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Passports and travelling overseas


No matter what age you are, if you want to travel overseas, you’ll need a passport. However, applying for a passport can sometimes be difficult if you are under 18 and you don’t have both your parents’ permission. This page explains how to apply for an Australian passport.

Depending on where you’re going and how long you’re going for, you may also need a visa. We also recommend getting travel insurance in case you get sick or hurt overseas. We’ve included information on how to get a passport and where you can find information on whether or not you need a visa further below.

 

You can also jump to specific questions:

Applying for your passport when you’re under 18

You can get a passport at any age. But if you’re under 18, your parents/guardians have to give their written permission on the application form and the completed application form has to be handed in by a parent.

The application form to apply for a child passport is available from: https://www.passports.gov.au/passportsexplained/childpassports/Pages/default.aspx

What if I can’t get both my parents’ permission?

If you can’t get both your parents’ permission to apply for a passport, in special circumstances, you can apply for a passport with only one of your parent’s permission. You can find more information on what the special circumstances are here: https://www.passports.gov.au/passportsexplained/childpassports/Pages/Special-circumstances.aspx

You might be able to get a passport with only one of your parent’s permission if:

  • if you haven't spoken to or had any contact (over phone, mail, email or in person) with your other parent at all for a long time; or
  • if there is a family violence order against your other parent; or
  • your parent gets special permission from the Minister for Foreign Affairs saying that your physical or mental Health and medical will suffer if you can't travel overseas; or
  • your parent gets special permission from the Minister of Foreign Affairs because of a family crisis and you have tried and can't contact your other parent and he/she won't provide permission for you to go.

Your parent could also apply to the court for an order that says you can travel overseas without the other parent’s permission.

You should also know that your parents can raise a "Child Alert" if they find out that you are applying for a passport without their consent. This alert lets the government know that they should consider other things before they decide to give you a passport.

For more information on getting a passport when you’re under 18, visit DFAT's website on passports: https://www.passports.gov.au/web/newppt/applyingu18.aspx

How do I apply for a passport?

You can apply for a passport online at https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Forms/EntryPoint.aspx?child=y. Remember, both parents/guardians will need to sign the form unless you have special permission (see above for details).

When you apply for an Australian passport, you must pay a fee and provide original documents proving your identity and citizenship (for example, your birth certificate), along with photos that meet the passport requirements. You can find out how much the passport will cost you here: https://www.passports.gov.au/Pages/Fees.aspx

How long will my passport be valid for?

If you’re under 16, your passport is valid for five years.

If your child passport has expired, you must complete a new application for a new passport. You cannot renew a child’s passport – you have to apply for a new one.

I’ve lost my passport or had my passport stolen – what should I do?

If you’ve lost your passport or you think it’s been stolen, you have to report it straight away. It’s against the law if you don’t report a lost or stolen passport as soon as you can.

If you’ve lost your passport in Australia, call 131 232, or click here to report your lost or stolen passport: https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Renewal/LostStolen.aspx.

If you’re overseas and you’ve lost your passport, you will need to go to the nearest Australian embassy or consulate and apply for a new passport. You can find addresses of the nearest embassy or consulate close to where you are here: http://www.dfat.gov.au/about-us/our-locations/missions/Pages/our-embassies-and-consulates-overseas.aspx.

You can find the application form to replace a lost or stolen passport while you are overseas here: https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Forms/Passport/Overseas/OverseasPassport_0.aspx. As well as filling in the form, you will have to pay a fee and attend a short interview explaining the loss or theft. For more information, visit: https://www.passports.gov.au/Web/Renewal/LostStolen.aspx

Buying a plane ticket

Depending on which airline you fly with, the airline may have rules about when children under 18 can fly without a parent or guardian present. Because of this, it's a good idea to check the airline rules on young people travelling alone before buying a ticket, especially since some flights can be expensive.

Staying safe overseas

Before you go overseas, it’s a good idea to check out the SmartTraveller website. This is an Australian Government website that has heaps of useful information on how to stay safe in the country you’re going to, what’s illegal there and places that are dangerous to go. For more information, check out: http://www.smarttraveller.gov.au .

It’s also a good idea to register your trip with SmartTraveller before you go: that way, if something happens, the Australian Government can contact you and check that you’re safe. You can register your travel at: http://smartraveller.gov.au/help/me/overseas/register-travel/Pages/register.aspx

Do you need a visa?

Every country has control over who they let into their country. Many countries require Australian citizens to have special permission, called a ‘visa’ before they can enter the country. A visa says that the holder is allowed to enter and stay for a certain period of time to do certain things in that country. You will need to work out what visa you need for the country you plan on going to.

For more information about visas, check out this factsheet on the SmartTraveller website: http://dfat.gov.au/travel/visas/pages/visas-for-australians-travelling-overseas.aspx.

Travel insurance

If you get sick or hurt in another country, it can be very expensive to get medical treatment. Your Medicare card generally can’t help you when you’re overseas. That’s why it’s important to get travel insurance before you leave Australia. To find out where you can get travel insurance, visit: http://www.findaninsurer.com.au/category/76189.

 

This page was last updated on 20 February 2018.