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Get your Australian Passport

Get your Australian Passport

As part of the fantastic Get Your Passport initiative, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to assist our fellow Aussies to get their passports. Hopefully we can get a few of you to join the two of us on the road and enjoy in the wonder that is international traveling. Technology has come a long way since we obtained our passports and most of the process is now online! So if you haven’t got your passport already, what the bloody hell are you waiting for?!

Black Pen

Remember to use a black pen!

Before you begin, here’s what you will need:

  • A black pen. For the love of God, don’t use a blue pen or any other color pen for that matter! Use black! Otherwise you’ll have to go through the entire process all over again.
  • A guarantor. This person needs to verify that you are who you say you are by completing Section 11 of your claim form and endorsing one of your two passport photos. Make sure they also use black ink – we had to reprint our passport photos because our guarantor mistakenly used a blue pen!
  • 2 x current passport photographs. These photos must be no more than 6 months old and one of these must be endorsed by your guarantor with the words “This is a true photo of (insert name)” written on the back of the photo. Ensure that your photos meet the guidelines specified at https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Requirements/Photos.aspx
  • Identity Documents. You will need an original document that proves you are an Australian citizen, either a full birth certificate or a citizenship certificate. You will also need original identity documents that prove your identity that shows you current name, address and signature (for example, your current driver’s license). If you’ve changed your name for any reason, be sure to bring original documents that provide proof of name changes.
  • $226. That’s the cost of an ordinary adult passport at time of writing. If you’re a frequent traveler you can apply for a passport with more pages for $340. (see https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Queries/Fees.aspx for full list of fees)

Once you’re armed with the correct documents, here’s a step-by-step guide to obtaining your Australian Passport.

Step 1 – Apply

Visit https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/index.aspx and click ‘Apply for your passport’. You can then fill in all of your details which will then pre-populate a completed online application form that you will need to print out.

Alternatively, you can pick up an application form for either an Adult or Child’s passport from any Australia Post outlet that processes passports.

NOTE: Passport renewals can only be done online via the Australian Passport Office.

Step 2 – Make an Appointment

Australia Post

Step 2 - Make an appointment at an Australia Post outlet.

Everyone applying for a new passport needs to attend an interview at their chosen Australia Post outlet to ensure that your documentation is correct and to verify your identity.

The easiest way to organize an interview is to book online using the Post Office Locator. Alternatively, call Australia Post on 13 POST (13 7678) or just ask at any Australia Post outlet.

Step 3 – Attend Interview/Make Payment

Before attending your interview, collect all of the documents specified above that are required by the Australian Passport Office. You’ll also need to bring your application fee as payment is required at the time of interview, payable by either cash, EFTPOS or Mastercard/Visa.

Your passport interview should take no longer than 15 minutes as long as you have all your required paperwork.

Step 4 – Receive Passport

Once your application has been finalised, you will receive a receipt and the application will be sent to the Australian Passport Office for review. If it is approved, you should receive your passport within 10 working days via Registered Post.

You can track the progress of your passport application online on the Australian Passport Office using the form number printed on your receipt.

More Information

Photos: Photos8.com, mag737, Gerald’s World

20 Comments

  1. Posted January 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! $226 for a passport? I think US passports are much, much cheaper. They definitely were when I got mine in ’04. I wonder why they so expensive in Australia.

    • Peter
      Posted April 30, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Maybe because it was designed too beautiful. haha…but it does. On the visa pages, every page has different picture. But once a visa label is put on it, I cannot see it. :-(

  2. Posted January 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    $226? US passports are ~$125 currently and the price has gone up in the past year. For Aussies who travel quite a bit, this is surprising! Although, getting extra pages is $80 – something we’re going to have to do after this trip. :P

    Great information for those who need it though. Kudos!
    Erica recently posted..Travel Photography – Segovia Cathedral

    • Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

      One tip for US Passport page extensions…I got my extension done in Osaka, Japan a couple years ago…had it done while I waited (took around an hour) and it was FREE! Not sure if they still do this today, but if you have time while on your journey to stop into an embassy / consulate, you may be able to save some time and money!
      Brett recently posted..Photo of the Week- Fish Balls- Fish Balls…Eat Them Up- Yum!

    • Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Looks like that’s another advantage for those of you with US passports – if you’re Australian and your passport is full, you have to obtain a new one!

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      Out of curiosity, how many pages do you get in your initial Australia passport? My US Passport from 2001 only came with 14 pages for stamps / visas, and I had to extend it twice with 24 pages each time. My new (ugly, empty, sad) passport from November is 41 pages to begin with! That should last me a while (well…I hope not!)
      Brett recently posted..Photo of the Week- Fish Balls- Fish Balls…Eat Them Up- Yum!

    • Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Brett, a standard Australian passport contains 35 Visa pages whereas the extended passport is 67 pages.

      Guess you need to start traveling more to get use out of your sad, empty passport! :)

  3. Posted January 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    The price goes up a bit each year we think – it was $208 last year and much less than that when we got our passports in 2007. It’s not cheap, but unfortunately you don’t get a choice in what you have to pay for a passport or any other document for that matter.

    We see them as long-term investments – 10 years of travel and you pay $20 a year for that privilege. :)

    • Peter
      Posted April 30, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      The pre-condition is that your passport will not be lost, stolen, or damaged during that 10 years. Otherwise, you have to pay another AUD$226 and experience another frustrating application process just like what I am doing now. Unifortunately I am in US now, and US dollar is pretty weak (1 USD = 0.95 AUD), so I have to pay at least USD $228 if I can sumbit my application this month, but it seems I have to do it next month. It is quite likely that I have to pay more, since recently US dollar continue dropping significantly.

  4. Posted January 25, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    getting an Australian passport is fairly complex as opposed to a kenyan one

    • Peter
      Posted April 30, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      I agree. It’s more complex than most of other countries.

  5. Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I’m a little shocked by how tedious and expensive this process is for Australia! But agree, well worth the price! The part that really gets me is the guarantor. In the US, at least 10 years ago when I got my adult passport, all I needed was a couple valid forms of government issued ID (ie. birth certificate, drivers license, etc.) Luckily, even the renewal (sniff, I’m still missing my old friend) was so much easier…just needed new photos, a brief application, and $110 US or thereabouts…had the new passport within a week! Was a little faster as I did it via an overseas “trade office”/embassy vs. the normal US Post Office method.
    Brett recently posted..Photo of the Week- Fish Balls- Fish Balls…Eat Them Up- Yum!

    • Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      It definitely isn’t cheap for us Aussies but what can you do?

      You’d be surprised to hear that the guarantor option is a fairly simple option compared to what we have to do to certify our identity for other things. For those, the only people who can verify your ID are police officers, post office employees and a few other limited categories! Definitely makes things difficult for us.

    • Peter
      Posted April 30, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I would rather pay more as long as the process can become much simpler, although the Aussie passport application fee is pretty high now.

  6. Garreth
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Great Job guys. I’m going to do something similar for us Brits! Keep up the great work.

  7. Posted January 29, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Wow, Australian passport is very expensive!! I need to respect Australian traveler more now, for the bigger money sacrifice in making passport to see the world!

    I am glad you guys write this kind of post. This encourages people to actually make the passport (the guide in government’s website is not usually encouraging, rather bland).
    Dina recently posted..In Search of the Cassowary

  8. Posted January 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I thought our US passport was expensive! Also, I love that your passport has a kangaroo on it!
    Ali recently posted..My Twitter Love Story

    • Peter
      Posted April 30, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      and a lot of beautiful pics on the visa pages too…

  9. Wayne
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Amy & Kieron Forgot to Mention In Regards to Guarantor

    The Guarantor Must not be related to the applicant by birth or by marriage

    not be in a de facto relationship with the applicant ( This includes same sex relationship) not live at same address as the applicant
    Have Known Applicant for at least 12 mouths
    Babel To Satisfy And Complete Ether A or B Below And Sign The Declaration

    Be an Australian Cidizn Who is 18 Years Of Age Or Over

  10. Peter
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Yeah…As an Australian citizen, I really find it’s pretty difficult to apply an Australian passport. Process is very complex and requirements are extremely strict. Now I am staying overseas, and my passport was damaged, but I cannot apply a new passport coz I cannot find a guarantor who must be an Australian citizen, and over 18 yrs old, and not my relatives, and not my spouse or partner, and not live with me, and knows me at least 12 months, and have held his/her Australian passport for over 2 yrs. Now I don’t have any valid ID now, and Australian embassy won’t accept passport application until all the documents are provided. Just hope I can find someone who can becomes my guarantor before my current visa expires. Otherwise I have to illegally stay in the US, which is horrible…I just wonder if this happens, can I apply a short extension stay to the US government because I am not able to apply passport from Australian embassy? Even if this works, I still cannot guarantee when I can get my new passport to leave here. Sigh…I think I should not have travelled overseas. Always staying in Australia is safe.

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