Embassy of Australia
United States of America

Passports FAQs

Passports:  Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does it take to get a new passport?

You should allow up to 3 weeks to receive your new passport.  If you have an urgent need to travel, please discuss this during your interview.

Do I have to lodge in person?  

Yes.  There are no exceptions, even if you live a long distance from your nearest office.  Adults must apply in person.  Child applications must be lodged in person by one parent.  It does not matter whether the lodging parent is Australian.  Children aged 16 and 17 years must attend the interview with one parent. Children aged 15 years and younger are not required to attend the interview.


Can I submit my application by mail if I live a long distance from an office? 


Didn't I lodge by mail before?

Maybe.  But now everyone has to lodge in person.  There are no exceptions.

Can I attend an interview at the Honorary Consulate in Miami?

No.  The Honorary Consul is not authorised to conduct passports business or certify documents.


Do I really have to lodge in person?  Isn't there some way around this for people who can't afford the time or money to come to one of your offices?

All applications must be lodged in person, regardless of whether you live in Alabama or Alaska.  There are no exceptions.  You can monitor our website for announcements of outreach interviews in other states across the USA in case we happen to be coming somewhere closer to you.

Does the Australian parent have to lodge a child passport application?  

Either parent can lodge the passport application for a child. There is no requirement for the lodging parent to be an Australian citizen.

Does the child have to attend the interview?

It depends on the age of the child.  Children aged 16 and 17 years old must attend the interview with one parent.  Children aged 15 years and younger are not required to attend the interview.

Can the Passport Office witness the parents' consent in Section 15?

No.  Please make sure your form is fully completed and witnessed before coming to the Passport Office for your interview.  We cannot witness your signature.

Are there additional requirements for applications for children born through a surrogacy arrangement?

Yes.  Please click here for more details.

Should I wait to sign my form in front of a Passport Officer?

No.  Please make sure all sections of the form are signed before you attend your interview.  We cannot witness your consent or act as your guarantor.

Can I renew my passport before it expires?

Yes, you can renew your passport at any time.


Will my new passport have the same number as my old passport?

No, your new passport will be a new booklet and will have a new number.

Do you accept notarised copies of documents?

No. You must provide the originals of all documents required. There is no exception to this rule. The original documents can be presented by a third party at any Australian passport office worldwide. They do not have to be presented at the same office where you are appearing for your interview.  Make sure the person presenting the documents advises where you will be having your interview so that the documents can be copied and sent to that office.

Can I get more pages added to my existing passport?  

No. You must apply for a new passport if you have run out of visa pages.

How do I change my name? 

In order to change your name on your passport, you need to complete a PC8 application in full and submit all supporting documentation.  Please click here for more detailed instructions on what documents are acceptable evidence of a new name to appear in a passport.  If you are unable to obtain the required documents, please contact your lodging office for advice.

Can someone at the Passport Office be my guarantor?


What if I cannot find an Australian citizen to be my guarantor?

You do NOT need an Australian citizen as a guarantor. You have two options:

• A non-Australian who is currently employed in one of these occupation groups, OR
• A current Australian passport holder

What if I’ve recently moved and don’t know anyone in the USA who has known me for more than a year?

If you do not know anyone in the USA who can be your guarantor, then you will need to obtain a guarantor from your previous country of residence. You will need to send them the guarantor page from the PC8 application form plus one of your photos. Once they have filled in the documents as outlined on the application form, they must return the documents to you so that you can submit them with your application. If you need to travel in the next few weeks, please make sure you have the documents sent to/from your guarantor by courier so that you receive them in time to lodge your application.  

Can you recommend any places that do Australian-style photos?  

Please click here for a list of photographers that our clients have used with good success.  If you do not live near these photographers, you will need to find a local photographer or use one of the online services listed on our site. You may wish to go to a shop that specialises in photos as its core business as our clients generally report that these shops are able to make the necessary adjustments to meet the Australian specifications.  However, there are many places capable of producing acceptable photos for Australian passports – eg. Moto Photo, FedEx Kinkos, Walmart, etc.  Each store is different so you will need to talk to your photographer to make sure he/she can take the type of photo you need.  Just because one particular store is able to produce a compliant photo does not mean that all photos produced by that chain will be acceptable.  We do not guarantee the work of any individual photographer or store, so it is important that you check the photographs yourself to make sure they meet all requirements. 

It does not matter if the overall dimensions of the photo are bigger than our minimum requirements – we can easily trim the photos down when we receive your application.  Do not trim the photos yourself.  However, the photo image must meet all the requirements for Australian passport photos.  We strongly recommend that you take a ruler with you to check the size of your head in the photo.  You should also carefully check all other aspects of the photo to make sure it meets requirements, rather than relying on the photographer to do this for you.

Why are my professionally-printed photos grainy or low resolution?

This is a common problem. We often find that the photographer is using the wrong paper type, or the wrong type of printer.  We recommend that you emphasise to your photographer that the photos must be printed using full colour continuous tone printers on standard or semi-gloss paper.  The actual paper surface must be semi-gloss.  Using the wrong type of paper or paper surface can affect the printed resolution of your photo.

The best way for you to check whether your photo is high resolution is to use a magnifying glass.  If you see stripes, grains, pixels or distortions, then the photo is not high resolution and will be rejected.

Click here for a summary of the key technical requirements to give to your photographer.  

Do I have to keep my glasses on for the photo?  

No.  Please remove them for your passport photo, even if you wear them all of the time.   

What is the “Crown of Head” that is referred to in the photo requirements?  

The “Crown of Head” is where the top of your skull would be if it were visible. It is not the top of your hair or the start of your hairline.  Picture yourself bald and measure you skull from the the top of your skull to the tip of your chin.

Do I have to enter Australia on an Australian passport? 

Yes. You are not entitled to a visa, even if you are also a citizen of another country. Please see the information on this website for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for more information on this requirement.  

Do I have to make an appointment to attend an interview?  

Each office is different.  Check here.  

Can I travel on a passport in which the name is different from my ticket? 

You should contact your airline to see if they will carry you. If so, you should then contact the immigration department of all countries to which you are travelling (except Australia) to ensure you will be able to fulfill their immigration/customs requirements. 

What if I may have lost my Australian citizenship? 

All citizenship enquiries should be directed to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on telephone +1-613-238-1040 (long distance charges apply). There is also information on the DIBP pages of this website.  

What happens to my old passport? 

Your old passport will be physically cancelled and returned to you at the interview.  This is the case even if the passport is still valid at the time of your interview.  No visa pages will be damaged in this process.  If you have travel scheduled within the next few weeks, please alert your interviewing officer so that your options can be discussed.

I have just done my passport application online. Did you receive it? 

All passport applications must be printed and lodged in person. There is no way to lodge an Australian passport application electronically. 

Every time I enter my current address (overseas) on the online application form, I get an error that my address cannot be verified. What do I do? 

The Passports Australia website cannot verify overseas addresses. This message is just a warning. As long you are satisfied that the address you have entered is correct you can proceed by pressing the NEXT button. 

Can you help with replacing my foreign visa? 

No.  We cannot assist you with any enquiries on foreign visas. You must contact the embassy of the country that issued the visa. 

What if I do not have A4 size paper? 

It does not matter. Please print your online application onto US letter size paper. Be careful to shrink the images to fit onto letter size paper as we cannot accept an application form with the top or bottom of the pages cut off. 

Can I print out a blank form online? 

No. Only completed applications can be printed from the website. If you require a blank application form, please contact the office where you will be lodging your application and one will be mailed to you.  Blank forms cannot be faxed. 

Can I print my form in black and white?

Yes.  You can print your form in either black and white or colour.

What if I don't have an Australian driving licence?

Section 16 of the PC8 form asks you to list the details of your Australian driving licence if you are using them as part of your ID combination.  This section is optional.  If you do not have these documents, leave Section 16 blank.  Remember that you will still need to submit a full ID combination with your PC8 adult application.  For child applications, the lodging parent must submit government-issued photo/signature ID.


What if all my original documents are in Australia or another country?

You have two options.  You can either have them sent to you in the United States so that you present them at your interview, or you can have a friend/relative present the original documents on your behalf.  Please click here for instructions on having a friend/relative present original documents for you.


What type of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa and MasterCard only.  We do NOT accept cash, cheques or money orders.

If you do not have a Visa or MasterCard of your own, you can have someone else pay by credit card on your behalf.  If that person is not with you at your interview, please have them complete and sign a Credit Card Authorisation Form.  You must present the signed form at your  interview.

Alternatively, you can purchase a prepaid Visa or MasterCard at many stores across the United States, including pharmacies.