Go to top of page

Passport FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Lodging in person

Do I have to lodge in person?
Can I submit my application by mail if I live a long distance from an office?
Didn't I lodge by mail before?
Do I have to make an appointment to attend an interview?
Can I attend an interview at an Honorary Consulate (Miami or Denver)?
Does the Australian parent have to lodge a child passport application?
Does the child have to attend the interview?

Guarantors

Can someone at the Passport Office be my guarantor?
What if I cannot find an Australian citizen to be my guarantor?
What if I’ve recently moved and don’t know anyone in the USA who has known me for more than a year?
Do I need a guarantor if I am just renewing?
Does my guarantor need to be the same person that witnesses the parent’s signatures in Section 15 for child applications?

Photos

Can you recommend any places that do Australian-style photos in the United States?
Why are my professionally-printed photos grainy or low resolution?
Should I keep my glasses on for the photo?
What is the 'crown of head'?
Can I use a standard 2 x 2 photo?
Should I trim the photos to the correct size?

Completing and printing the application form

Why won’t the system accept my overseas address?
What if I do not have A4 size paper?
Can I print out a blank form online?
Can I print my form in black and white?
What if I don't have an Australian driving licence?
What if all my original documents are in Australia or another country?
Should I sign my form in front of a Passport Officer?
Can the Passport Office witness the parents' consent in Section 15?
Do you accept notarised copies of documents?
I have just done my passport application online. Did you receive it?

Renewal of passport

How long does it take to get a new passport?
Can you help with replacing my foreign visa?
Will my US visa be valid in a cancelled passport?
What happens to my old passport?
Can I renew my passport before it expires?
Will my new passport have the same number as my old passport?
Can I get more pages added to my existing passport?
What if I may have lost my Australian citizenship?

Travelling to Australia

Do I have to enter Australia on an Australian passport?
Can I travel on a passport in which the name is different from my ticket?

 


Lodging in person

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.

You can monitor the where to apply page of this website for announcements of outreach interviews in other states across the USA in case we happen to be coming somewhere closer to you.

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

No.

Didn't I lodge by mail before?

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

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

Each office is different so please check your closest passport office location for details.

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

No. These offices are not authorised to conduct passports business or certify documents.

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.


Guarantors

Can someone at the Passport Office be my guarantor?

No.

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 your 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. Once they have signed the documents, they must send the originals back to you so that you can submit them when you lodge your application.  We cannot accept faxes or emails from your guarantor.  They must send the originals back to you for lodgement. 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.  

Do I need a guarantor if I am using just renewing?

If you are using the one page renewal form, called the Australian Passport Renewal Application Application (PC7), you do not need a guarantor.  If you are using the Application for an Australian Passport Overseas (PC8) form, then you must provide a guarantor.

Does my guarantor need to be the same person that witnesses the parent’s signatures in Section 15 for child applications?

No, you can use a different person.


Photos

Can you recommend any places that do Australian-style photos in the United States?

To assist clients living in the United States, we have provided details of photographers recently used by our clients with good results: Map of photographers.

If you do not live near these photographers, you will need to find a local photographer and provide them with the Australian passport photo specifications. 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.  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. Check that the photographer uses studio lighting so that there are no shadows under your chin or behind your ear, and no flash reflection on your face. 

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.

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

This is a common problem. You should ask your photographer to print the photos on the highest possible setting – e.g. superfine or ultrafine.

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.

Please refer to the Australian Passport Office's camera operator guidelines.

Should I keep my glasses on for the photo?

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

What is the 'crown of head'?

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 your skull from the top of your skull to the tip of your chin.

Can I use a standard 2 x 2 photo?

Yes, provided the image inside meets our photo requirements.

Should I trim the photos to the correct size?

No. We will do that for you.


Completing and printing the application form

Why won’t the system accept my overseas address?

The Australian 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.  You should use your current US address for this section (unless you are a tourist passing through the United States).

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 adult application 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 adult application. For child applications, the lodging parent must submit government-issued photo/signature ID and proof of address.

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.

Should I 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 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.

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. 

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. 


Renewal of passport

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.

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.

Will my US visa be valid in a cancelled passport?

We do not cancel US visas so in most cases the visa will still be valid.  However, you should contact US immigration to discuss your particular situation. You should not assume that a visa in a badly damaged passport is valid.

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.

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.

Can I get more pages added to my existing passport?

No. You must apply for a new passport or a replacement passport (valid up to the same date as your existing passport.)

What if I may have lost my Australian citizenship?

All citizenship enquiries should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs in Australia on 011 612 6196 0196. You may be eligible to become an Australian citizen again if you lost your citizenship because of acquiring the citizenship of another country, or renounced or gave up your Australian citizenship.


Travelling to Australia

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. There is more information about this on the Department of Home Affairs’ website or you can call the Department of Home Affairs in Australia on 011 613 6196 0196.

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

Generally passengers travelling to/from the USA must have a passport that exactly matches the name on their airline ticket.  If you are concerned, you should contact your airline to see if they will carry you and the immigration department of all countries to which you are travelling to ensure you will be able to fulfil their immigration/customs requirements.