Embassy of Australia
United States of America
Embassy address: 1601 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington DC 20036 - Telephone: (202) 797 3000 - Fax: (202) 797 3168

Passports : Frequently Asked Questions 

How long does it take for my passport to be made?

You should allow up to 3 weeks to receive your new passport.  If you have an urgent need to travel, please contact your lodging office to discuss your situation.

Do I have to lodge in person?  

Most applications need to be lodged in person, just like if you were applying in Australia. However, certain types of applications can be lodged through the mail. Click here to see where you are eligible to lodge your application through the mail. 

Can I attend an interview at an Honorary Consulate in Denver or Miami?

No.  You can NOT attend a passport interview or submit your passport application in Denver, Miami or Houston. Our Honorary Consuls in the United States are not authorised to conduct passports business or certify documents

Does the Australian parent have to lodge a child passport's 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?


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

Yes.  Please click here for more details.

Can I renew my passport before it expires?

Yes, you can renew your passport at any time.

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

Some applications must be lodged in person.  If this applies to you, there are no exceptions and you must make arrangements to attend an interview at our Embassy or our Consulates-General.  Only certain types of renewal applications can be lodged by mail.  Click here to see whether you are eligible to lodge by mail.

Do you accept notarized copies of documents?

No. You must provide the originals of all documents required. There is no exception to this rule, even if you are lodging by mail. The original documents can be presented at any Australian passport office worldwide. They do not have to be presented at the same office where you are lodging. Just advise the overseas office where you intend to lodge the application, and the overseas office will a copy will be sent to your lodging 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.

What happens 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. 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, Walgreens, 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. It's best to 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. 

Do I have to enter Australia on an Australian passport? 

Yes. You are not entitled to a visa. 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?  

Washington and New York do not take appointments.  For Washington, please visit between the hours of 9:00am - 12:00pm or 2:00pm - 4:00pm, Monday-Friday.  For New York, please visit between 9:30am-3:30pm, Monday-Thursday.

If you are lodging in Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston or Chicago, you must call to make an appointment. 

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? 

If your old passport is in good condition, it will be physically cancelled and returned to you. No visa pages will be damaged in this process.  If your old passport is seriously damaged, it will be retained by the passport office for destruction.

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

All passport applications must be printed and sent to a passports office. 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. 

My foreign visa is about to expire. Can you assist? 

The Embassy of Australia 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 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.