You need a valid passport to travel overseas. If you're an Australian citizen, or dual citizen wanting to travel as an Australian, you need a valid Australian passport. Every person travelling must have their own passport, including children.
It's an important travel document and proof of your identity as a citizenship.
Explore this page to learn the basics of:
- How to get a passport in Australia
- ePassports and SmartGates
- passport validity
- visas and passports
- dual citizenship and passports
- protecting your passport
Be prepared. Check what to do before you go, and what you must do if something happens to your passport overseas.
How to get a passport in Australia
To get an Australian passport you need to:
- be an Australian citizen
- complete an application form online
- have citizenship and identity documents
- get passport photos that meet specifications
- find a guarantor to witness your signature and confirm your identity
- lodge your application in person
- pay a fee
Start the process well before you travel. It can take time to gather what you need and apply. You'll have to pay an additional fee to fast track your application.
For detailed information about how to get a new, replacement or or renewed passport in Australia, see the Australian Passport Office.
SmartGates, eGates and ePassports
All Australian passports are ePassports. An ePassport contains electronic information that helps to confirm your identity.
Some airports use electronic gates. They're usually called SmartGates or eGates. These automatically process you through passport control. They use facial recognition technology and your ePassport to check your identity.
You'll have to meet certain criteria to use a SmartGate when you exit Australia, or return home. If you're travelling to another destination with electronic gates, find our their criteria before you go. Otherwise you can use a manual processing kiosk.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Visas and passports
You may need a visa issued by the countries you're travelling to or through. If you do, you may need it inserted to a page in your passport.
To find out about visa requirements, contact the embassy or consulate in Australia of the countries you plan to visit.
You can also check entry and exit requirements in our travel advice for your destination.
Dual citizenship and passports
If you're a dual citizen, you may have 2 passports. This can affect your ability to access consular help in some countries.
Australians including dual nationals should leave and enter Australia on their Australian passport. If you have a passport from another country, you can use that for travel once you have left Australia.
Consider which passport you want to travel on. Read our advice for dual nationals.
Protecting your passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's your proof of identity and proof of nationality overseas.
Some people may trick you into handing over your passport. It's attractive to people who want to use your identity to commit crimes.
To protect your passport:
- always know where your passport is
- keep it in a safe place
- keep it dry
More tips for protecting your passport.
If you've been the victim of identity theft, you can contact IDCARE for support.
Final tips before you go
Prepare before you travel:
- check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you will depart your destination
- apply for a passport, if you don't have one
- research entry and exit requirements in your destination country
- apply for a visa, if required
- if you're a dual national, research local laws and decide which passport you will travel on
- Learn about visas
- Read key entry and exit requirements for all your destinations
- Get travel insurance before you go
- See our before you go checklist
- What to do if you need a replacement passport overseas
- See our advice for dual nationals
- Learn more about travelling with children
- Consular Services Charter
- Find an Australian embassy or consulate overseas
- Learn more about using ePassports with SmartGates from the Australian Border Force
- See the Australian Passport Office (APO)'s quick guides on adult or child passport applications
- Read the APO's advice how to renew your passport and see their frequently asked questions