Policy

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.

Renewal Applications

Purpose of the PC7

A streamlined process (PC7) is available to adults to renew a passport of the same type or obtain a passport of a different type, subject to meeting eligibility criteria. The use of a PC7 assumes that the holder of a passport has satisfied all identity and citizenship requirements when previously issued an Australian passport. Applicants using this process do not need to provide a guarantor or supporting documents.

Eligible applicants: PC7 renewal

Applicants may obtain a PC7 as long as it meets the eligibility criteria set out below and the applicant is not seeking to change their personal details (ie name, sex and date of birth) as recorded on their most recently issued passport.

An eligible ordinary/frequent traveller passport must:

An eligible diplomatic/official passport must:

Advice that must be given to the client: lost/stolen

If identity is confirmed the applicant should be asked to provide their current residential address and whether this is the usual mail address for future correspondence.

The person reporting the lost/stolen travel document must be advised that:

Penalties apply under the Australian Passports Act 2005 and the Criminal Code for making a false statement or report about a lost or stolen travel document.

Letter to client confirming cancellation: lost/stolen

Once a passport has been cancelled, Letter 1 must be completed and sent out to the client to confirm cancellation, provide details on how they can re-apply for a new passport and to contact the Australian Passport Information Service (APIS), the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) or the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission overseas if the passport is subsequently found.

Other forms as required (e.g. application form) should accompany Letter 1.

Police reports required: lost/stolen

A person who has reported their travel document lost or stolen will need to obtain a police report if they wish to claim a refund of the additional lost/stolen fee to demonstrate that the circumstances of the loss or theft fall within the refund policy guidelines. See ‘ Lost/stolen fee refund ’.

Passport held by a person or company not entitled to the passport

Responsibility of rightful passport holder: passport held by improper party

A person who reports their current passport or travel document as being in the hands of a spouse, or other person who has no right to hold or replace it, is to be advised to take all steps to recover the document including:

If the rightful holder claims to have done all they can to recover the travel document without success, they must be directed to their nearest Australian Passport Office or overseas diplomatic or consular mission to provide a full statement (B11) of the circumstances (including efforts to recover the document and contact details for the alleged holder).

In most cases a parent has the right to hold the passport or travel document of a child only if that parent has parental responsibility for the child. A dispute concerning who holds a child’s passport or travel document, between persons with parental responsibility for the child, must be settled privately through legal channels.

Responsibility of Passport Office: passport held by improper party

Upon receipt of the statement of circumstances the interviewing officer must refer the statement to the appropriate Authorised Officer where the statement will be assessed and an appropriate course of action determined.

Travel document held by overseas law enforcement authority or court

When a travel document is held by an overseas law enforcement authority or court the circumstances must be reported to the Competent Authority and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU) of the Passport Policy and Operations Section (POS). The CAU will determine the appropriate measures to mitigate the risk of a valid Australian travel document being misused or replaced.

Known lost/stolen not reported

Under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 22, when the Passport Office/overseas post becomes aware that an Australian travel document holder has not reported the loss/theft (for whatever reason), the travel document will be immediately recorded as lost/stolen and cancelled.

A letter must be sent to the travel document holder (to their last known/recorded address) advising them that their travel document has been cancelled and is no longer valid for travel purposes.

Travel document temporarily unavailable

Note: This policy does not apply to unavailable documents as a result of an overseas crisis or a declared natural disaster in Australia. There are separate arrangements in place for these events.

Where a client applies for a travel document to replace one that is temporarily unavailable (the document is not lost or stolen), and travel is urgently required, provided the interviewing officer is satisfied as to the genuineness of the circumstances, a replacement travel document (ordinary, LVP or emergency) may be issued.

The unavailable travel document is to be voided upon issue of the replacement passport unless special approval is give by the delegate for the applicant to be issued a concurrent passport, see ‘ Concurrent Passports ’.

Subsequent use of a passport reported lost/stolen

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 32, states that a person commits an offence if the person uses an Australian travel document in connection with travel or identification and the document has been cancelled. All travel documents reported as lost or stolen are immediately cancelled under the Australian Passports Act, Section 22. If a reported lost/stolen travel document is used by the holder to enter or depart Australia, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) are empowered under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 24, to demand the surrender and impound the travel document. The document is to be returned to the nearest Passport Office for cancellation. If DIAC reports the case to the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) (or Passport Office) without impounding the document, a letter demanding return of the passport is to be sent to the holder by the Australian Passport Office (APO). When the document is returned by DIAC or the holder, it is to be cancelled.

If a passport that has been reported as lost is used overseas, foreign border control authorities may confiscate the document and/or detain the document holder. Where a document is confiscated by foreign border officials the post must request the return of the document for cancellation or return to Canberra.

Offices receiving requests for the reinstatement of a cancelled/voided passport must advise the client that this is not possible under any circumstances.

Replacing

Full validity passport

A lost/stolen passport can be replaced by a full validity passport only in the following circumstances:

See also ‘ Lost/stolen child passports whilst overseas ’.

Emergency or Limited Validity Passport

A lost/stolen passport may be replaced by an Emergency Passport (overseas posts) or Limited Validity Passport (Australia, London and Washington) under specified circumstances.

Refer to ‘ When can an Emergency passport be issued ’ and ‘ When can a LVP be issued ’.

Multiple loss/stolen travel document

Under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 15, the delegate may refuse to issue a passport to a person if, in the five years before the passport application under consideration is made, two or more Australian passports issued to the person have been lost or stolen.

Where an applicant has multiple losses and/or thefts (two or more travel documents reported lost/stolen in the five year period up to the date of the application) the matter must be thoroughly investigated. The applicant must be interviewed to clarify the circumstances of the repeated loss/thefts and to ensure they are genuine. The applicant should be advised that the matter is serious and there will be a delay in the issue of a replacement travel document.

In cases where fraud or breaches of the Act are involved the delegate may decide to issue only a limited validity Document of Identity (DOI).

Maximum validity

The Australian Passports Determination, Section 5.1, allows for a maximum validity of five years for a passport issued to a person who has lost and/or had stolen three or more travel documents in the last five years before the date of application for the passport. Applications that come under this Section must be referred to the appropriate delegate in Australia, London or Washington for a decision regarding the type of travel document which can be issued.

Loss of passport before delivery to client

In Australia, travel documents are despatched by registered mail. Overseas, travel documents should be despatched locally by the safest means possible that provides the security equivalent to registered mail in Australia. If, however, a passport is lost between the mission or Passport Office and the applicant’s address, a full investigation is to be immediately carried out to trace the missing document.

Any missing travel document should immediately be recorded as undelivered.

Only after all efforts to locate the missing passport have failed should the applicant be advised that they must apply for a replacement passport within 60 days of the date of despatch, if they wish to receive a replacement gratis (free of charge). The applicant is not required to submit a PC2 form to report the loss.

Instruct the client to submit a Statutory Declaration (or complete a Form B-11) explaining the circumstances and provide a copy of their original passport receipt when applying for the replacement passport. The client should confirm in the declaration that they have checked with their local post office to confirm that they are not holding the document.

The Passport Office is to write to the client within one month asking if the undelivered travel document has been received and if so request it be returned to the Passport Office for destruction.

If the travel document is subsequently delivered to the passport holder within 10 working days of the document being reported as undelivered, the document can be changed to normal status . If it is after this time or a replacement document is issued, then the undelivered document must be cancelled and destroyed.

If the travel document is returned to the Passport Office or overseas mission by the holder, they cannot apply for a refund for returning a found passport.

Undelivered passports are not included in the count of lost or stolen passports for the purposes of additional fees.

Replacing a passport that has never been received

Passport not received within 60 days: lost/stolen

When a travel document is reported as lost or missing in the mail or in transit to an overseas post by the courier service within 60 days of the date of despatch, a replacement document may then be issued on receipt of a Statutory Declaration (or Form B-11) from the client but only when a thorough investigation by the Passport Office or overseas post to attempt to locate the missing document has been unsuccessful and there is no evidence that the applicant in any way contributed to the loss. No fee from the client applies.

A gratis replacement for a passport lost during delivery can be applied for at any stage during the 60 day period providing a reasonable period has been allowed for delivery of the original document and provided all has been done to trace the missing document. When assessing a reasonable period for delivery consideration should be given to the usual timeliness of the delivery system utilised. The applicant does not need to submit a new application form, photos etc.

If an applicant has contributed to the loss of the travel document (i.e. put his/her wrong delivery address on the application form) then the cost of any replacement document is a charge to the applicant.

Passport not received after 60 days: lost/stolen

If an applicant waits longer than 60 days before notifying the Passport Office that they have not received their passport, they must apply for a new passport on a new application form, providing the required photos etc. The normal fee applies.

Found

Reported lost/stolen document by holder

If a reported lost or stolen passport is subsequently found by the holder, the holder must return it to the nearest Passport Office or overseas diplomatic or consular mission for physical cancellation.

A passport which has previously been reported as lost or stolen is a cancelled and invalid travel document. It cannot be reinstated for further use under any circumstances regardless of any important visas the document may contain and under the Australian Passport Act 2005, Section 32, it is a serious breach of the Act for a person to use an invalid passport for travel (or a Passport Officer to give approval for invalid documents to be used for travel).

Overseas border control authorities and Interpol are regularly advised of lost/stolen travel documents and are likely to question or detain people using such documents.

See also ‘ Lost/stolen fee refund ’.

Reported lost/stolen document by person other than holder

If a person finds someone else’s travel document, they are required by the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 24 and 32, to return the travel document to the nearest Passport Office or overseas post otherwise it could be considered to be an offence against the Act.

Additional fees

Additional fees for passport replacement of lost/stolen

Applications to replace lost or stolen travel documents are subject to the following fees in addition to the normal application fee (and where appropriate the priority processing fee):

Note: If the loss or theft is attributed to illegal or fraudulent activities the delegate may consider restricting the validity of any replacement travel document or issue only a limited validity Document of Identity (DOI).

There are no exceptions to the requirement to pay the additional fee.

Exclusions: additional fees for lost/stolen

Travel documents recorded as lost but replaced by a gratis document issued under a specific ministerial approval (e.g. natural disasters) are to be excluded from these calculations.

Passports that are lost during delivery are also excluded.

Calculation period: additional fees for lost/stolen

The additional fee policy applies to all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2005. The five year period for assessing the number of lost or stolen travel documents for an applicant is retrospective – i.e. for an application lodged on 26 August 2005 all lost or stolen travel documents reported on and between 27 August 2000 and 26 August 2005 will be considered when determining any additional fee that must be paid.

Emergency passport replacement: lost/stolen fee

If an Emergency passport that is to be replaced with a full validity document cannot be produced at interview it is considered lost/stolen and the applicant must complete section 10 of the application form and pay the lost/stolen fee, see ‘ Replacing an Emergency passport ’.

Unrecognised passport due to serious damage

Where an unexpired seriously damaged Australian travel document is unrecognisable (i.e. it cannot be clearly identified as belonging to the applicant because both the bio page and book number are indecipherable), then this constitutes a lost/stolen travel document for the purposes of recording in PICS and collecting the additional lost and stolen fee.

See also ‘ Damaged Travel Documents ’.

Damaged Travel Documents

Damaged travel documents: general

Under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 5.2 a passport ceases to be valid if the passport is damaged and no longer usable as evidence of the identity and citizenship of its holder or to facilitate international travel. The Determination describes the circumstances in which a passport may be considered to be damaged and therefore invalid. See ‘ Serious damage to travel document ’. Delegated officers under the Australian Passports Act, Section 24, employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Customs are authorised to make decisions as to whether a passport is seriously damaged and demand up the passport for cancellation and destruction. See ‘ Demanding the surrender of travel documents (impounds) ’.

A seriously damaged Australian travel document cannot be used as proof of citizenship or identity and therefore cannot be used to renew a passport (using a PC7 form). A lost/stolen fee may be charged for an unexpired seriously damaged Australian travel document that cannot clearly be identified as belonging to the applicant, see ‘ Unrecognised passport due to serious damage ’.

Minimal damage to travel document

Minor damage associated with normal wear and tear is not generally sufficient to render a travel document invalid. Examples include:

Serious damage to travel document

The Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 5.2 provides for when a travel document may be declared invalid if it is seriously damaged so that it is unusable for its intended purpose (i.e. international travel or identity purposes) and the holder is likely to experience problems at border points because of the condition of the document.

One or more of the following features may render a travel document invalid:

Electronic chip failure

In the event of a chip being reported as having malfunctioned or failed, the client should be requested to present the passport to the nearest Australian Passport Office in Australia.

Invalid Travel Documents

Definition: invalid travel documents

A passport or travel document is considered invalid under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Sections 20 or 21 and the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Sections 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 when:

Recovery of invalid travel documents to remove from circulation

Invalid travel documents are to be recovered (by demanding the surrender of the travel document) and cancelled wherever possible. It is a key policy objective to remove invalid documents from circulation so that they cannot be used for illegal activities.

This also improves the integrity of Australian passports and enhances national and international security.

See ‘ Demanding the surrender of travel documents (impounds) ’.

Suspicious Travel Documents

Suspicious travel documents: demand for surrender

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 23, allows an officer to demand that a person surrender a document to the officer if:

Customs Officers also have authority under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 26, to search for and seize travel documents from containers such as baggage, mail or any other thing that could be used for the carriage of goods.

The officers who can exercise this authority are set out in the ‘Australian Passports Act 2005 – Authorisations and Delegations’ (see Annex 3).

Cancelling Travel Documents

Authorised to cancel a travel document

An Australian passport or travel document may be cancelled on the order of the Minister for Foreign Affairs or his delegate for reasons set out in the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 22.

The ‘Australian Passports Act 2005 – Authorisations and Delegations’ (see Annex 3) lists those officers who the Minister for Foreign Affairs has authorised to cancel passports and travel documents.

Reason to cancel a travel document

The Australian Passports Act, Section 22 and the Australian Passports Determination Part 5 and Part 6 authorises the Minister to cancel an Australian travel document in the following circumstances:

Request to cancel a child’s travel document

A request to cancel a child’s travel document will be considered where:

All such cases should be referred to the Approved Senior Officer in Canberra, London or Washington

Physically cancelling a travel document

A travel document that is to be physically cancelled should be examined thoroughly to ensure that it has not been altered in any way before cancellation.

Where there is suspicion that a travel document has been altered or is counterfeit the document must not be returned to the holder or physically cancelled. Instead, the matter must be referred to the Passport Fraud Section and is to be handled in accordance with their instructions.

When travel documents are cancelled under the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Section 22 refers), the document must be defaced to ensure it can't be used again as a primary identity document for travel purposes. This is done by cutting off and disposing of:

Returning cancelled passport to holder

On request, a physically cancelled passport may be returned to the holder, unless it is suspected that it has been obtained fraudulently, in which case it is to be forwarded to Passport Fraud Section.

The same applies to an Emergency passport that is cancelled, see ‘ Replacing an Emergency passport ’.

Valid visas in cancelled passport

If the passport has valid visas that the client wishes to continue to use, the client should be advised to contact the appropriate foreign embassy/consulate to ensure the visas in a cancelled passport will continue to be honoured if presented with a newly issued passport.

Regardless of any valid visas, the MRZ and the corresponding part of the front cover must still be cut off to show that the travel document has been cancelled.

Expired travel documents: cancelling

Whenever staff are presented with expired travel documents that have not been physically cancelled, they must also cut off the MRZ and the corresponding part of the front cover.

It is not an option to leave a replaced or expired passport physically un-cancelled under any circumstances.

Deceased person’s travel document: cancelling

Staff should be sensitive to the feelings of the next of kin when cancelling the passports of deceased Australians, particularly to ensure that the photo is not cut.

It is not an option, however, to leave a deceased person’s travel document un-cancelled under any circumstances - the MRZ and the corresponding part of the front cover must be cut off.

Travel documents cannot be reinstated

There is no scope under the Australian Passports Act 2005 to ‘un-cancel’ a travel document that has had its status changed to void or ‘K’ for cancelled. There are no exceptions to this policy. Australian and overseas border control authorities are regularly advised of lost/stolen and cancelled travel documents. Any attempt to use such a document may result in difficulties for the traveller and is a serious breach of the Act.

Where a travel document has been cancelled electronically by an operator’s mistake but the travel document has not been physically cancelled (e.g. the wrong document number was entered) details must be provided to Canberra for consideration of reverting the status or issuing a replacement document.

Delivery/Collection of Travel Documents

Delivery/Collection of travel documents: general

At interview, applicants should be advised that their travel document will be sent by registered mail to the address listed in section 8 of a full adult, child or overseas application form or the printed address in a renewal form unless they request to collect the travel document. All applicants have the option of collecting their travel document from a Passport Office in Australia (not a post office) or the diplomatic or consular mission overseas where the application was lodged. However, in Australia, it is preferable that travel documents are mailed to applicants unless there is an urgent need for travel and the application has been processed under priority processing. See ‘ Priority Processing ’.

When the travel document has been produced, an email is sent to the applicant’s email address (as recorded in the application form) advising them when the passport should be collected from the Passport Office/Australian diplomatic or consular mission or is expected to arrive by registered mail.

Delivery of travel document by mail or courier

Travel documents that are processed as ‘routine’ (i.e. 10 day turn around) will be mailed to applicants unless they have requested otherwise. This applies to applications lodged in Australia and overseas where the local postal service equivalent of registered mail is considered reliable. Overseas missions may use other services such as couriers where the Senior Administrative Officer determines that this is appropriate.

Where an applicant requests a delivery method outside the normal arrangements and this is acceptable with the Passports Manager or Senior Administrative Officer, the cost should be recovered from the applicant.

In respect to undelivered passports refer to ‘ Loss of passport before delivery to client ’ and ‘ Replacing a passport that has never been received ’.

Collection of travel document

It is preferable that only applicants utilising the priority processing service collect their travel document from a Passport Office. However, the collect service may be accessed where the applicant specifically requests a collect service.

Collection applicant (adult)

The official receipt issued to the applicant at lodgement should be presented at collection. Where the official receipt is not available, the Passport Office must be satisfied as to the person’s identity before handing over the travel document. Identity can be confirmed by sighting suitable identification which may include photographic identification issued by an Australian or foreign government authority (if lodged overseas) (i.e. drivers licence).

Collection by someone other than the applicant (adult)

Where an adult other than the person appearing on the official receipt asks to collect a person's passport, the person collecting must have specific written authority from the applicant to do so. Identification of the person collecting the travel document and the applicants’ signature should be confirmed against the written authority prior to handing over the travel document.

Collection of child travel document

Where the collection is for a child's passport, the person collecting should be a person who gave consent for the issue of the passport to the child. Where the collecting person cannot present the original receipt the Passport Officer must be satisfied as to the identity of the person (i.e. a person who provided consent for the passport to be issued) before handing over the document. NO written consent is required from the person who lodged in these circumstances provided the Passport Officer is satisfied as to the collectors' identity.

Where a person who provided consent is unable to collect, a person who provided consent on the application form may provide written authority for a third person to collect the document. It rests with the office whether a check is made with the parent to confirm the written authorisation.

In certain circumstances a child over 16 years could be permitted to collect their passport but they should have the written consent of a person who provided consent on the passport form (this policy reflects the fact that the parent or person with parental responsibility has to lodge for the child). It remains for the Passport Office to decide whether to confirm the legitimacy of the written approval with the parent where this is considered necessary/prudent.

Collection of family group travel documents

Where there has been a group lodgement and this is reflected in the receipt (i.e. Mr and Mrs Smith and two sons lodged and paid together), any adult who is listed on that receipt can collect the passports.

Only in exceptional circumstances should a child be allowed to collect a batch of family passports. In such cases it would be expected that the child would be able to present written authorisation to collect the passports and generally it would be expected that the Passport Office would seek confirmation from one parent.

Collection of travel document: exceptional circumstances

Exceptional circumstances may sometimes exist which are not fully covered above.

For such cases, Managers and/or senior level staff may approve arrangements and include full details of the collection process (i.e. who, why, how arranged) in a detailed Note.

Refusal/Cancellation Requests by Competent Authorities

Introduction: request by competent authority

Under sections 12, 13, 14 and 16 of the Australian Passports Act 2005 (the Act) a competent authority may make requests to:

These requests are called refusal/cancellation requests. Sections 12, 13, 14 and 16 of the Act set out the circumstances where a competent authority may make a refusal/cancellation request. Section 22 (2) (d) of the Act provides legal authority to cancel a passport where a refusal/cancellation request has been made.

Sections 12, 13, 14 and 16 of the Act each specify who may act as a competent authority for the purposes of each section. Competent authorities are additionally specified in Part 3 of the Australian Passports Determination 2005 (the Determination). Circumstances in which such requests may be made and the competent authorities that would make them are outlined below.

Within the Australian Passport Office the Competent Authority Requests and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU) is responsible for the administration of these sections of the Act.

Notification of decision not to issue passport and appeal rights

Where an Eligibility Officer assesses a passport application for a person (the applicant) for who a competent authority has made a request under the Act, a letter must be sent to the applicant advising them of the decision and informing them of their review rights under section 48 of the Act.

The letter will also give the applicant a period of 10 working days to resolve the circumstances preventing the issue of a passport (e.g. to liaise with law enforcement authorities about an outstanding warrant), otherwise the application will be refused. During this period the application will remain on HOLD in PICS.

Where an application is refused, any application fee cannot be refunded or transferred to any subsequent application. Any new application must be accompanied by payment of the appropriate application fee.

Decisions to cancel a passport (and at times not to issue a passport) will generally be taken by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In such cases the Competent Authority and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU) will send written advice to the applicant about the decision and right of review. In most circumstances the letter will also demand the surrender of the cancelled passport.

Australian law enforcement

Under subsection 12(2) of the Act, if a competent authority makes a request to the Minister to refuse a passport, the Minister must not issue an Australian passport to the person.

Competent authority requests to cancel a passport under subsection 12(2) of the Act must be referred to the Competent Authority and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU) in Canberra. CAU will in turn refer the request to the Minister for a decision to cancel the passport or not.

Competent authorities must use prescribed forms to submit passport refusal (Annex 18) and cancellation (Annex 19) requests. A copy of the relevant warrant, legal order or direction must be attached to the request form.

Competent authorities for this purpose are specified in Section 12 of the Act and in Part 3.1 of the Determination.

The most likely persons or organisations to submit requests are (but not exclusively):

The Passport Office which receives a competent authority request to refuse a passport (Annex 18) must raise the corresponding alert into PICS within one working day. If the person has a current passport, the case must be referred to CAU for further action.

Passport Offices may provide competent authorities with the forms (Annex 18 or 19) together with the accompanying explanatory Fact Sheet: Refusal/Cancellation of Passports for Australian Law Enforcement Reasons.

International law enforcement

Section 13 of the Act sets out the circumstances where an Australian passport may be refused or cancelled on the receipt of a request from a competent authority for reasons related to international law enforcement.

Competent authorities for this purpose are specified in Section 13 of the Act and in Part 3.2 of the Determination.

While numerous persons may act as competent authorities for this section of the Act, for administrative efficiency SES officers in the Australian Passport Office fulfil this role.

Potential for harmful conduct

Section 14 of the Act provides for a competent authority to request the Minister for Foreign Affairs to refuse or cancel an Australian passport where the competent authority forms a reasonable suspicion that the person is likely to engage in harmful conduct and that, by denying a passport, the harmful activity might be prevented.

Competent authorities for this purpose are specified in Section 14 of the Act and in Part 3.4 of the Determination.

The Competent Authority Requests and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU) is responsible for liaison with competent authorities and for preparing submissions for consideration by the Minister.

Debtors: request by competent authority

On receipt of a request from a competent authority, section 16 of the Act allows a delegated officer to consider refusing to issue an Australian passport to a person who owes money to the Commonwealth.

Competent authorities for this purpose are persons who have the authority to lend money to the debtor on behalf of the Commonwealth. The Minister has delegated his refusal/cancellation powers under this section of the Act to a number of officers. For administrative efficiency the Director Passport Policy and Operations undertakes this function.

In cases involving compassionate circumstances (death or serious illness of an immediate family member) or adverse effects to the debtor’s welfare, the issue of a travel document may be approved by an officer delegated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, see ‘Australian Passports Act 2005 – Authorisations and Delegations’.

Cases involving unusual and extenuating circumstances outside these provisions may be referred to the Passport Policy and Operations Section for consideration.

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).

Citizenship

General

Who determines Australian citizenship?

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is responsible for matters relating to citizenship.

Applicants should be referred to DIAC if they have any questions concerning their citizenship status including if they:

DIAC contact details:

Doubt regarding Australian citizenship

An Authorised Officer must be satisfied that the applicant is an Australian citizen at the time of issue of an Australian passport.

Where officers have reason to question whether an applicant:

Under no circumstances is an Australian passport (including an Emergency passport) to be issued to an applicant unless citizenship has been properly established.

Loss of Australian citizenship

Adult applicants who acquired the citizenship or nationality of another country by doing any act or thing other than marriage before 4 April 2002 automatically lost their Australian citizenship. Their children under 18 years also lost their Australian citizenship unless the other parent was also an Australian citizen or permanent resident. People in this situation should be referred to DIAC to determine their citizenship status and to inquire about resumption of their Australian citizenship if necessary.

From 4 April 2002 acquiring the citizenship or nationality of another country does not result in the loss of Australian citizenship. However this is not retrospective and persons who acquired another citizenship prior to this date may have lost their Australian citizenship.

Passport application forms include a declaration regarding citizenship. Applicants who sign the declaration and meet all other criteria do not need to provide proof that they have not acquired citizenship or nationality of another country.

All citizenship enquiries must be referred to the Citizenship Section of DIAC for resolution before any document is issued.

Born in Australia

Citizenship by birth in Australia

Evidence of Australian citizenship by birth

Since the legal status of Australian citizenship came into force on 26 January 1949, there have been various changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 relating to the acquisition of Australian citizenship by birth. Different rules apply, according to a person’s date of birth.

Information on the various kinds of documents that are acceptable as evidence of Australian citizenship is contained in DIAC form 119, Application for a Certificate of Evidence of Australian Citizenship. This form, and other citizenship information, is available from DIAC and at http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/119.pdf

Australian birth certificate: evidence of citizenship

An Australian birth certificate can establish citizenship, as long as it is:

Born in Australia before 20 August 1986

People born in Australia before 26 January 1949

Australian citizenship did not exist before 26 January 1949. Before then, people born in Australia were British subjects. In most circumstances they automatically became Australian citizens on 26 January 1949.

Further information about the citizenship of people born in Australia before 26 January 1949 is available from DIAC.

People born in Australia between 26 January 1949 and 5 May 1966 inclusive

People born in Australia between 26 January 1949 and 5 May 1966 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless their father had the immunity from suit and legal process accorded to an envoy of a foreign country.

People born in Australia between 6 May 1966 and 21 November 1984 inclusive

People born in Australia between 6 May 1966 and 21 November 1984 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless their father was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities or was a consular officer of a foreign country and was not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.

People born in Australia between 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 inclusive

People born in Australia between 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless one parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities or was a consular officer of a foreign country and neither parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.

Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986
General

People born in Australia (including Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) on or after 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of the person’s birth.

In cases where both the applicant and the parent(s) of the applicant were born after 20 August 1986 and neither of the parents has held an Australian passport with at least 2 years validity issued on or after 1 January 2000, the following applies:

In cases where the applicant is unable to provide supporting documentation to confirm their Australian citizenship, refer the applicant to DIAC.

Permanent resident

For these provisions, a permanent resident is a foreign national who:

Evidence of parent’s citizenship or permanent residency

Evidence of citizenship of a parent includes:

Birth not registered

Late registration of birth

Applicants that claim to have been born in Australia but their birth was not registered, must apply to an Australian Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) for a late registration of their birth and the issue of a birth certificate.

Late registration of birth is normally possible but the circumstances and conditions vary from State to State.

Birth in Australia that has not been registered

If an applicant’s birth in Australia is not registered, then a birth certificate may not have been issued.

In these cases, the applicant should:

Late registration of birth cannot be obtained

If late registration is not possible then the applicant should request written evidence from RBDM stating that no certificate can be issued.

The applicant must also provide other documentation of acceptable integrity to establish their date and place of birth. The applicant must provide:

Adoption in Australia

Citizenship by adoption in Australia

Normally, Australian adoption orders are presented directly to the relevant State Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and a new birth certificate is issued.

The child then automatically acquires Australian citizenship providing the adoption occurred on or after 22 November 1984 and, at the time of adoption:

People adopted in Australia before 22 November 1984 do not automatically acquire Australian citizenship and may apply for conferral of Australian citizenship. Applicants adopted before this date must produce a certificate of Australian citizenship in support of their passport application.

Applicants for a passport need to submit their full birth certificate and, if born on or after 20 August 1986, proof that one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident in Australia at the time of the adoption.

See also ‘ Applications for adopted children born overseas ’.

New Zealand parents

Applicant born in Australia to NZ parents

New Zealand citizens are subject to special citizenship arrangements. If both parents are New Zealand citizens, evidence from DIAC is required unless the applicant has a citizenship certificate or previous passport issued after 1 January 2000.

Where the applicant is unable to provide supporting documentation to confirm their Australian citizenship, refer the applicant to DIAC.

Australian birth certificate

Sample of a full Australian birth certificate

Doubt regarding authenticity of a birth certificate

If an Authorised Officer has doubt as to the authenticity or acceptability of a particular birth certificate, the officer must contact the relevant RBDM to confirm the details.

Occupation of parent listed on full Australian birth certificate

The occupation of each parent on the full birth certificate must be checked to ensure that neither parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities because of their employment by a foreign government or international organisation in Australia at the time of birth of the applicant (e.g. diplomat, consular, technical official etc). See ‘ Citizenship by birth in Australia ’.

Applicants whose parents’ occupations fall into these categories should be advised that they have no entitlement to Australian citizenship.

If a child’s birth certificate does not show the parents’ occupations, ask the applicant to present evidence that one parent was an Australian citizen or had permanent resident status at the time of their birth.

Unacceptable birth certificates

Extracts of birth certificates, commemorative birth certificates and birth cards cannot be accepted to establish Australian citizenship.

Extract of birth certificate

Extract of Australian Birth Certificate An extract of birth is not a full birth certificate. It is often an A5 size and does not:

Commemorative birth certificate

Commemorative Australian Birth Certificate Commemorative birth certificates are certificates with a theme or fancy graphic design. They cannot be accepted because they do not establish a person’s name at birth if the person has had a change of name between the time of birth and the time of issue of the commemorative birth certificate. In some cases the commemorative birth certificate does not show the parents’ occupation at the time of the applicant’s birth.

In all cases where a commemorative birth certificate is issued, clients are also issued standard format birth certificates. Advice is given by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the application for a commemorative birth certificate that it cannot be used for official purposes.

Birth card

Birth cards are credit-card sized cards that the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages introduced as an alternative form of identification to extracts of birth certificates. The cards carry the same information as an extract, along with a photograph and signature of the holder.

Birth cards cannot be accepted for the purposes of confirming Australian citizenship, for the same reasons that extracts of birth certificates cannot be accepted.

The birth card can however be used for proof of identity purposes as it shows a photograph and signature of the person, which can be cross checked against the person and application at the time of the interview.

NSW RBDM stopped producing the birth card as of 1 August 2008. Birth cards still in circulation should not be accepted after 1 August 2013.

Born in Australian External Territories

Norfolk, Christmas, Cocos Islands

Christmas Island

Requirements for establishing Australian citizenship for a person born on Christmas Island are:

Note: If born on or after 20 August 1986, at least one parent must have been either an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth (refer to ‘ Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 ’).

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Requirements for establishing Australian citizenship for a person born on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are:

Note: If born on or after 20 August 1986, at least one parent must have been either an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth (refer to ‘ Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 ’).

Norfolk Island

Requirements for establishing Australian citizenship for a person born on Norfolk Island are:

Note: If born on or after 20 August 1986, at least one parent must have been either an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth (refer to ‘ Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 ’).

Papua New Guinea

Born in Papua or New Guinea prior to PNG Independence

Papua New Guinea (PNG) became a sovereign nation on 16 September 1975. Prior to that date there were two separate territories, i.e.

Papua was part of Australia for the purposes of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 but New Guinea was not.

Assessing applications for Australian citizenship from people born in Papua, prior to PNG Independence can be difficult. This is because of the interaction between Australian law and the PNG Constitution which together created the independent country of PNG. Further information can be obtained from DIAC. Applicants should be referred to DIAC where verification of Australian citizenship is necessary.

See also ‘ Australian citizenship acquired under transitional provisions ’.

Born in the former territory of Papua before 16 September 1975

Papua was defined as part of Australia for the purposes of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948, but not for the purposes of the Migration Act 1958. As a result, people born in Papua acquired Australian citizenship at birth.

However, a person born in Papua prior to 16 September 1975 automatically became a Papua New Guinea citizen and consequently lost Australian citizenship if they:

Born in the former territory of New Guinea before 16 September 1975

New Guinea was a Trust Territory and was not defined as part of Australia under either the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 or the Migration Act 1958.

People born in New Guinea prior to 16 September 1975 were Australian protected persons but were not Australian citizens by birth. People born in New Guinea from 26 January 1949 could be registered as Australian citizens by descent if they had at least one parent who was an Australian citizen at the time of their birth. People born in New Guinea could also apply to be naturalised as Australian citizens.

A person born in Papua and New Guinea prior to 16 September 1975 who did not automatically cease to be Australian citizens on Independence Day may have subsequently lost their Australian citizenship under the Australian Citizenship Act 1948, Section 17 by making the Declaration of Loyalty to PNG or by acquiring the citizenship of another country, or lost their Australian citizenship as a child on or after 16 September 1975 when a responsible parent lost their citizenship under section 17 of the Act.

Birth certificates showing birth in Papua and New Guinea before 16 September 1975

Persons born in the former territory of Papua or New Guinea prior to 16 September 1975 may be issued with a birth certificate from the ‘Territory of Papua and New Guinea’. As these birth certificates do not clearly define which territory the person was born, it is necessary to verify their citizenship status, if they do not hold proof of Australian citizenship.

Born Overseas

Requirements

People born outside Australia granted Australian citizenship

Australians born outside Australia are required to provide documentary evidence of Australian citizenship.

Over the years various forms of evidence of citizenship have been issued:

Prior to 1 July 2002 if a child was granted Australian citizenship with their parent, their personal details were included on a parent’s citizenship certificate. From 1 July 2002 all children who acquire Australian citizenship are issued with their own certificate.

Citizenship by Descent

People born outside Australia may have acquired citizenship by descent under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.

The following evidence is required:

Adoption overseas

Types of adoptions

There are three types of overseas adoptions: intercountry adoptions, expatriate adoptions and private adoptions.

Intercountry adoptions

Expatriate adoptions

Overseas private adoptions

Adopted children born in Mainland China

Applications for adopted children born overseas

Required documentation

Transitional provisions

Australian citizenship acquired under transitional provisions

The Australian Citizenship Act 1948, Section 25 provided for the automatic acquisition of Australian citizenship by certain categories of people born before 26 January 1949 who were British subjects immediately prior to that date. The repeal of section 25 on 1 May 1987 did not affect the Australian citizenship status of people who acquired citizenship under these provisions.

Relevant categories of people are:

Passport applicants who automatically acquired Australian citizenship under the transitional provisions of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 and who do not hold documentary evidence of citizenship, must apply to DIAC for a Certificate of Evidence of Australian Citizenship.

Identity

Summary

Proving identity: summary

Identity theft is a growing problem within Australia. Research has shown that this problem is closely linked to organised crime and the illegal use of Australian travel documents.

The positive confirmation of the applicant’s identity is therefore a crucial part of the passport interviewing and processing procedures and must be given a high priority by passport staff. Where there are any doubts whatsoever an Australian travel document must not be issued without those doubts being resolved.

Personal Identity Documents (PIDS)

definition

As part of a whole of government initiative to strengthen the proof of identity procedures within the public sector, agreement was reached amongst a wide range of key Commonwealth agencies on the introduction of a standardised proof of identity model based on those identity documents assessed to have the required integrity.

This model is defined as the Prescribed Identification Document System (PIDS) more commonly referred to as Personal Identity Documents.

PIDS consists of two components:

Categories A, B and C documents

The three PIDS categories (A, B and C) listed on adult passport application forms are designed to perform specific functions in confirming an applicant’s identity at interview. In accordance with National Privacy Principles, where the applicant has provided PIDS that show information that is not required for the purposes of issuing a travel document, this information must be blacked out. Generally this will mean that bank account details (numbers and balances) shown on the bank/credit cards and bank account records will need to be blacked out prior to scanning by the interviewer. Information relevant only to the application will be retained by the Department (See ‘ Confidentiality of records / Privacy Act 1988 / Freedom of Information (1.3.3) ).

Category A documents: PIDS

Includes those documents that can tie the applicant's face to a name i.e. documents that contain a photographic image of the holder and the person’s signature:

Category B documents: PIDS

Includes those documents that prove the person operates in the community in that identity:

Category C documents: PIDS

Includes those documents that prove that the person in that identity is a resident in the community and provides proof of the person’s address:

Photographic ID – acceptable PIDS examples

Photo ID should be in the form of an official document that includes a photograph and signature. Examples include a drivers’ licence, residency card, credit card, birth card, student card or an employment identity card.

Acceptable PIDS combinations

All applicants must provide one of the following three combinations of original documents to confirm identity and photo ID.

Where an applicant has changed his/her name it is possible the PIDS documents presented are in the person’s previous name. In such cases it is important for the interviewing officer to confirm the link between the PIDS documents, the person lodging the application and the new and previous names.

The acceptable PIDS combinations are listed below.

Combination 1: PIDS

Two documents as follows:

These documents must be original and valid.

If neither of these documents shows the applicant’s current residential address the applicant will need to provide one category C document that does.

Combination 2: PIDS

Three documents are required (only if the applicant cannot provide combination 1):

These documents must be original and valid.

If none of the documents shows the applicant’s current residential address the applicant will also need to provide one category C document that does.

Combination 3: PIDS

Four documents are required (only if the applicant cannot meet combination 1 or 2):

These documents must be original and no more than 12 months old.

Full PIDS requirements not met

There should be only a very small number of applications that cannot meet the PIDS Category A or B requirements. In all such cases applicants are to be encouraged, in the first instance, to provide the necessary documents listed in these two categories.

Applicants who are unable to meet Category A or B PIDS requirements must be advised that the processing of their application may be delayed as further checking will be required. Priority processing must not be offered to these applicants. An appropriate note must be made in the comments box of the interviewer’s section.

PIDS requirement/s not met

Additional action

Unable to meet photo ID requirement

  • Applicant to provide a workplace guarantee with a photo endorsement from a supervisor or, if that is not possible, ask the applicant to provide an additional guarantor, as per normal guarantor requirements. The two guarantors cannot be related to each other by birth or marriage and not be in a de factor relationship with each other (including a same sex relationship), nor live at the same address.

Note: Applicants who are 75 years or older who do not possess suitable photograph identification are not required to provide a second guarantor as these applicants are usually low risk. However, the ‘one’ guarantor should be contacted and positively identify the applicant to the satisfaction of the passport officer.

Unable to provide sufficient and suitable documents to confirm identity

  • Applicant to provide a workplace guarantee with a photo endorsement from a supervisor or if that is not possible, ask the applicant to provide an additional guarantor, as per normal guarantor requirements. The two guarantors cannot be related to each other by birth or marriage and not be in a de factor relationship with each other (including a same sex relationship), nor live at the same address.

  • Ask the applicant to provide any other documents not listed on the application form that may assist in confirming identity.

Unable to meet residential address requirement

Applicant to provide:

  • a general declaration form (B11) stating current residential address and address to be confirmed on electoral roll, or

  • provide additional identity documents to confirm identity, or

  • obtain a certification from the employer as to the applicant’s address (such documents need to be validated by calling the employer)

Guarantor

definition

The guarantor declaration is a principal identity check in the application for an Australian travel document.

A person who qualifies as a guarantor must vouch for the applicant’s identity which includes endorsing and signing the back of one photograph of the applicant (see below).

Qualifying as a guarantor

To be acceptable the guarantor must:

The guarantor must not be:

Passport/interviewing officer as guarantor

Staff involved in the passport process are not to act as guarantors on passport applications received from the general public.

Only where an application is submitted by another staff member at an overseas post may a passport officer act as a guarantor. In this instance, however, the authorisation of the passport must be conducted by an A-based officer of the mission.

Adopted child: period of time known by guarantor

Where a child is adopted – the date of adoption, granting of citizenship and arrival in Australia should be taken into account when deciding whether the guarantor provided by the applicant has known the child for a suitable time frame.

If the child has been adopted within the last 12 months, a suitable guarantor should have known the child for the majority of that time and a full validity passport may be issued if all other requirements are met.

Guarantor occupational groups: overseas lodgement

An overseas applicant may use:

Photographs

Photograph requirements

The photographs submitted must meet the following requirements:

The photographs must be of good quality colour, on high quality paper with no ink marks on the image, appropriate brightness and contrast, natural skin tones, taken with uniform lighting (no shadows across the face) and are clear and in sharp focus. Digital photographs should be checked to ensure that they meet the requirements as they often produce a poor quality passport image.

An application should not be accepted if photographs are not a good likeness of the applicant, not of adequate quality or do not meet the size requirements. If photographs do not meet the standards required, the applicant should be asked to provide two identical photographs, not more than six months old.

Expressions of children under 3 years of age

In view of the rapid change in facial appearance of babies as they grow, passport staff may exercise flexibility in applying the photograph guidelines to babies.

Photographs of infants under 3 years of age showing the following expressions are acceptable:

Replacing photographs – children under 5 years of age

Although photographs cannot be replaced during the ‘life’ (period of validity) of a passport, an exception is made for children under five years who have been issued with a passport in their first year of life. Such children may be issued with a replacement passport with a new photograph, issued for the remaining validity of the current passport.

The passport will be issued gratis.

Full parental consent is required before a replacement gratis passport may be issued.

Identity Checks

Applicant must establish his or her identity

A passport applicant must establish his or her identity before a passport can be issued by:

Use of an Australian birth certificate to establish identity

In respect to passport issue, the purpose of an Australian birth certificate is to confirm that the person named on the birth certificate has a claim to Australian citizenship, particularly parentage, and provides the four personal elements (name, gender, date and place of birth) that when combined with the results of the PIDS process, establishes the identity of the applicant.

Sex

Sex incorrectly recorded on the cardinal document

Instances have occurred where the sex has been incorrectly recorded on the cardinal document, i.e. birth certificate or citizenship certificate – e.g. male instead of female.

Should an applicant claim that the gender shown on the certificate is incorrect, advise the applicant to contact the RBDM in the state or territory of birth or DIAC to have the error corrected.

A change must only be included in a travel document if supported by a new birth certificate or citizenship record produced in support of a passport application.

Change of sex: sex and gender diverse

General: sex and gender diverse

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Addressing sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity discrimination 2011) defines the phrase ‘sex and gender diverse’ (SGD) as referring to the whole spectrum of sex and/or gender identity. For the purposes of issuing passports, this includes ‘trans’ and ‘intersex’ persons. ‘Trans’ is a general term for a person whose preferred gender is different to their sex at birth. The term ‘intersex’ refers to a person who has genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics that are not exclusively male or female. A person who is intersex may identify as male, female or as being of indeterminate sex. An RBDM, DIAC or a medical practitioner registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) must determine an applicant’s sex.

A passport may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants in M (male), F (female) or X (indeterminate/unspecified/intersex).

Applications from persons who identify as sex and gender diverse and seeking a sex in their passport different to their birth sex will generally fall into two categories:

All states and territories have legislation allowing sex and gender diverse persons who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and are not married, to apply to amend the sex on their birth certificate. RBDMs are legislatively empowered to amend a person’s birth record and may provide documentation recognising a person in a sex different to their sex at birth when evidence can be supplied that sex reassignment surgery has been completed. In relation to Australian citizens not born in Australia, DIAC is legislatively empowered to amend citizenship records in relation to a person’s sex.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants who present an amended birth certificate, gender recognition certificate, or recognised details certificate showing that an RBDM has accepted the reassigned sex. For applicants born overseas, a gender recognition certificate, recognised details certificate, revised citizenship certificate or other evidence from DIAC may be presented.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants who are unable to, or choose not to, obtain an amended cardinal document in their new sex and can provide a statement from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Applicants must meet all other normal passport requirements, including identity documents supporting their identity in the wider community.

Applicants who have an amended cardinal document

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

In addition to meeting all other passport requirements, to be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with an appropriate authority must provide:

Applicants seeking a passport in a non-registered sex

Applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender and have not registered a change of sex

Sex reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite to issue a passport in a person’s preferred gender.

    (Cardinal documents do not need to be amended for sex and gender diverse applicants to be issued a passport in their preferred gender.)

A statement from a medical practitioner certifying that the person has had, or is receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to a new gender, or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth, is acceptable.

A full validity passport in the new sex may be issued to applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender and have not registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

To be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, applicants must provide at interview evidence from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for transition to a new gender and specifying the new gender.

‘Appropriate clinical treatment’ is determined by the registered medical practitioner and does not have to be defined.

Note: Evidence will only be accepted from practitioners registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority). Registered medical practitioners may specialise in various medical fields including, but not limited to, surgeons, urologists, gynaecologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners. Certifications from persons not registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) such as, but not limited to, psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners and natural practitioners are not acceptable.

The evidence must be a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) that performed the sex reassignment surgery or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant. The statement must include the following information:

See Sample text for letter for registered medical practitioner certifying the applicant’s gender change

Married applicants

Married applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery are not able to obtain an amended birth certificate from an RBDM, as they were married prior to sex reassignment surgery and remain married.

These applicants may provide the letter from the medical practitioner or, alternatively a statement from the relevant RBDM/Gender Reassignment Board. The statement must certify that the applicant has met all requirements for their reassigned sex of male or female to be recognised, except that they remain married.

Note: This only applies to Australian-born applicants, as DIAC will amend its records for married persons who have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Child applicants

Child applicants who are able to meet sex and gender policy requirements (generally this will have required consent of parents) for the issue of a passport in a sex different to that appearing on their cardinal document may be issued with a passport valid for 5 years in the new sex.

Note: Normal parental consent requirements to be issued a travel document apply.

Intersex (or indeterminate sex) applicants who do not accept the sex assigned to them at birth

A full validity passport in the new sex may be issued to intersex applicants who live in a gender different to the sex appearing on their passport and are unable to or choose not to register a change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

In addition to meeting all other passport requirements, to be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, intersex applicants must provide evidence from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they are intersex and the gender they identify with. Applicants must also provide identity documents supporting their identity or ‘social footprint’.

Note: Evidence will only be accepted from practitioners registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority). Registered medical practitioners may specialise in various medical fields including, but not limited to, surgeons, urologists, gynaecologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners. Certifications from persons not registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) such as, but not limited to, psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners and natural practitioners are not acceptable.

The evidence must be a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) who has treated the applicant for his/her transitioning or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant. The statement must include the following information:

See Sample text of letter for registered medical practitioner certifying that an applicant is intersex

Applicants reverting to their original gender

Rare cases will occur where a person reverts to their original gender, after being issued a passport in a gender different to the gender on their first issued cardinal document. Appropriate documentation that the person has transitioned or is transitioning back to the original gender is required.

APO Information request letter to applicants regarding gender
APO Information request letter to applicants regarding gender

APO information request letter for applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition
Sample text for letter for registered medical practitioner certifying the applicant’s gender change
APO Information request letter regarding people who are intersex
APO Information request letter regarding people who are intersex

APO Information request letter for applicants who are intersex
Sample text of letter for registered medical practitioner certifying that an applicant is intersex
Waiver of fee for replacing a passport following change of name due to transitioning to the client’s preferred gender

Requests for a gratis replacement passport following a change of name as part of the transitioning process will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Any gratis replacement passport issued would have the same expiry date as the passport being replaced.

If the person has not previously had an Australian passport, the full fee is applicable when applying for a passport.

Applicants who did not receive a fee waiver at the time of application for a replacement passport may apply for a refund of the passport application fee.

All sex and gender diverse applicants who wish their passport to include a new name must provide a RBDM change of name/revised birth certificate to support the change of name. Applicants must also provide a letter from their medical practitioner confirming that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition or that they are intersex.

State/Territory contact details for recognising gender reassignment

The relevant body in each State or Territory for recognising gender reassignment is listed in the table below.

State or Territory

Responsible Body

Contact Details

Australian Capital Territory

Births, Deaths and Marriages Unit

http://www.ors.act.gov.au/bdm/index.html

(02) 62070 460

New South Wales

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages

www.bdm.nsw.gov.au

1300 655 236

Northern Territory

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages

www.bdm.nt.gov.au

(08) 8999 6119 / (08) 8951 5339

Queensland

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages

www.justice.qld.gov.au/16.htm

1300 366 430

South Australia

Magistrates Court of South Australia

http://www.courts.sa.gov.au/courts/magistrates/index.html (www.ocba.sa.gov.au/bdm/)

(08) 8204 2444 ((08) 8204 9599)

Tasmania

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

www.justice.tas.gov.au

1300 135 513

Victoria

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home

1300 369 367

Western Australia

Gender Reassignment Board

www.bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au

(08) 9219 3020

Date & place of birth

Place of birth and gender in passport

The Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 7.2 requires the place of birth and gender in an Australian travel document to be the same as appears on the person’s cardinal document i.e. Australian birth or citizenship certificate.

Under ICAO standards, Australia issues machine readable travel documents recording the place of birth. There is no provision for applicants to translate their place of birth from that appearing on their cardinal document or have no place of birth recorded on a travel document.

Citizenship certificate does not show place of birth and gender

For clients who have a newer style DIAC citizenship certificate which does not show place of birth and gender must present their original full birth certificate with English translation where this is appropriate.

Where an applicant is unable to present their full birth certificate the applicant, may present their foreign passport. A copy of the biopage of the foreign passport is to be attached to the application form.

If unable to present a birth certificate or foreign passport the applicant must complete a B11 form attesting to all the information contained in section 2 of the form i.e. full name, date of birth, town and country of birth and gender. In addition to the B11 statement, any other documentation available that supports the B11 statement (e.g. foreign driving licence) must be copied and attached to the application form.

Suburb or city as place of birth?

Where the applicant presents an Australian full birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate, the place of birth shown on the certificate, regardless of whether it is a town, city or suburb, must be recorded on the application and in the passport.

Amending place of birth

Applicants may amend their country of birth or spelling of the town/city of birth. The town/city/country of birth may only be changed to reflect the details recorded on their Australian citizenship or birth certificate. In limited circumstances, and at the discretion of the APO, applicants may amend their country/town of birth where there has been an officially recognised change.

See also “ Amending personal details: PC7 renewal ”.

Date of birth

Incomplete date of birth on cardinal document

Names

Requirements

Names in Australian travel document

The names appearing in an Australian travel document should be exactly as appears on the person’s cardinal document.

For the purposes of passport applications the applicant’s cardinal document is the person’s:

The person’s name appearing on these documents is also known as the person’s base name.

Where a person wishes to include in their travel document a name other than a name on their cardinal document, then this must be supported by acceptable evidence of a change of name, see ‘ Evidence of name change ’.

In rare circumstances where a name on a cardinal document includes a foreign character, a transliteration can be requested. This must be approved by emailing passports_policy@dfat.gov.au - the Passport Policy Section.

When a person holds multiple Australian travel documents and they change their name, all travel documents must be changed to reflect the name change.

Evidence of name change

Australian birth certificate endorsed with change of name details

A full original Australian birth certificate issued by a State or Territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) endorsed with the change of name details is acceptable evidence of a person’s change of name.

Citizenship certificate issued in the new name

An original Australian citizenship certificate issued in the new name by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is acceptable evidence of a person’s change of name.

If an applicant requesting a name change has submitted an Australian citizenship certificate as the cardinal document, the passport must be issued in the name appearing on the citizenship certificate. If the applicant wants to include a different name in an Australian travel document to that on the citizenship certificate, the applicant must submit a change of name certificate issued by RBDM in the state of (previous) residence.

Where an applicant claims the details (such as spelling, date of birth etc) are incorrect on their Australian citizenship document or any other DIAC document, they are to be directed to DIAC to have the certificate amended and a new certificate issued before any change will be acceptable for inclusion into a passport.

See also ‘ Citizenship certificate - subsequent name change ’.

Citizenship certificate - subsequent name change

The existence of a RBDM name change (or revised birth) certificate does not preclude an applicant seeking to have appearing in his/her Australian travel document the name/s recorded on a valid DIAC citizenship certificate.

As DIAC is not always advised of name changes and the RBDM name change certificate is not linked to DIAC records, it is possible for a person to hold a valid DIAC citizenship certificate after formally (with a RBDM) renouncing the name recorded on their DIAC citizenship.

Should an applicant seek to have the name recorded on a presented valid citizenship certificate appear in their Australian travel document, and present a RBDM issued name change or revised birth certificate at the same time refer the case to passports policy@dfat.gov.au.

Change of name certificate

RBDM change of name certificate

A change of name certificate issued by a State or Territory Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) in Australia should be obtained where a person:

Foreign change of name certificate

An foreign change of name certificate (with English translation if requested) should be obtained from a local equivalent of a foreign government authority responsible for registering name changes where a person:

Deed Poll document

Original Deed Poll documents may be accepted as evidence of a change of name, if it was issued by an authority that kept a register of names under a law of an Australian state or territory. Such authorities, although not a RBDM at the time of the issue of the document, acted in a similar capacity to current RBDMs.

The table below lists the state/territory authorities that registered Deed Poll documents.

Note: A Deed Poll document registered in South Australia is not acceptable.

Accepting a Deed Poll document

State or Territory 

Past or present registering Authority

Accept as Evidence of Name Change?

ACT

Office of the Registrar of Titles, or Office of Regulatory Services

Yes

NSW

Land Titles Office, now Department of Lands

Yes

Qld

Queensland Supreme Court

Yes

NT

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages

Yes

WA

Office of Titles and Deeds, Registrar of Deeds and Transfers

Yes

SA

General Register Office

No

Vic

Registrar General’s Office

Yes

Tas

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages

Yes

Marriage or registered relationship certificate

Names in passport Section 53(3) Australian Passports Act 2005

Regardless of the names appearing on an applicant’s Australian citizenship or Australian birth certificate (the cardinal documents), under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 53 (3), the given name/s and family name appearing on a valid Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate may appear in an Australian travel document.

Given name/s to appear in an Australian travel document

The applicant may choose to have appearing in their Australian travel document the given names/s from their cardinal document or Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate.

An applicant may nominate the whole group of given name/s exactly as they appear (order/spelling) on a single valid RBDM or DIAC certificate.

Note: To appear in an Australian travel document the given name/s chosen by the applicant must be compatible with the family name combinations outlined in the section ‘ Family name/s to appear in an Australian travel document ’.

Family name/s to appear in an Australian travel document

The applicant may nominate to appear in their Australian travel document the family name/s shown on their RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate.

The applicant (either bride or groom; or either partner of a Registered Relationship) may choose one of the following family name options from the names appearing on their RBDM registered marriage or registered relationship certificate:

For example, if Mary Smith marries Barry Brown, their names could be:

For example, if Lisa Smith registers her relationship with Tammy Jones, their names could be:

Inconsistent family name/s across certificates

Occasionally, an Australian RBDM marriage or registered relationship certificate will record a family name that does not match (is inconsistent with) the family name on the applicant’s Australian birth or Australian citizenship certificate.

In such cases an applicant may nominate to appear in their Australian travel document one of the two following options:

It is important to note that:

Family name/s on subsequent travel documents

Once a combination of family names is nominated and appears in an Australian travel document, the person cannot nominate a different combination of names to appear in a subsequent Australian travel document without a RBDM name change certificate.

Consistent with current policies the person may revert, on a subsequent Australian travel document, to their birth/citizenship name or previous married/registered relationship name.

Unacceptable marriage certificates

Marriage certificates issued in Australia by a marriage celebrant or religious leader are not acceptable for change of name in a passport. Such marriages need to be registered with a State or Territory Registrar Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) and an RBDM marriage certificate produced in support of the married family name in an Australian travel document.

An Extract of a marriage certificate or Certificate of Particulars of Marriage issued by some RBDMs are not acceptable documents for change of name as they do not contain a registration number which can be validated against the RBDM record.

Married overseas

An applicant normally resident in Australia, who was married overseas, is required to submit a change of name certificate issued by RBDM before the name on the foreign marriage certificate can be accepted for use in an Australian passport. The original of the foreign marriage certificate (suitably translated) is required only when a gratis family name change is requested.

An applicant born overseas and residing overseas who is unable to register a name change or marriage certificate from any RBDM in Australia may use the name specified on a marriage certificate (suitably translated) issued by a foreign authority. See ‘ Overseas marriage/divorce/death of spouse ’.

De-facto relationship

Where an applicant has assumed the name of his or her common law partner (de-facto relationship) a RBDM change of name certificate is required before the new name can be accepted for inclusion in an Australian passport. Normal fees apply.

If the de-facto relationship has been registered with RBDM in the relevant states and territories, the relationship certificate is required before the new name can be accepted for inclusion in an Australian passport. A gratis passport may be issued provided normal requirements are met.

Same sex marriage

Same sex marriages are not recognised in Australia (Marriage Act 1961- Section 88EA) and therefore a same sex marriage certificate may not be used as evidence of a name change.

In cases of same sex marriages, a name change certificate issued by RBDM or the relevant foreign name change authority must be presented. Normal fees apply.

Alternatively, the applicant may consider obtaining an Australian RBDM issued registered relationship certificate from the relevant states or territories. This would be accepted as evidence of a name change.

Reverting to Australian birth or citizenship name/s

Either person recorded on an Australian marriage or registered relationship certificate between adults may revert to their Australian birth or citizenship name at any time provided neither person has formally renounced their Australian birth or citizenship name.

There is no requirement for divorce papers or a revocation of a registered relationship certificate if reverting to an Australian birth or citizenship name/s unless the applicant:

Gratis passport: family name change due to marriage/registered relationship

People about to marry or enter a registered relationship are issued with a full validity passport in their current name. Within one year of the marriage/registered relationship the passport may be replaced gratis in the family name of either person recorded on the marriage or registered relationship certificate, valid to the expiry date of the original document provided appropriate documentation is submitted.

See also ‘ Gratis Passports ’.

Divorce decree/revocation of registered relationship or death certificate of spouse or adult partner of a registered relationship

A divorce decree/revocation of a registered relationship or the death certificate of their spouse or adult partner of a registered relationship is acceptable evidence to revert to a name previously recorded by RBDM or DIAC.

After divorce or the death of their spouse an applicant may choose to:

Gratis passport: family name change due to divorce or death of spouse or revocation of registered relationship

Only one gratis passport may be issued to an applicant for a family name change (Australian Passports Determination 2005, 8.2(b) applies). Any application must be received within one year of a name change event.

Gratis issue is only available for the first normal passport issued after the event and the expiry date of the new passport will be the same as that on the document being replaced.

See also ‘ Gratis Passports ’.

Court order directing child’s change of name

Where an Australian court order directs a name change for a child, it is preferable for the name to be registered in the first instance with RBDM (in the State where the minor was born in Australia), and a revised birth certificate or change of name certificate issued.

Where a foreign court order seeks a name change of a minor born in Australia the applicant should be advised to have the new name registered in Australia with RBDM (unless the foreign court order is registered in Australia – in which case it is legally binding i.e. it carries the same force of law as an Australian court order).

Applicants submitting a court order directing a new name for a child should be encouraged to have the court order registered with RBDM.

Foreign court orders which change the name of a minor NOT born in Australia may be accepted provided both parents give consent to the issue of a passport on the PC8 application form.

Overseas marriage/divorce/death of spouse

Although the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) will not register an overseas marriage, divorce or death of a spouse, subject to meeting state or territory minimum residency requirements, a client may however register with RBDM authorities a change of name resulting from an overseas marriage, divorce or death of a spouse.

A clear link must be established between the applicant’s Australian citizenship name and the name to appear in their Australian passport. The most recent change of name should (where possible) be supported by documentation issued by a foreign government authority that would be responsible for the issue of such documentation in Australia i.e. a RBDM or court.

Any previous name changes should be supported by documentation where it is necessary to establish a link between the base name and the name to appear in the passport but this does not necessarily have to be from a foreign government equivalent of an Australian RBDM or court.

Requirements to be met

Documents that are the overseas equivalent to an Australian marriage certificate, change of name certificate, death certificate or Decree Nisi (divorce papers) issued by an appropriate foreign government authority may be used as evidence of a change of name to support the name to appear in an Australian passport if:

In addition to the overseas document/s supplied to evidence a change of name, the adult applicant should provide:

DOI/COI/CTD or Emergency passport

A person who wishes to change their name on a Document of Identity (DOI), Certificate of Identity (COI) or Convention Travel Document (CTD), and has permanent resident status, should provide the appropriate certificate from the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages (RBDM).

As a general rule, applicants who do not possess permanent resident status cannot have a DOI/COI/CTD issued in a name other than the name shown on their visa unless the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has confirmed the new name has been endorsed into its database.

A change of name cannot be included in an Emergency Passport or Document of Identity issued at post even where the applicant has provided all necessary documentation to support a change of name. The new name may only be processed by a Production Centre and included in any full validity passport issue.

Foreign issued documents

In the case of foreign issued documents that support an applicant’s name change the applicant must submit:

All documents are to be scanned with the application form.

Frequent name changes

Several name changes since birth or last passport

Where a person has had a series of name changes since the last passport was issued, or since birth, only the most recent name (i.e. the name to appear in the travel document) is to be included on the application form. This name needs to have been registered with RBDM or supported by a DIAC issued citizenship certificate or comply with the requirements set down under this policy for certain applicants (e.g. persons born overseas). However:

Name links and PIDS

Proving links between name changes

Applicants who have several name changes (e.g. people changing name due to marriage/s) are only required to present name change documents that directly link their base name on their cardinal document to the name/s to appear in their passport. For example:

Names appearing on documents presented that are not required to demonstrate a link between the passport and base name should nevertheless be recorded in PICS as an ‘other name/s’.

Documents not listed as acceptable evidence of name change can be used to provide the link between the base name and previous names (e.g. a marriage certificate issued by a marriage celebrant or religious leader) but such documents cannot be used to support the latest name change, i.e. the name to appear in the travel document.

Checking PIDS when there is a name change

Where a name change is involved, an applicant’s personal identity documentation (‘ Personal Identity Documents (PIDS) ’) (i.e. bank accounts, drivers licence etc) do not necessarily have to match the name on the cardinal document / name requested in the travel document and passport staff have no authority to ask applicants to change the name on any PIDS documentation presented.

This recognises that some people may be known in the community by a different name to their birth name or do not want to use a middle name on the PIDS or have simply not had the opportunity to change all their PIDS documents (i.e. a person just married).

Name acceptability

Indigenous Australians

Where an Indigenous Australian applies for a passport and lacks normal RBDM documentation or wishes to obtain a passport in other than their registered birth name, the applicant should be asked to register the birth or their change of name with RBDM. Where this proves problematical, a name-trail statement (B11 General Declaration) should be sought explaining the history of the applicant’s names. This must be supported by a letter from community elders or from a reputable body within the cultural area, such as a church or appropriate Government organisation.

Anglicised names

No anglicised names are permitted to be included in a travel document unless they appear on the cardinal document (e.g. birth or citizenship certificate) or the applicant has a change of name certificate issued from RBDM. Examples include, but are not limited to, Antonio to Tony, Roberto to Robert, Giuseppe to Joseph, Mei to May.

Use of a single name

A single name is acceptable only where supported by a cardinal document. A passport may be issued with the single name in the family name field. On the application form three check digits ‘XXX’ should be written in the space for given names only. These check digits will not appear in the passport.

A change of name to a single name can be made only if the same original documentary evidence required for non-single names is produced.

Character limitations for name fields

The design of Australian passports complies with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and has a maximum limit of 31 characters and spaces for each of the family and first name fields.

Where an applicant has a family or first name that is longer than 31 characters and spaces, then the applicant will have recorded in the passport as many family and first names as possible within the respective fields and in the same order as recorded on the cardinal document. All other names must be represented in the name field by their initials (without any full stops).

Where this approach is necessary because of the applicant’s length of name, an observation is to be included in the passport stating the full name of the bearer.

Characters and signs permitted on the bio-data page

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has published specifications of what characters and signs should appear in the VIZ (visual zone) and MRZ (machine readable zone) on the bio-data page of a travel document.

The specifications are spelt out in ICAO Doc 9303 on Machine Readable Travel Documents (Part 1 Volume 1, pages IV-48 to IV-52). Refer to Annex 17.

Foreign national characters: bio-data page

While most foreign national characters can be represented by a character in the Latin alphabet e.g. è by e, there are several national characters that require an extra letter to represent them such as the German umlaut which requires an ‘e’ to be added to the letter e.g. ä by ae.

Unacceptable or uncommon names

An Authorised Officer has discretion not to accept a name for inclusion in a passport which, on reasonable grounds, may be considered offensive or unacceptable.

This is the case whether or not the name was acquired by registration with a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or by other means.

Guidelines for accepting or refusing names

The Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 9.1 (10) and (11), specifies where a name may be considered to be unacceptable. The proposed name must not include:

Uncommon names accepted by other institutions

Sometimes the applicant is able to demonstrate to the Passport Office that an unacceptable but assumed name has been used widely in the community and accepted by other organisations – e.g. the Australian Tax Office.

Where this occurs, Authorised Officers are still required to assess the circumstances against the information above.

Right of review: unacceptable names

Applicants should be advised in writing where their name is not accepted for inclusion in a travel document and provided the reason for rejection and their right to request review of the decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48.

Titles, decorations and awards

Titles, decorations and awards may be included in a passport as either an endorsement or in the name field in the passport.

Proof of the grant of the title or decoration or award must be provided.

Anyone on whom such a title has been conferred should write the appropriate title on the application form.

Titles

Titles granted by the Crown or the Australian Government, such as peerages and knighthoods, may be included in the name field in the passport.

Members of the House of Lords and their spouses would complete the form as follows:

Knights and their spouses would write their names as follows:

Suffixes like John Smith 2nd or Jnr

Suffixes used as part of an applicant's hereditary status, e.g. John Smith 2nd or Peter Brown Junior (Jr, Jnr) which appear on a cardinal document may appear in an Australian travel document. Where ‘Second’ or ‘2nd’ is on a birth or citizenship certificate the acceptable form to appear in a passport is the roman numeral capital – II, just as III would denote ‘third’ or ‘3rd’ - following the applicant's family name. Hence:

Where the terms ‘Junior’ or ‘Jnr’ appear on a birth or citizenship certificate the following should be noted:

Decorations and awards

Decorations and awards conferred by the Crown (e.g. Member of the British Empire) or the Australian Government (e.g. Order of Australia Medal) may be entered in the passport in the form of an endorsement.

The full description of the decoration or award must be noted (e.g. the bearer holds the award of Member of the British Empire, not MBE).

Non Australian titles, decorations and awards

Titles, decorations and awards not granted by the Crown or the Australian Government will not normally be entered in the passport.

Courtesy, professional or honorific titles

No provision is made by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), for passports to include courtesy titles such as Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Dr etc. Therefore there is no provision in Australian passport application forms for such titles to be included.

Professional or other honorific titles must not be included in either the name field on the bio-data page of a travel document or placed as an endorsement label on the observation page.

Child Consent

note : Child Consent

Please note: The Australian Passport Office is currently reviewing the Child Consent section which provides legislative and policy information for consent purposes. This section is not available to the public until the review is complete. Child passport information can be obtained from the Australian Passport Office website at www.passports.gov.au. If you require further information or assistance regarding consent issues, in Australia please contact the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 or if overseas, please contact your nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.

Alerts

Requirements

definition

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 ’.

Demanding the surrender of travel documents (impounds)

Authority to demand to surrender (impound) of an Australian travel document

Under certain circumstances, DFAT and or other authorities listed in the Minister’s Determination can impound a travel document and demand its surrender. A travel document once demanded up by the approved authority/officer must be surrendered by the holder otherwise they are in breach of the Act and penalties apply.

The authority to impound an Australian travel document is found in the Australian Passports Act 2005, Sections 23 to 26, i.e.:

When the surrender of a travel document is demanded under the Act, the document may be voided and an ‘impound’ flag applied in PICS. In some cases a document’s status may remain as normal (N) until further investigation is completed.

Reviewable decisions

The decision to demand the surrender of a travel document under the Australian Passports Act, Sections 23, 24, 25, is a reviewable decision.

See also, ‘ Review of decisions ’ and ‘ Invalid Travel Documents ’.

Definition of Void and Impound (V & I)

The void status (‘V’) on a travel document in PICS indicates that the document has been electronically cancelled but not yet physically cancelled, see ‘ Cancelling Travel Documents ’.

The impound flag (‘I’) must always accompany the void status on a travel document. This indicates to the Passport Office and border officials that the document is to be confiscated immediately it comes to notice.

Circumstances when a travel document is electronically voided and marked for impound (V & I)

Travel documents are voided and impounded (V and I) in PICS under the following circumstances:

When a travel document with an impound is presented

Demand for surrender letters

When a client presents a travel document including an Emergency passport or other restricted validity travel document which has been voided and has an impound flag applied, the document should be demanded for surrender and the holder provided with the appropriate demand letter.

The letter advises the client of their review rights and if they wish for consideration of the travel document being returned to them they must contact APIS.

Impound and physically cancel

When the document is handed over it should be immediately impounded and then physically cancelled unless the document is subject to a fraud investigation (important – do not destroy the document). If the document is subject to a fraud investigation it must remain in the condition it was surrendered. Documents must not be destroyed until the holder has been given the opportunity to request a review of the decision and/or request their physically cancelled document be returned. Documents impounded by Border control authorities must be forwarded to the nearest Passport State Office for further action or physical cancellation.

See ‘ Physically cancelling a travel document ’.

Impound flag for recovering monies owed to the Commonwealth

The Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 25 allows a travel document to be demanded up and an impound flag recorded on a holder’s record where monies are owed to the Commonwealth in respect of expenses incurred by the Commonwealth:

It is expected that the surrender of travel documents will only be demanded up in those circumstances where the person is being repatriated to Australia.

Impound flags are not to be used routinely where monies are owing to the Commonwealth – e.g. for dishonoured cheque payment for passport fees. Normal debt recovery action must be used in those cases. Where an application fee is not paid (e.g. a cheque is dishonoured) the travel document should not be issued until the fee is paid. If the travel document is issued before the fee problem occurs and efforts to recover the document fee are unsuccessful, the travel document should be voided and impounded.

Refunds

Types of fees: refunds

Under certain defined circumstances as described in the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 8.3, passport fees may be refundable. A decision to not refund a passport fee is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48. See ‘ Appealing decisions ’.

A fee includes the:

Delegations to refund a fee

The Australian Passports Act 2005 – Authorisations and Delegations, Part 2, Item 19 specifies those positions which have the delegation for approving refunds of a fee under the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 8.3(1) - (6).

Application fee refund

An application fee (or lodgement fee) is generally non-refundable, however, provision exists under the Australian Passports Determination, 2005 Section 8.3 (6) to allow for the refund of an application fee due to extenuating or unusual circumstances. A decision not to issue a passport is generally not considered to be an extenuating or unusual circumstance.

Extenuating or unusual circumstances: application fee refund

The application fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, 2005 Section 8.3 (6) where:

All claims for a refund of an application fee must be in writing to the Manager, Australian Passports Office in the capital city of the applicant’s state or territory of residence. If overseas, the claim for refund must be in writing to the Consul at the Australian mission where the application was lodged. The claim should provide the applicant’s full name, passport number and the date/place of lodgement of the application and include details supporting the claim. The Passport Office (usually the Passport Manager) will assess the claim and if considered that a refund is appropriate will refer the claim to the delegate for approval.

Regulation 9 approval for the return of passport fees/refunds of passport fees

Regulation 9 delegates may approve refunds of passport fees/return of passport application monies in limited instances. These include:

Staff may wish to seek clarification from a delegate as listed in section 8.3 of the Australian Passports Act 2005 —Authorisations and Delegations 2011 when determining whether a regulation 9 delegate is appropriate.

Refunds and returns of passport fees which arise in the above instances must be coded in SAP as a debit to G/L 16005 Passport Fees or G/L 16015 Lost and Stolen Fees. Refunds which are approved by a delegate under the Australian Passports Act 2005, are to be coded as a debit to G/L 16505 Refund of Passport Fees or G/L 16515 Refund of Lost/Stolen Passport Fees.

Priority processing fee refund

Service standard not met

Service standard not met - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(2) (a) where:

Compassionate grounds

Compassionate - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(2)(b) where:

Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating or unusual circumstance - priority processing fee refund

The PPF may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(6) where:

Fee refund request

Fee refund request - priority processing

All claims for a refund of the PPF must be in writing to the Manager, Australian Passports Office in the capital city of the applicant’s state or territory of residence. If overseas, the claim for refund must be in writing to the Consul at the Australian mission where the application was lodged. The claim should provide the applicant’s full name, passport number and the date/place of lodgement of the application and include details supporting the claim. Where the request is on compassionate grounds documentary evidence to support their case (e.g. a copy of a death certificate, funeral notice, or letter from a treating doctor of the person visited) must also be provided.

Lost/stolen fee refund

Outside of applicants control

Outside of applicants control: lost/stolen fee refund

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination Section 8.3(4) where:

Where a refund is approved the amount of the refund will be equal to the additional lost and stolen fee paid on the travel document for which the fee is paid.

Recovered passports

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(5) where:

Where a refund is approved the amount will be a one-off payment equivalent to the basic lost or stolen travel document fee. Any such payment does not affect the summing of lost and stolen travel documents over any subsequent periods for that individual.

The aim is to encourage the return of these travel documents so they can be physically cancelled and in so doing avoid the possibility of being used for illegal purposes.

Extenuating circumstances

The lost/stolen fee may be refunded under the Australian Passports Determination, Section 8.3(6) where:

Fee refund request

Fee refund request – lost/stolen

All claims for a refund of a lost/stolen fee must be in writing to the Manager, Australian Passports Office in the capital city of the applicant’s state or territory of residence. If overseas, the claim for refund must be in writing to the Consul at the Australian mission where the application was lodged. The claim may be made in a letter or on a B11 General Declaration form.

The applicant must submit their claim for refund in writing and provide the following details:

Appealing decisions

A decision to refuse to refund a fee is a reviewable decision under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 48(j). When a request for a refund of a fee has been denied, the Manager is to advise the client in writing of their review rights.

Review of decisions

Reviewable decisions

The Australian Passports Act 2005 (the Act), Section 48 provides for certain decisions to be reviewable decisions. The decisions that are reviewable are listed below.

Applying for a review of a decision

Applications for a review of a decision must be lodged within 28 days after the applicant has been notified of the original decision. There is no fee for lodging a request for a review of a decision.

Internal review of a reviewable decision will be undertaken by an officer who has not been involved in the original decision to examine all the facts carefully. The original decision may be affirmed; it may be varied; or it may be set aside and a new decision made in its place.

If the applicant is still not satisfied following the internal review, they may seek to have the decision further reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (except for the non-reviewable decisions, mentioned above).

Protection & Release of Information

Confidentiality of records / Privacy Act 1988 / Freedom of Information (1.3.3)

When any member of the public makes an enquiry, lodges an application or engages in any discussion with an official about an Australian travel document, that person is entitled to expect that all information they provide in statements and conversations will be used and protected in line with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Passports Act 2005. All such information is held in-confidence and is not to be released to any other person or authority, except in accordance with circumstances consistent with the Privacy Act 1988, Australian Passports Act 2005 or the Freedom of Information Act 1982. The following paragraphs and instructions issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, must also be followed.

Unlawful release of information

Any release of information outside the legislative framework could be unlawful and lead to prosecution under the Crimes Act or to action under the Public Service Act 1999. Further, disclosure of personal information outside of the Department could also be contrary to Information Privacy Principle 11 contained in the Privacy Act 1988, Section 14.

Confidentiality an de-identifying of records

Schedule 3 of the National Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act 1988 states that personal information not relevant to the travel document application should be not be collected (blacked out) from the photocopy of Personal Identity Documents (PIDs) where necessary. Schedule 3 (1.1) states that ‘the organisation will not collect personal information unless the information is necessary for one or more of its functions or activities.’ Schedule 3 (4.2) states that ‘an organisation will also take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify personal information if it is no longer needed for any purpose for which the information may be used or disclosed.’

For more information on when personal information should be blacked out by the interviewing officer see Categories A, B and C documents

The Privacy Act 1988

The Privacy Act 1988 prohibits disclosure of any personal information to a third person, agency or body except in specified circumstances. Personal information may be disclosed if:

Note: a very high threshold must be satisfied in order to meet the requirements of these exemptions.

See also ‘ Requests by law enforcement agencies and other government authorities ’.

Releasing information to the general public (handled within APO): guidelines

The Department receives a number of requests from members of the public seeking access to passport-related documents and information. It is important the public receives full and complete information about the Department’s access process, in particular when it is necessary to lodge a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) application (see ‘ Releasing information – complex requests requiring access under FOI ’).

Information about a travel document holder, or an application for a travel document, including advice on whether or not an application has been lodged, may only be released to or confirmed with

The identity of the person requesting information must be verified before any information is released or confirmed.

Releasing information – simple requests

The following requests can be handled within the APO (without referral to DFAT’s FOI Section) subject to the APO being fully satisfied as to the identity of the inquirer, and provided there are no other complicating circumstances. Requests can be made either by phone, in person, or in writing. In some cases, the applicant may be required to verify their identity in person at a passport office before any information is released or confirmed.

The following details may be released to the passport holder, applicant or in the case of a minor, the person/s with parental responsibility that provided consent and who are living at the same address:

Where information is released under the above policy, a record needs to be maintained only when copies of documents/dossiers have been handed over. Copies of all documents handed over and associated correspondence is to be filed appropriately. It is not necessary to record the release of information about the status, date and/or method of dispatch of a travel document, or confirmation the person held a passport at a particular time if this information is given orally.

A person cannot be given any information about:

In the above cases, the spouse, partner (including partner of a registered relationship or a de facto relationship), son or daughter must make their own enquiries. In cases where information cannot be released under the guidelines stated above, a person should be referred to the Department’s FOI process.

Australia Post staff who are authorised to conduct passport business may seek from APIS and be given information about:

The only information that can be released in these circumstances is:

All other inquiries are to be referred to the state Passport Office Managers.

DFAT staff in the APO, Domestic Law Branch and Consular Branches (including passports and/or consular staff at overseas missions), who have a need to know in the course of official business, may be provided with any information concerning an application on request. Enquiries from other DFAT staff/areas should be referred to a state Passport Office Manager or the Director, POS, as appropriate.

Requests received from a Federal or State police force for the provision of information should be referred to the Central Passport Fraud Section (see also ‘ Requests by law enforcement agencies and other government authorities ’).

Releasing information – complex requests requiring access under FOI

Requests from the general public not covered under the guidelines above should be handled as formal requests under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982. Members of the public who contact the APO, overseas missions, or APIS or a Passport Office about how to make an FOI request should be referred to the DFAT website www.dfat.gov.au/historical/foi.html which has a link that provides advice on how to make FOI applications to the Department. The website notes that FOI inquiries can be made to the FOI Section email address FOI@dfat.gov.au.

Examples that need to be handled as formal FOI requests would include:

Requests by law enforcement agencies and other government authorities

[Pursuant to the Privacy Act 1988 (Information Privacy Principle 11.1(d) and (e))]

Personal information held by the Department may be disclosed to Australian law enforcement agencies and other Australian government agencies where such disclosure is in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988. The relevant provisions are, Information Privacy Principle (IPP) 11.1(d), which applies where disclosure of personal information is required or authorised by or under law, and IPP 11.1(e), which applies where disclosure of personal information is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of the criminal law, or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of public revenue.

The following guidelines are to be used to respond to specific requests for passport-related information made by Australian Federal or State Law Enforcement Agencies, and Federal, or State/Territory government departments that are authorised under Federal or State/Territory legislation to request or receive such information.

Law enforcement organisations of foreign countries which request the release of passport information from an overseas post should be advised to pass the request to the Australian Federal Police through Interpol or to approach the Attorney-General’s Department and request release of the information under the provisions of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987.

Interpol is not an Australian law enforcement agency and direct disclosure of personal information is not permitted under the Privacy Act 1988 or the Australian Passports Act 2005, (refer to the Australian Passports Determination 2005, Section 46 and regulation 7.5). Disclosure of information to Interpol under the Australian Passports Act 2005 is limited to lost, stolen or suspicious passports only (section 45 refers).

All requests for passport information, such as passport dossiers and/or photographs, for domestic law enforcement purposes must be made on the Request for Passport Information Form using the letterhead/logo of the organisation making the request. A copy of the form is at Annex 5.

All written requests must be directed to Passport Fraud Section (PFS), Canberra, by email (passports.verify@dfat.gov.au) or fax (02) 6112 1071. Telephone enquiries about release of passport information for domestic law enforcement purposes should be referred to PFS Canberra on (02) 6261 1041.

Requests must include sufficient identification of the person/organisation submitting the request, the subject of the request (i.e. passport applicant/holder), the reasons for the request and the basis under the Privacy Act 1988 by which the information can be disclosed.

In extremely urgent cases, information may be released in response to a verbal request. All such cases must be referred to PFS Canberra via the Fraud Unit in each State office. PFS Canberra will release the information if it is satisfied that urgent release is required. PFS Canberra will ensure that the requesting organisation subsequently completes and lodges a Request for Passport Information Form (Annex 5).

Information provided in hard copy must be collected personally and signed for by a nominated employee from the requesting organisation.

Staff of requesting organisations must not be given access to APO databases, processing or storage areas. Any requests for such access should be referred to the Director, PFS, Canberra.

PFS Canberra will maintain records of information released in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Privacy Act 1988.

Requests to disclose personal information as required or authorised under Australian legislation (e.g. under section 264 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 the Australian Tax Office can request personal information from the Department) should be referred to central PFS Canberra: Tel: (02) 6261 1041, Fax: (02) 6112 1071, email passports.verify@dfat.gov.au

Subpoenas

The Consular Passports and Protocol Law (CPL) Section is the departmental contact point on court attendance subpoenas and other orders for production of passport-related documents and will consult with the central APO contact, Passport Policy and Operations Section (POS) and the Competent Authority and Approved Senior Officer Unit (CAU), Canberra as required.

A subpoena or other order for production of documents should be accompanied by ‘conduct money’ (usually in the vicinity of $20-50) paid in cash or by cheque made payable to the department/mission. All subpoena requests and other orders for production of documents must be recorded in the Passport Office subpoena register maintained by the Accountant.

APO information requests made to other agencies including foreign government agencies

Where required to confirm the identity or other entitlement of an applicant, an Authorised Officer may request a person or organisation to provide or confirm that information. The Authorised Officer should advise the person or organisation that this request is authorised by the Australian Passports Act 2005, Subsections 42(1) and (3) and therefore the information may be lawfully disclosed by the person or organisation without contravening the Privacy Act 1988 or State/Territory privacy legislation.

This provision covers any type of supporting document which is not listed on the application form, e.g. a school report.

The disclosure of information to foreign governments is a serious matter. When seeking information from foreign government agencies, care needs to be taken in any disclosure of personal information. Any disclosures must be limited to those reasonably necessary in the circumstances and authorised in accordance with an exception in Information Privacy Principle 11, contained in section 14 of the Privacy Act.

Requests for access to passport policy/information and brochures

Under reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Information Publication Scheme, requires the Department to publish information about its operations and powers affecting members of the public, as well as manuals and other documents used in making decisions and recommendations affecting the public unless the document fits within an exemption definition where the disclosure of information would adversely affect the operations.

The Department publishes the following passport related documents online via the website www.passports.gov.au for public viewing with exempted text removed:

Requests to access information contained in the documents/brochures referred to above may be handled within the APO in the following manner if the client cannot access the website:

Requests for documents recording travel to or from Australia

Travel records documenting when a person has travelled to or from Australia are maintained by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Travellers may apply to that Department for copies of the ‘movement records’ relating to themselves through DIAC’s FOI process. An FOI application form is available from DIAC’s website (http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms).