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Urgent travel

Urgent travel

As of November 2021, you should allow approximately six weeks to receive your new passport.  Please make sure you allow time to receive your passport before making travel plans. 

If you need to travel urgently, please advise your interviewing officer when you lodge your application. Please bring printed evidence of your need to travel (eg. a letter from your employer, medical evidence, airline tickets, etc). This evidence should be in hard copy form (i.e. not on your phone). 

You may be eligible for an Emergency Passport for an additional fee.  An Emergency Passport is usually issued within 2-3 working days after all requirements are met.  Some applications, such as child applications without full consent or for children born through surrogacy, require additional processing time. 

Please note that not everyone is eligible for an Emergency Passport. You should discuss your eligibility with your interviewer before making any travel plans that cannot be changed.

What is an emergency passport?

An Emergency Passport has four visa pages and the validity will be limited to meet your immediate travel needs. It does not contain a chip and cannot be used to enter or transit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA)

If you are travelling to a country that requires a visa, you should check with the embassy of that country whether a visa can be issued in an Emergency Passport and if there is a minimum validity required for the passport.

Adding an Emergency Passport to your application

If you apply for both a regular passport and Emergency Passport at your interview, you can do this using the same application form.  No additional application form is necessary.

Please return your Emergency Passport to your lodging office as soon as you have completed your travel.  Once we receive your Emergency Passport, it will be cancelled and your regular passport will be sent to you by FedEx.  Please note that we only hold passports in our office for 60 days so it is important to return your Emergency Passport to us as soon as possible so that your regular passport can be sent to you .

Please note that if you applied for an Emergency Passport only (without qualifying and paying for a regular passport on the same application), there is no option to be sent a new passport by mail.  You should make an appointment to lodge a new application for your regular passport. 

Can I add an Emergency Passport to my application later?

Yes.  If your travel date moves up or your passport isn't ready in time for your travel, you can add an Emergency Passport to your existing application for an additional fee.  This option only applies to people whose regular passport applications are still in progress with our office and who need to travel urgently. 

To request an Emergency Passport be added to a current application: 

  • Send an email to your lodging office about the nature of your urgent travel - please send this from the email address you listed on your application form
  • Provide the full name and date of birth for the person who needs the Emergency Passport (Note: you can only request this for yourself or your minor child)
  • Attach a signed Credit Card Authorisation Form authorising the office to charge the Emergency Passport fee plus an additional FedEx fee.
  • Attach evidence of your upcoming travel (e.g. tickets or letter from employer)

Your request will be reviewed and if you are eligible for an Emergency Passport, your lodging office will email you a letter that you need to sign and return by email.  

We recommend that you do this no later that 3-4 working days prior to your departure date.  If you submit a request with less notice, we will make our best effort to issue your Emergency Passport before your travel however this may not be possible.  

For child applications without full consent or for children born through surrogacy, please allow additional time.