Back in the day, using your Australian phone abroad would mean high usage costs and limited connectivity, if it even worked at all. These days, international...
Over the past two years, Australians have been dreaming about heading overseas to see family, start new opportunities and visit destinations around the globe. With the Australian and international borders starting to reopen, the time to fly away is fast approaching. To do that you’ll need a valid passport.
This guide is here to help you understand what needs to be done to get your own Australian passport. We’ll also let you know how Wise can help you spend money cheaply while abroad.
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If you are an Australian citizen then it’s possible for you to apply for an Australian passport. The main ways to apply for your passport are at a participating Australia Post outlet, through the Australian Passport office or at an Australian diplomatic or consular mission.
If your passport has expired, check our Australian Passport renewal guide instead.
For security reasons it’s not possible to lodge your Australian passport application online². To make the other methods of applying easier, you can fill all the forms online and then print them. Simply head to the AusPassport portal and follow the prompts.
Within Australia the standard way of applying for an Australian passport is at a participating Australia Post Outlet¹.
- Gather your original documents.
- Complete the application form online then print, or get a blank paper copy from a participating Australia Post outlet and fill it out.
- Get your passport photos taken.
- Lodge your application and pay the fee at a participating Australia Post outlet.
Keep in mind some of the participating locations will require you to have an appointment¹. You can go on the Australia Post website to check and if you need one, you can make an appointment there. Alternatively, just give your local post office a call and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
If you are in Australia and need to travel in a rush or need the passport for an unforeseen compassionate or compelling event, it’s possible for you to apply directly to the Australian Passport Office².
Call them on 131 232 to verify your eligibility, make an appointment and check if there are any variations to the process.
Gather your original documents.
Complete and print the online application form, or get a blank form from a participating Australia Post outlet and fill it out.
Get your passport photos.
Attend the appointment to lodge your application and pay the fee.
Australian citizens who are born overseas or dual citizens who are eligible to apply for an Australian passport can do so at an Australian diplomatic or consular mission.
- Gather the required original documents.
- Do the application form online then print it, or get a blank paper copy from an Australian diplomatic or consular mission and complete it.
- Have your passport photos taken.
- Lodge your application and pay the fee at an Australian diplomatic or consular mission.
How to apply for an Australian child passport
The process of applying for a child's passport is the same as an adult passport, with a few additional things to keep in mind.³
- You need to complete the child application form.
- Everyone who’s consenting to the child having a passport needs to sign the application in front of a witness.
- The application should be lodged by someone with parental responsibility.
- The adult lodging the application needs to bring proof of ID which has a photo, signature and current residential address (e.g. Drivers license).
- Children who are 16 or 17 must attend when their application is lodged.
Here are the fees for various passport types — all shown in Australian Dollars.
|Type of passport||Fee⁴|
|Passport with 10 years validity (citizens aged 16 and over)||$301|
|Passport with 5 years validity (citizens aged under 16)||$152|
|Passport with 5 years validity (optional for citizens aged 75 and over)||$152|
If you are applying from overseas, the following surcharges apply:
|Type of Applicant||Overseas Surcharge⁴|
|Adult Applicant (citizens aged 16 and over)||$135|
|Child Applicant (citizens aged under 16)||$66|
To get your passport issued you’ll need the following Australian passport application documents¹:
- Your full birth certificate,
- Evidence of your Australian citizenship,
- Identity documents with your photo, current address and signature,
- Proof of any change of name or gender,
- Completed application form,
- Two identical passport photos,
- The full name, phone number, and Australian passport details or electoral roll address of a referee or guarantor who’s known you for more than 12 months. It can’t be from the same address, a relative or a de facto.
If you're overseas and don’t know a referee or guarantor who meets the above conditions, it can be someone whose occupation has been put on an approved list by the Australian diplomatic or consular mission you’re applying to.
The wait time for an Australian passport is up to 6 weeks from the day it was lodged.¹
For questions or to make an appointment you can call the Australian Passport Office on 131 232. They have eight locations across the country.
- Adelaide Passport Office in South Australia (SA)
- Brisbane Passport Office in Queensland (QLD)
- Canberra Passport Office in the ACT
- Darwin Passport Office in the Northern Territory (NT)
- Hobart Passport Office in Tasmania (TAS)
- Melbourne Passport Office in Victoria (VIC)
- Perth Passport Office in Western Australia (WA)
- Sydney Passport Office in New South Wales (NSW)
For an additional $220 surcharge⁴ eligible people can have priority processing. With priority processing, your passport will be ready to be mailed or collected from a Passport Office within two business days of receiving all of your documentation from Australia Post. Some Australia Post outlets also have Passport RAPID service, which ensures your documents reach the passport office quickly.
Priority processing is only available from within Australia and at the Australian High Commission in London.
To ensure your application is successful you need to check that your passport photos meet specification. Some of the main things to keep in mind are⁷:
- Photo must be less than 6 months old,
- A good quality colour print that’s not from an inkjet printer,
- Clear image with no ‘red eye’,
- Plain or light grey background with uniform lighting,
- Face centred looking straight on at the camera,
- Eyes open, mouth closed and a neutral expression,
- Print is 35-40mm wide and 45-50mm high,
- Face from chin to crown is 32-36mm.
Once you have your passport, you’re ready to start planning your trip abroad. Here are a few things to think about or do before you go:
- Check Smart Traveller for the latest government travel advice.
- Organise any visas required for the countries you’re visiting.
- Select a travel insurance policy you’re happy with.
- See if there are any travel restrictions, required documents or vaccine proof needed for the countries you’re visiting.
- Find out what the foreign transaction fees and foreign ATM fees are for your bank.
Once you confirm the foreign transaction fees and foreign ATM fees at your bank you may be a little shocked at how high they are. This is where Wise can help.
With Wise you can send money overseas to anyone including family, hotels and tour operators, or even your own international accounts. Your AUD can be exchanged for over 50 foreign currencies using the real exchange rate, like the one you see on Google.
You can also set up a free Wise Multi-currency account which gives you the ability to send and store foreign currencies with no monthly account fees.
With the Multi-currency account you can order a Wise debit card to spend the money in your Wise balance. As long as you select to pay in the local currency while abroad, Wise will exchange your AUD at the mid-market rate and charge you a low conversion fee. You can find how little these fees are on our card pricing page.
You should be all set with the info needed to apply for your passport using this guide. Best wishes with your Australian Passport application.
- Australian Passport Office How to get an adult passport
- Australian Passport Office Lodging a passport application
- Australian Passport Office How to get a child passport
- Australian Passport Office Passport fees
- Australian Passport Office Urgent applications
- Australian Passport Office: Photo guidelines
Sources checked on: 29 November 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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