Australian High Commission
Trinidad and Tobago
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, The Bahamas

Passports - frequently asked questions

Processing time

How long does it take to apply for or renew my passport?

Please allow a minimum of six weeks plus transit time to receive a new passport once payment has been taken.  

If you have an urgent need to travel, please see the information on Emergency Passports below.

Please note that a child passport without full parental consent takes longer to process.

To minimise processing time, make sure your application includes everything we need.

Urgent travel and Emergency Passports

What are the eligibility criteria for an Emergency Passport?

Emergency Passports are issued to Australian citizens to meet immediate travel needs when they cannot wait for the issue of a full validity passport, which are printed in Australia.

Emergency Passports are only valid for between 7 to 12 months and don’t have an electronic chip. Because of this, there are restrictions on using them in some countries (including the USA).

You can apply for a full-validity passport at the same time as you apply for an Emergency Passport and receive the full-validity passport when you return home.

You must apply for an Emergency Passport in-person.

Can the expiry date on my current passport be extended due to my compelling/compassionate/extenuating reasons for travel?

It’s not possible to extend the validity of current passports. The expiry date is written onto each passport’s electronic chip. Changing the chip makes the passport unusable.

Do all countries accept Emergency Passports issued by Australia?

Some countries have additional visa requirements for holders of an Emergency Passport (including the USA).

It’s important you check with the countries you are travelling to, or transiting through, to ensure the document will be accepted. A destination country may accept the travel document but, if they do not offer visa-free travel, you would need to obtain a visa to travel to or through the country.

It’s your responsibility to check the travel requirements of your destination and keep up-to-date so you don’t get caught out.

Lodging your application

Can I lodge my application by mail?

Most renewal applications can be lodged by mail. See eligibility criteria here.

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

Only if you meet the eligibility criteria for a renewal application.

What if I am in a Caribbean country without a passport office and I have lost my passport?

Please contact the Australian High Commission in Port of Spain to make an application for a Document of Identity which will enable you to travel to the nearest passport office to apply for a passport.

How do I lodge my application in person?

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

You must book an appointment to attend an interview in person.

Can I attend an interview somewhere other than Port of Spain?

You may be able to attend an interview at the consulate in Barbados or in Jamaica (if you are in those locations). Please contact us to make an appointment.

Does the Australian parent have to lodge a child passport application?

If lodging an application in person, 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?

If lodging an application in person, 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.


Can someone at the Passport Office be my referee?


What if I cannot find an Australian citizen to be my referee?

You do NOT need an Australian citizen as a referee. 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 who has known me for more than a year?

If you do not know anyone who can be your referee, then you will need to obtain a referee 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 referee.  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.

Does my Australian referee need more than 2 years remaining on their passport?

No. The passport needs to have at least two years validity from when it was issued - i.e. it cannot be a temporary passport that was issued for under two years. It does not matter if there is less than two years validity remaining on the passport now, so long as there was at least two years when it was issued. Please note that an Australian referee’s passport must still be valid when they sign the declaration - an expired passport is not acceptable. 

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

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

Does my referee 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.


Can you recommend any places that do Australian-style photos?

We are unable to endorse individual businesses, however we do recommend that you 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.

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 foreign address for this section (unless you are a tourist passing through).

Can I print out a blank form online?

No. Only completed applications can be printed from the website.

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 overseas so that you present them at your interview, or you can have a friend/relative present the original documents on your behalf at another Australian Passport office.

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 or mail in your application.  We cannot witness your consent or act as your referee.

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 or mailing in your application.  We cannot witness your signature.

Do you accept notarised copies of documents?

If you meet the criteria for a mailed in application your documents do not need to be certified. Supporting documents for child applications that were not originally submitted with their first passport application, will need to be certified. Certified copies can be done by either a JP, Solicitor or Notary Public. If you attend a passport interview, 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 or by post. There is no way to lodge an Australian passport application electronically. 

Renewal of passport

What happens to my old passport?

If you attend an interview, 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.

If you are eligible to mail in your application, your previous passport will be cancelled in the passports system and you will be unable to travel on it.

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.)