Australian passport

Australian passport

Australian passports are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, both in Australia and overseas. Australian passports are issued only to citizens of Australia.


* The 'X' series passport issued in 1917 is one of the earliest passports. It was during World War I that monitoring and identifying those crossing international borders became critical to the security of Australia and its allies;
* The War Precautions Act 1914– 1915 required that all persons over 16 years of age, on leaving the Commonwealth, possess a passport;
* In 1949 two types of passport were issued:
*# B Series passports were issued (within Australia only) to British subjects who were not Australian citizens.
*# C Series passports were issued only to Australian citizens.
*The words "Australian Passport" replaced "British Passport" on the cover of the Australian passport in 1949.
* Before 1983, a married woman's passport application had to be authorized by her husband;
* In 1984, Australian passports included machine readable lines and were the first to have a laminate built into the document;
* In 1986, the introduction of Single Identity passports meant children could no longer be included on their parent's passport;
* Until 1988, a woman could apply for and receive a passport in her married name, before she was actually married.
* The 'L' series passport personal data pages initially included a photograph and a cut out piece of paper with the holders signature under a sheet of adhesive laminate
* From approximately 1998, the personal data page for 'L' series passports was color laser printed and under a sheet of adhesive laminate
* The 'M' series passport was issued from 27 November 2003, which included enhanced security features. The personal data page of these passports is printed by ink-jet onto the adhesive surface of the security laminate

At the time of writing (July 2007) the 'E' series e-passport was being issued. As in the 'M' series, the photograph of the holder is printed directly into the passport, and covered by a security laminate containing a holographic design. While there may be other differences, one is that the electronic passport logo is printed under the passport number on the personal data page.

Types of passports

* Standard Passport (Blue Cover) - Issued for ordinary travel, such as vacations and business trips, it has 32 visa pages with 10 years validity for Adults and 5 years validity for Children's passports
** Frequent Traveller Passport - These are issued to frequent travellers, such as business people (64 pages). These cost slightly more than a standard passport.
** Senior's Passport - Issued for Australian citizens aged 75 years and over for half the cost of a standard passport, it has 32 visa pages with 5 years validity.
** Senior's Frequent Traveller Passport - Issued for Australian citizens aged 75 years and over for half the cost of a Frequent Traveller Passport, it has 64 visa pages
* Diplomatic Passport (Red Cover) - Issued to Australian diplomats, top ranking government officials and diplomatic couriers. (32 pages)
* Official Passport (Gray-asparagus Cover) - Issued to individuals representing the Australian government on official business. (32 pages)

Physical appearance

Australian passports are deep navy blue, with the Australian coat of arms emblazoned in the center of the front cover. The word "PASSPORT" is inscribed below the coat of arms, with the standard biometric symbol at the bottom. The standard passport contains 32 pages, but it can be issued in a 64 page format upon request for an additional fee.

Identity Information Page

The Australia Passport includes the following data:

* Photo of Passport Holder
* Type / Type (P)
* Code of Issuing State / Code de l'État émetteur (AUS)
* Document No.
* Name / Nom
* Nationality / Nationalité (AUSTRALIAN)
* Date of Birth / Date de naissance
* Sex / Sexe
* Place of Birth / Lieu de naissance
* Date of Issue / Date de délivrance
* Holder Signature / Signature du titulaire
* Date of Expiry / Date d'expiration
* Authority / Autorité

The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone.

Passport note

The passports contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside Australian passports states:

In English:::"The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, being the representative in Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer, an Australian Citizen, to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him or her every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need."

and in French:::"Le Gouverneur-général du Commonwealth de l'Australie, être le représentant en Australie de Sa Majesté la reine Elizabeth II, demande à tous ceux qu'il préoccupation mai afin de permettre au porteur, un citoyen australien, de passer librement sans entrave et à lui assurer ou chaque son assistance et de protection de laquelle il ou elle mai stand dans le besoin."


The data page/information page is printed in English and French.

Biometric passport

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade introduced the next generation of Australian passport: the biometric 'ePassport' on 24 October 2005. The ePassport is very similar to the previous 'M' series Australian passport, differing only in having an embedded RFID microchip in the center page and a gold international ePassport symbol on the front cover.

The chip embedded in the center pages stores the holder's digitized photograph, name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number, and the passport expiry date. This is the same information that appears on the printed information page of every passport.

Facial recognition technology is being introduced to coincide with the release of the ePassport. This technology will be used to improve identity verification and reduce identity-related fraud.

Refusal to issue passport

Under the "Passports Act 1938", the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has the power to refuse a passport, on grounds such as national security or health.

Visa-free travel

According to a study done by Henley & Partners, Australia has a Henley Visa Restrictions Index of 151, which means that Australian citizens enjoy visa-free access to 151 countries and territories for short-term tourism visits. Australia is ranked 7th in the study in terms of international travel freedom.

It is estimated that 188 countries and territories granted visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to ordinary Australian passport holders. 144 (visa on arrival for free counted) countries and territories are visa-free accessible. Visa prior to arrival or pre-arrangement required for countries or territories not mentioned below. [ [ Northwest Airlines: Passport, Visa & Health Requirements] ]

Where visa-free access is permitted, such access is not necessarily a right, and admission may technically be at the discretion of border enforcement officers. Visitors engaging in activities other than tourism, including unpaid work, may require a visa or work permit.





*Many of the lines in the Australian ePassport are made up of words. In the last pages these words are those of 'Waltzing Matilda', a song sometimes called the unofficial national anthem of Australia.

See also

* Australian nationality law
* Biometric passport


External links

* [ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Australian Passports website]
* [ History of Australian Passports]
* [ Portrait of an Australian] - a virtual artists' book in the form of an Australian passport created by Jonathan Tse; digitised and held by the Australian Library of Art, State Library of Queensland



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