Australian Embassy
Cabo Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Guinea Bissau

Passport FAQs

Processing time

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

You should allow approximately 6-8 weeks to receive a new passport.  

More information is available at Passport Services, including how to obtain an Emergency Passport for urgent travel.

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.

You should not book travel until you have a valid passport (your passport number will change when you renew it).

Urgent travel & Emergency Passports

What are the criteria for an Emergency Passport?

Emergency Passports are issued to Australian citizens to meet immediate travel needs when they cannot wait up to 8 weeks for the issue of a full validity passport, which are printed in Australia.

Emergency Passports are valid for seven months and don’t have an electronic chip. Because of this, there are restrictions on using them in some countries.

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.

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.

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?

Only PC7 applications to renew your adult passport can be lodged by mail.  See eligibility.

If you don’t meet the criteria, you’ll need to book an appointment to lodge your application in person.

Can I submit my application by mail if I live a long distance from the embassy?

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

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

You must book an appointment to attend an interview in person. You will not be seen without an appointment.

I live close to the Embassy.  Can I drop-off my application in person?

Applications will only be accepted in person if you have booked 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 Embassy be my guarantor?


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

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

If you do not know anyone in Portugal who can be your guarantor, then you will need to obtain a guarantor 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 guarantor.  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 guarantor 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 guarantor's passport must still be valid when they sign the declaration - an expired passport is not acceptable. 

Do I need a guarantor if I am just renewing?

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

Does my guarantor 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 type passport photos in Portugal?

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. 

Do not use Photo Booths as they are not set to Australian Standards.

Why are my professionaly 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.

We recommend you ask the photographer to also provide you with a digital version (jpeg) of your photo.  We will advise if the quality of your paper photo is not suitable and ask you to email the digital version to us.  Do not automatically email the digital version unless you are asked by the embassy.

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 the head"?

The "crown of the 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 photo 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 Portugal address for this section (unless you are a tourist passing through Portugal).

Can I print out a blank form online?

No. Only completed applications can be printed from the website. If you require a blank application form, please contact us and one will be mailed to you. Blank forms cannot be faxed. 

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 in Portugal so that you present them at your interview or you can have a friend/relative present the original documents on your behalf at an Australian Passport office or embassy.

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 guarantor.

Can the Passport Officer 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 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 or embasy. 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

How do I apply for a passport renewal?

If you meet the following criteria, you can lodge your renewal application by mail.

For an adult renewal, you will need a passport that:

  • was issued when you were aged 16 or older
  • was issued on or after 1 January 2006
  • had, when it was issued, at least two years’ validity
  • has your current name, date of birth, place of birth and gender, and
  • has not been reported lost, stolen, or cancelled.

All other applications must be lodged in person and by appointment only.

How long does it take to get a new passport?

It currently takes approximately six weeks to receive a passport.  

Can you help with replacing my foreign visa?

No.  We cannot assist you with any enquiries on foreign visas. You must contact the embassy of the country that issued the visa.

Will my Portuguese visa be valid in a cancelled passport?

We do not cancel Portuguese visas so in most cases the visa will still be valid.  However, you should contact Portuguese immigration to discuss your particular situation. You should not assume that a visa in a badly damaged passport is valid.

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.)

Travelling to Australia

Do I have to enter Australia on an Australian passport?

Yes. You are not entitled to a visa, even if you are also a citizen of another country. There is more information about this on the Department of Home Affairs’ website or you can call the Department of Home Affairs in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196.

Can I travel on a passport in which the name is different from my ticket?

Generally passengers travelling to/from Portugal must have a passport that exactly matches the name on their airline ticket.  If you are concerned, you should contact your airline to see if they will carry you and the immigration department of all countries to which you are travelling to ensure you will be able to fulfil their immigration/customs requirements.

What if I may have lost my Australian citizenship?

All citizenship enquiries should be directed to the Department of Home Affairs in Australia on +61 2 6196 0196. You may be eligible to become an Australian citizen again if you lost your citizenship because of acquiring the citizenship of another country, or renounced or gave up your Australian citizenship.

I applied for my passport more than ten weeks ago and haven't received it

Since the reopening of Australia's international border on 1 November 2021, we have been experiencing uprecendented demand for passports.

We're working hard to manage the demand and we appreciate your patience as we deal with people who have urgent and compassional needs first.

How do I raise an urgent passport query?

Applicants who need to travel urgently, and have been waiting for longer than ten weeks, can email the Australian Embassy at [email protected]. Please ensure "urgent" is noted in the email title, along with your application form number.

Can I change my existing application to an Emergency Passport?

We don't recommend you lodge a second application as this could further delay the process. Please email the Australian Embassy at [email protected] to enquire about your existing application.