, 208-217 previously referred to by DFAT as protection visas should correctly be called humanitarian visas. The term ‘Protection Visas’ is a broad term covering both humanitarian and refugee visas.

Guideline for PC5 form application for holders of RoS 851 Visas

    Previous Visa Category

    Granted an RoS 851 visa

    Travel Document

    Requirement

    785

    Yes

    CTD

 

    786

    Yes

    COI

    Proof of travel required

    447

    Yes

    CTD

 

    451

    Yes

    CTD

 

    Other visa category (family member)

    Yes

    COI

    Proof of travel required

People being deported: Involuntary/Voluntary removals:COI

People being deported from Australia who have no other travel document may be issued with a Certificate of Identity, but only if sponsored by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Voluntary removals living in the community:COI

Lodgement procedures for voluntary removals living in the community are as follows:

Compassionate grounds: person cannot obtain a passport and foreign government not represented in Australia:COI

In limited compassionate circumstances, may consider the issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI) on a case by case basis. Validity will be limited to the minimum time required for travel to be completed.

Compassionate criteria are:

The Delegate may use their discretion to approve the issue of COI’s under other compassionate or unusual circumstances.

Note: Delay is not an acceptable reason for entitlement to a COI. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that it is not unreasonable to wait six months to be issued a passport from the country of nationality.

Validity:COI

Intention to travel, maximum 3 years validity:COI

A Certificate of Identity (COI) is only issued where a definite intention to travel is established. The Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 6.2 has set the validity of a COI to a maximum of three years.

Holder COI has returned to own country

A Certificate of Identity (COI) is not to be revalidated overseas where the holder has:

In these cases the document is, under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 6.2, considered an invalid document and should be demanded up if the circumstances present themselves.

Revalidation or extension of a COI

Requests for a Certificate of Identity (COI) to be revalidated at an overseas post are to be referred to the Canberra for approval provided the applicant continues to be stateless, a refugee or has a valid protection Class BA subclass 202 Global Special Humanitarian, Special Assistance Category 208–217 visa or a Protection (Subclass 866) visa.

However, before returning an application for revalidating a COI the post must be satisfied that a document cannot be obtained from the applicant’s country of nationality.

Revalidations must not extend the life beyond five years of the original date of issue.

Lost:COI

If a Certificate of Identity (COI) is lost or stolen overseas, contact Canberra for advice.

Rules for Issuing a COI

Applicant requirements:COI

An application for a Certificate of Identity (COI) must be submitted on a form PC5. An applicant must:

The applicant’s nationality (or statelessness) is shown in the COI as a code.

Confirming status of applicant and checking identity:COI

1. Where the person travelling to Australia on a humanitarian/refugee visa does not possess a travel document from his/her originating country, the Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre can confirm the visa status and personal details of the visa holder

2. Applicants who apply for the issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI) must meet normal identity checking procedures. Normally it is expected that the guarantor would be contacted and where necessary a Visa Enquiry in the DIAC Movements Reconstruction database may be required to confirm visa status and personal details. If verification required, the Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre can confirm the visa status and personal details of the visa holder,.

3. Where doubts exist as to the applicant’s identity a COI is not to be issued and the case referred to Director, Passport Fraud Section.

Australian re-entry visas and visas for other countries:COI

A Certificate of Identity (COI) does not confer on the holder any right to return to Australia. This is stated in the travel document.

If the bearer wishes to return to Australia, they should be advised to seek assistance from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in obtaining a re-entry visa.

Applicants should be advised that countries they intend to visit may not accept a COI for entry/exit and/or may require a visa.

Convention Travel Documents (CTD)

Definition:CTD

A Convention Travel Document (CTD), also known as a Titre de Voyage, is issued in accordance with the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

Convention Travel Document Applications for CTDs can only be lodged at a Passport Office.

Who can apply for a CTD

A Convention Travel Document (CTD) is issued to persons recognised by Australia as refugees within the meaning of the Convention, who are about to leave Australia, are lawfully in Australia or are not lawfully in Australia and cannot obtain a travel document from his/her country of lawful residence. Applicants who have acquired Australian citizenship are not eligible as they have forfeited their refugee status.

Applicants for a CTD must provide evidence of their refugee status, which may be an Australian visa showing the relevant visa category or a statement issued by DIAC of acceptance as a refugee under the terms of that Convention. The standard statement issued by DIAC includes the applicant’s name, date of birth, visa entitlement and validity of visa.

It is important that an applicant's visa label details (in particular their correct nationality) match their travel document details.

If the Movement Reconstructions Database confirms that the applicant's nationality, as recorded in DIAC systems, is different to the nationality recorded on the client's protection visa, applicant should be asked to attend a DIAC office to have their visa correctly re-evidenced in the CTD, so that the nationality on the visa label matches that on the CTD. It is important that the applicant understands that they need to have the correct information recorded on their visa label before they travel outside Australia to ensure they do not experience any difficulty when travelling. The Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre can confirm the nationality of the visa holder.

A person seeking to apply overseas for a CTD should be referred wherever possible to the nearest UNHCR office for issue of a CTD by the host country.

Australian re-entry visas and visas for other countries:CTD

A Convention Travel Document (CTD) does not confer on the holder any right to return to Australia.

The bearer should be advised to seek assistance from DIAC in obtaining a re-entry visa.

Applicants should be advised that countries they intend to visit may not accept a CTD for entry/exit and/or may require a visa.

Evidence of refugee status:CTD

Evidence of Refugee Status from DIAC may include:

Note: From 24 March 2012, holders of Protection visa (Class XA)(Subclass 866) may only be eligible for a CTD if they have numerical value of ‘001’ after the letters P or S. This indicates the visa was granted on refugee grounds. ‘002’ indicates the holder may be eligible for a COI. See Certificate of Identity for more information.

Note: for visa categories 202 and 208 to 217, see Certificate of Identity(COI) .

Guideline for PC5 Application for Holders of RoS 851 Visas

Previous Visa Category

Granted an RoS 851 visa

Travel Document

Requirement

785

Yes

CTD

 

786

Yes

COI

Proof of travel required

447

Yes

CTD

 

451

Yes

CTD

 

Other visa category (family member)

Yes

COI

Proof of travel required

.

Validity:CTD

A Convention Travel Document (CTD) is valid for:

Revalidation or extension to a CTD overseas

A person legally resident in another country, who does not hold a visa entitling them to return to Australia and is seeking to apply overseas for an extension to the validity of their Convention Travel Document (CTD) should be referred wherever possible to the nearest UNHCR office for issue of a CTD by the host country.

All requests for an extension of a validity of a CTD received by an overseas post are to be referred to Canberra

Lost or Stolen CTD overseas

All requests for a replacement Convention Travel Document (CTD) that are lost or stolen overseas are to be referred to Canberra for consideration.

Diplomatic and Official Passports

Definition:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic Passport Official Passport Diplomatic and Official passports are issued only to people conducting diplomatic and official government business, and are restricted to people in specific categories and roles.

Diplomatic and Official passports are issued to facilitate the travel of people who are employed by or acting on behalf of the Australian government.

Diplomatic and Official passports, in themselves, do not confer on the holder any special privileges or rights. Individual countries may confer, at their discretion, certain rights to holders of Diplomatic and Official passports.

Entitlement:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic and Official passports can be issued only to Australian citizens listed in the ministerial guidelines (see ‘ Ministerial Guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic & Official Passport ’) and whose application form is supported by a letter from the sponsoring authority (Letter 14).

The publication ‘Australian Diplomatic and Official Passports - Guidelines for Sponsoring Authorities’ (Annex 6) provides guidance to sponsoring agencies on the issue, use and management of Diplomatic and Official passports. Information in this publication should not however override the ministerial guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic and Official passport. See also ‘ Responsibilities of the sponsoring authority:Diplomatic & Official Passport ’.

Child entitlement: Diplomatic & Official passport

A child cannot be issued with a Diplomatic or Official passport except in rare circumstances where a serving member of the Australian defence forces may be a minor and qualify for the issue of an Official passport.

Accreditation:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic passport holders who are posted to an Australian diplomatic mission must be recognised by the host country as a member of the diplomatic staff of the Australian mission before being afforded the rights and privileges as set out in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR). Under the VCDR third countries are also required to ensure that people accredited to diplomatic missions in other countries can travel freely through their country.

Official passport holders who are posted to an Australian diplomatic or consular mission must be recognised by the host country as a member of the consular staff of the Australian mission before being afforded the rights and privileges as set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR). The VCCR also requires third countries to afford people accredited to consular missions in other countries certain rights to enable them to travel freely through their country.

Inappropriate use:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic and Official passports are subject to cancellation without notice if used for purposes outside those provisions relevant to the holder as listed in the ‘ Ministerial Guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic & Official Passport ’.

Disciplinary action under the conduct guidelines of the relevant sponsoring authority may also be taken against people who use these passports contrary to the reason of issue.

Responsibilities of the holder:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic and Official passports are valuable documents and must be treated accordingly.

The holder of a Diplomatic or Official passport must:

Holders of Diplomatic and Official passports are liable to the provisions of the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 45, and Minister’s Determinations which impose additional fees and restrictions on replacement document issue to holders who lose their Diplomatic or Official passport or have it stolen. Serious cases, including where multiple travel documents have been reported lost or stolen will be reported to the Senior Executive of the sponsoring authority along with any proposed course of action on issuing a replacement travel document.

Responsibilities of the sponsoring authority:Diplomatic & Official Passport

The authority which sponsored the issue of a Diplomatic or Official passport is responsible for ensuring that:

The publication ‘Australian Diplomatic and Official Passports - Guidelines for Sponsoring Authorities’ (Annex 6) provides guidance to sponsoring authorities on the issue, use and management of Diplomatic and Official passports. Information in this publication should not however override the ministerial guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic and Official passport, see ‘ Ministerial Guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic & Official Passport ’.

Applying for a Diplomatic & Official Passport

People applying for a Diplomatic or Official passport may either use:

Note: Applications for a Diplomatic or Official passport can only be lodged at a passport office or overseas mission.

Validity:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic and Official passports must be limited in validity according to the specific time, purpose of mission/travel or duration of status and function of bearer outlined for each eligible person in the Ministerial Guidelines (see ‘ Diplomatic passports: ministerial guidelines ’ and ‘ Official passports: ministerial guidelines ’).

Application fees will not be affected by the validity period and the validity cannot be extended.

Ministerial Guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic & Official Passport

Issuing Diplomatic and Official passports

Any application for a Diplomatic or Official passport for any person outside the standard categories as listed in the tables below requires special approval and must be referred to Canberra for consideration.

Unless otherwise mentioned, the passport is only to be used for official travel. Official travel means travel, the prime purpose of which directly relates to the carrying on of Government business and that business is not related to a competitive commercial activity, whether or not the commercial competitiveness includes other Australian or overseas enterprises.

See ‘ Diplomatic passports: ministerial guidelines ’ and ‘ Official passports: ministerial guidelines ’.

Diplomatic passports: ministerial guidelines

Position of Applicant

Status of Bearer
(bearer is …)

Validity

Purpose

Governor-General

Governor-General of Australia

5 years

All travel

Former Governors-General and their spouses

(as stated)

10 years

All travel

Prime Minister

Prime Minister of Australia

5 years

All travel

Former Prime Ministers and their spouses

(as stated)

10 years

All travel

President of the Senate

President of the Senate of the Parliament of Australia

6 years plus 6 months

All travel

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Australia

5 years

All travel

Commonwealth Government Ministers

Minister for (Portfolio) of the Government of Australia

5 years

All travel

Presiding Officers (States, NT, ACT and Norfolk Island Parliament)

(position given)

4 years plus 6 months

All travel

Leader of the Opposition

Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Australia

5 years

All travel

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of Australia

5 years

All travel

Commonwealth Parliamentary Secretaries

(position given)

5 years

All travel

Chief Justice and Justices of the High Court of Australia, Chief Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and of the Family Court

(Position given) of the High/Federal/ Family Court

10 years

All travel

Chief Justices of State or Territory Supreme Courts

Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of (State or Territory)

10 years

Official travel only

Chief of the Defence Force and Chiefs of the Naval, the General and the Air Staffs

(position given) Department of Defence

5 years

Official travel only

Secretaries of Commonwealth Departments

(position given—e.g. Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Director-General of Health)

5 years

Official travel only

Public Service Commissioner Public Service & Merit Protection Commission

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Australian Government Solicitor

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Director-General, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Governor of the Reserve Bank

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Director-General, Office of National Assessments

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Director, Defence Intelligence Organisation

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Director-General, Australian Secret Intelligence Service

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Commissioner, Australian Federal Police

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Chair, National Crime Authority

(position given)

5 years

Official travel only

Ambassador

Australian Ambassador to (country) (full title)

5 years*

All travel during appointment

High Commissioner

Australian High Commissioner in (country) (full title)

5 years*

All travel during appointment

Consul-General (Consul if Head of Post)

Australian Consul-General/Consul in (city or country) (full title)

5 years*

All travel during appointment

Head of Post – Australian Representatives in Taipei (not to other officers at post)

Observation shall make no reference to Taiwan

5 years*

All official travel to and from locations other than Taiwan

Austrade Executive General Managers attached to an Australian diplomatic mission

Position Designation (see ‘Standard formats for endorsement in passports’)

5 years*

All travel during appointment

Leader of Delegation or sole Australian representative at International Conference or Bilateral or Multilateral Negotiation

(as appropriate)

12 months

Official travel only

Member of the staff of any Commonwealth Department or Instrumentality assigned to a diplomatic post overseas and notified to the receiving country as holding a recognised diplomatic rank.

Position Designation (see ‘Standard formats for endorsement in passports’)

5 years*

All travel during posting

Diplomatic couriers

Diplomatic Courier of the Government of Australia

One 5-year passport, two 2-year passports

Official travel only

State Governors

Governor of the State of (State)

5 years

All travel

Administrators of Cocos (Keeling), Christmas and Norfolk Islands, Lieutenant Governors and former Governors of a State

Administrator of the Territory of (Territory) or Lieutenant Governor or former Governor of the State of (State)

5 years

All travel

State Premier or Territory Chief Minister

Premier of the State of (State) or Chief Minister of (Territory)

4 years plus 6 months

All travel

State or Territory Minister

Minister for (Portfolio) of the Government of (State or Territory)

4 years plus 6 months

All travel

Permanent Head of Premier’s or Chief Minister’s Department (when accompanying Premier or Chief Minister)

Permanent Head of the Premier’s or Chief Minister’s Department of the Government of (State or Territory)

4 years plus 6 months

Official travel only

Person in respect of whom the Minister for Foreign Affairs considers exceptional circumstances apply

(as approved)

As approved

As approved

Spouse of person granted Diplomatic Passport providing the fare is met from official funds

The spouse of (position)

As for spouse

All travel during spouse’s posting or assignment except for privately funded travel out of Australia

Same sex spouse of person granted Diplomatic Passport providing the fare is met from official funds

Member of the household of (position)

As for spouse

All travel during spouse’s posting or assignment except for privately funded travel out of Australia

Member of staff of a State Governor (one staff member only)

Accompanying the (as appropriate)

Period of travel

Official travel only

Executive Directors of International Financial Institutions

(position given)

Duration of appointment plus 6 months

All travel (unless specified in passport)

People acting on behalf of the Commonwealth travelling to locations where there are distinct operational or security factors requiring the use of a Diplomatic Passport#

Travelling on Government business

Duration of posting or assignment

All travel during posting or assignment

Official passports: ministerial guidelines

Position of Applicant

Status of Bearer
(bearer is …)

Validity

Purpose

Member of Parliament (Commonwealth)

Member of the (Senate / House of Representatives) in the Parliament of Australia

5 years

All travel

Member of Parliament (State or Territory)

Member of the Legislative Council / Assembly in the Parliament of (State / Territory)

4 years plus 6 months

All travel

Justices of State or Territory Supreme Courts, Justices of Federal Courts, or other State equivalent

(position given)

10 years (or expected retirement date)

All travel

Other Justices, Judges, Commissioners of the Industrial Relations Commission and Magistrates of any Federal, State or Territory Court

(position given)

10 years

Official travel only

Officers of Commonwealth Parliamentary and Departmental bodies (including those recognised in legislation) and their State and Territory equivalents

Travelling on Government business

Duration of assignment requiring official travel plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years#

Official travel only

Officers working for Prescribed Agencies under the FMA Act and the CAC Act and their State and Territory equivalents

Travelling on Government business

Duration of assignment requiring official travel plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years#

Official travel only

Officers who are attached to or posted to overseas diplomatic or consular missions

Travelling on Government business

5 years*

All travel

Spouses of Members of Parliament (Commonwealth)

Spouses of Members of the Senate/House of Representatives in the Parliament of Australia

As for spouse

For travel when accompanying Senators and Members of Parliament, at official expense

Spouses of Justices and Judges

The spouse of Justice or Judge

Period of travel when accompanying Justice or Judge at official expense plus 6 months

For travel when accompanying, Justice or Judge at official expense

Spouse (including same sex spouse) of officer on long-term posting

The spouse of (status shown in the officer’s passport)

Member of the household of (status appearing in spouse’s passport)

5 years*

Same as officer except for privately funded travel out of Australia

Spouse (including same sex spouse) of other Official passport holder

The spouse of an official travelling on Government business

Member of the household of an official travelling on Government business

Period of travel when accompanying official at official expense plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years

For travel accompanying official at official expense

Staff employed by the Prime Minister, Ministers, Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition under the M.o.P (S) Act

Travelling on Government business

Duration of assignment requiring official travel plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years#

As approved

Chiefs of Staff of Premiers / Chief Ministers

Travelling on Government business

Duration of assignment requiring official travel plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years#

As approved

People representing the Commonwealth travelling to locations or on assignments where an Official passport is essential for the performance of the Government’s business

Travelling on Government business

Duration of assignment requiring official travel plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years#

As approved

Person in respect of whom the Minister for Foreign Affairs considers special circumstances apply

As approved

Duration of assignment plus 6 months. Maximum of 5 years

As approved

Issuing office:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Diplomatic passports are issued in Canberra, London or Washington. State Passport Offices can also issue Diplomatic passports; however this would normally be the exception.

Official passports are issued in London, Washington or at Passport Offices in Australia.

Overseas posts, except London and Washington, cannot issue Diplomatic or Official passports and will send all applications, together with the sponsorship letter to their respective Regional Eligibility Centre (REC). The REC will undertake the eligibility process, authorise the issue, personalise the document and return it to the originating post within ten working days if all the requirements have been met.

Priority Processing Fee:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Only applications lodged at a Passport Office in Australia or locally in London and Washington that meet all the requirements can be offered the priority processing service, see ‘ Priority Processing ’.

The requirements include:

Where an applicant needs to travel urgently and cannot wait for 10 working days to receive his/her replacement Diplomatic or Official passport, the overseas post may issue an Emergency passport under the same business rules and procedures outlined in ‘Emergency Passports’.

Spouse and dependents of Diplomatic & Official Passport holder

A Diplomatic or Official passport may be issued to the spouse of the bearer of a Diplomatic or Official passport and Ordinary passports may be issued to dependants (under or over 18 years) for whom a sponsoring authority has accepted a fare responsibility for the spouse and dependents.

The validity is to be the same as the passport issued to a person specified in the ‘ Ministerial Guidelines for the issue of a Diplomatic & Official Passport ’. A ‘Conditions for the Issue of a Diplomatic or Official Passport’ form (Attachment C in Annex 6) is not required with applications for Ordinary passports for dependants.

Passports issued to the family of the holder of a Diplomatic or Official passport are endorsed on the observation page: Bearer is the {spouse/dependant/member of the household} of the {position} at {mission}

A Diplomatic or Official passport issued to a same sex spouse is endorsed on the observation page: Bearer is a member of the household of {name} the {position} at {mission}

Concurrent Diplomatic & Official passports

Holders of Diplomatic and Official passports who require a second or concurrent Diplomatic or Official passport must satisfy all the requirements for a concurrent passport (see ‘ Concurrent Passports ), including provision of a completed supporting letter from the sponsoring authority, before a concurrent passport can be issued. The sponsoring authority is responsible for the payment of the fee.

The validity of a concurrent Diplomatic passport is to be restricted to cover the purpose of its issue.

Termination of holder’s official appointment/posting:Diplomatic & Official Passport

Termination of overseas appointment:Diplomatic & Official Passport

If the appointment of the holder of a Diplomatic or Official passport is terminated while the holder is overseas, or the officer resigns, the passport must be surrendered before the person leaves the post.

A gratis Ordinary passport (with a maximum validity of one year) may be issued on completion of the normal requirements.

After cancellation (i.e. physically and electronically), the Diplomatic or Official passport may be returned to the holder.

Completion of overseas posting:Diplomatic & Official Passport

At the completion of an overseas posting, if a Diplomatic or Official passport holder is proceeding on any period of long service leave or leave without pay, the Diplomatic or Official passport must be surrendered and, if necessary, an Ordinary passport purchased at the holder’s own expense.

Private passport in addition to Diplomatic & Official passport

The holder of a Diplomatic or Official passport is permitted to hold another valid private Australian passport while holding a Diplomatic or Official passport.

The other valid Australian travel document is normally an Ordinary passport acquired by meeting the full requirements for issue (including interview and guarantor requirements).

Diplomatic and Official passport holders are not required by the Australian Government to surrender any private passport that has been issued by a country other than Australia.

The normal fee is payable when applying for a Diplomatic or Official passport.

Gratis Passports

Approved categories:gratis passport

In accordance with the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 56, passport application fees may only be waived in specified circumstances.

Approved categories: gratis passport

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has decided that only the following categories of persons may be issued with a gratis passport:

Authorised officers do not have the authority to waive passports fees outside the approved categories.

Gratis passports outside approved categories

The Minister has delegated part of his power under 8.2(j) of the Determination to allow senior departmental officers to determine whether special circumstances exist to waive passport fees in individual cases only.

Applications for gratis passports may be lodged at an Australia Post Office that conducts passport interviews, a Passport Office or an overseas mission.

Gratis replacements with less than 2 years validity

Where the gratis replacement passport would have less than 2 years validity, the applicant should be advised of the consequences for subsequent renewal of their passport (i.e. a gratis replacement with less than 2 years validity cannot be used to obtain a PC7 form for renewing an adult passport and cannot be used as proof of citizenship or identity).

Full application forms (PC1, 4 or 8) and full supporting documentation would be required for the subsequent renewal of their passport.

Alterations and endorsements in travel documents

Alterations to travel document after issue

A travel document cannot be altered after issue – even to correct minor mistakes.

A person who wishes to amend any particular in a passport should be advised that an application for the issue of a new passport is required and that normal procedures must be completed, including payment of the full application fee.

Passport Office errors: gratis replacement

Where a client finds a mistake caused by an error of passport staff or systems, a new document will be issued gratis without the need for the applicant to re-apply.

The validity of the new document will be the same as the one being replaced.

Change of name after travel document issue

A travel document cannot be altered to reflect a change of name.

A new application must be made and a new document produced.

Endorsements including labels

Use of an endorsement, including a label, is the only way additional information can be added to a passport or other travel document – either at the time of issue or subsequently. The endorsement must not conflict with, or be used to try to alter any personal details on the bio-data page.

An endorsement may:

The text used for endorsements must follow follow the standards outlined in ‘ Standard formats for endorsement in travel document ’. Authorised Officers do not have authority to vary these standards or decide new formats of text.

The text can be printed on a label and placed in a travel document with a stamp/seal if additional information is subsequently required after it has been despatched.

Fees apply to applications for endorsements/observations that are made after the initial production of the travel document. There are no provisions allowing waiver or refund of this fee.

Observation page in travel document

Only the observation page may be used for placing an approved endorsement label as outlined above, see ‘ Endorsements including labels ’.

The observation text on the observation page must not be crossed out, ‘opened’ or altered in any way to allow use for visas even where this practice may be acceptable to other countries.

Standard formats for endorsement in travel document

An endorsement can be printed directly onto the observation page or on a label that is placed on the observation page of a travel document where information is relevant to the identity of the bearer and/or the purpose of their travel.

The following formats for endorsements are routinely used and are preformatted in the Passport Issuance and Control System (PICS).

Note: An observation must not be in conflict with any details on the bio-data page of the travel document.

Subject

Approved text for endorsement

Emergency passports

Valid for one-way travel to {country} only

Valid for travel between {country} and {country} only

Documents of Identity

Valid for travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island only

Valid for one-way travel to {country} only

Valid for travel between {country} and {country} only

Certificates of Identity and Convention Travel Documents

The validity of this Document has been extended to …./…./….
Authorised Officer {Signature} {Date} {Location}

Concurrent Ordinary passports for official travel to Taiwan

Not to be revalidated or reissued without reference to {issuing office}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is {title as listed in Diplomatic passports table}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is {position*} {name of mission}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is the {spouse/dependant/member of the household} of the {position*} {name of mission}

Official passports

Bearer is {title as listed in Official passports table}

Official passports

Bearer is travelling on Government business

Official passports

Bearer is {spouse/dependant/member of the household} of the {title as listed in Official passports table or travelling on Government business}

Awards and decorations

Bearer holds the award of {full name of award e.g. Order of Australia Medal, Member of the British Empire}

Limited validity passports issued in London, Washington or Australia

This is a limited validity passport. If you apply in person before this document expires, and meet all requirements on the application, a replacment passport, extended to the full validity will be issued free.

The following position* designations are approved for use in diplomatic passports:

Where required by the local Foreign Ministry the following position designations may be used:

Passport staff have no authority to vary the text of an endorsement from the standards listed above.

Visa pages in travel document

Extra visa pages cannot be added to passports or travel documents.

Bio-data details translation into Arabic – for Libya only

From 11 November 2007 all travellers entering (including re-entering) Libya require an Arabic translation of their passport bio details page, endorsed by wet seal/stamp from an Australian Passport Office or overseas diplomatic or consular post. Instructions from Libyan authorities on the format of the translation, or how it should be attached to the passport, are unclear. Passport holders should contact their nearest Libyan People’s Bureau for advice.

Few requests to endorse an Arabic translation have been received. Passports presented have had affixed to the last visa page a template/stamp completed and signed by a translation service, or in some cases the translation has been handwritten into the passport by the translator.

Translations should be done by an accredited translation service (NAATI in Australia or DIAC approved translator overseas, see ‘ Foreign language documents - translations ’). Passport officers have limited means of confirming that the translation is authentic. If possible check that the translation service is accredited or approved by DIAC and contact the translation service to verify that the translation is authentic. Passport holders should be advised that an endorsement is not a guarantee that the translation is correct.

There is no charge for this service.