Why is the passport office still telling people to allow at least six weeks to get their passport?
You may have heard some people are getting their new passports quickly. Some within just a few days of lodging their application.
So, if wait times have dropped, why should you still allow at least six weeks?
There are a few good reasons.
First, demand for passports is at an all-time high. Last year, 2.6 million Australians got a passport. That’s nearly half a million more than our previous record.
There's also still over two million Australians who’ve put off getting a new passport since COVID. These people are likely to apply in future, on top of normal demand.
This means passport application numbers and wait times may fluctuate a lot this year, particularly ahead of peak travel times.
Second, while most passport applications are currently processed well within six weeks, some do take longer. This includes first-time adult and child passports.
So, our advice is to give yourself at least six weeks to get a passport.
Child passport renewal applications (PC8) can be mailed-in provided the applicant is:
• aged up to 15 years old and
• has held a previous passport
If you can answer yes to the above, complete a PC8 passport application online. Follow steps 1-10
For first-time child applications and applicants aged 16 or 17, the application must be lodged in person by appointment only make appointment here
Urgent Travel If you have urgent travel, please contact us [[email protected]] for further advice.
Guide for a child renewal passport application by mail
1. Complete the application form (PC8) online
• The application must be lodged within six months of completion.
• Include minimum two passport photos, less than six months old. Refer to photo guidelines for more information.
• The back of one photo must be endorsed by the child’s guarantor, writing ‘This is a true photo of [the child’s full name]’ and signed in black pen.
• DO NOT attach the photos to the form as this may damage them
3. Parents proof of identity
• Good quality photocopies of both parents’ identity documents that show their name, photo, signature and current address (i.e. both parents or those with parental responsibility for the child who signed section 17 on the application form)
- Name changes: If the current names of either parent are different to how they appear on the child’s birth certificate, please include certified documents that explain the change of name.
4. Print the application form
• Print the child renewal application on plain white A4 paper, using blank ink only. Make sure the form has been printed in full and isn't cut off at the top or bottom of the page.
• US standard letter paper or US legal paper sizes are also acceptable, but only if they’re scaled properly. Refer to more information on printing your application form.
5. Signing the application form
• Sign the form using black pen, within the signature box. Make sure there are no alterations or whiteout on the signature or the date.
• Children 10 years or older must provide a signature unless there is a medical reason or disability that prevents them from signing.
• A guarantor must sign section 11 of the application form.
Remember the guarantor must also endorse the back of a passport photo by writing ‘This is a true photo of [the child’s full name]’ and signing in black pen.
Note the Criteria and refer to this link for more information on guarantor requirements.
Criteria for a qualified Guarantor/Referee
A guarantor/referee is required to endorse one of the photographs (using the text provided on the application form) and complete Section 11 of the application form.
Please read Section 11 carefully.
If you do not know an Australian passport holder who can meet the requirements in Section 11 of the application form, you may use someone currently employed in your country of residence in the following approved professional or occupational groups.
This person does not have to be Australian.
- Chartered/Certified Accountants, Chartered Engineers
- Judges, Barristers, Solicitors, Patent Attorneys, Clerks of Court, Bailiffs, Sheriffs, Legal Practitioner licensed to practice in a national or provincial court
• Registered Medical Practitioners, Dentists, Pharmacists, Registered Veterinary Surgeons, Registered Nurses.
• Members of Parliament, elected City, County and District Councillors
• Police Officers with at least 5 years continuous service
• Members currently serving in the regular Australian or South African Defence Force with at least 5 years continuous service
• Marriage Celebrants
• Teachers - full-time, who have been teaching for more than 5 years
• Civil/Public Servants - full-time, who have been employed continuously for at least 5 years by their current employer
The guarantor/referee must be contactable during normal working hours.
• Parental Consent is required for a child passport. Everyone who’s giving consent must sign section 15 of the form in front of a witness.
• Complete the payment authorisation form Credit Card Deduction Authorisation
• You can view more information on Passport Fees here
9. Check the child renewal checklist
• Before posting your application, review the child renewal checklist here
10. Post your application
• Post your application to the address:
Australian High Commission, 2 Second Rangoon Close, Cantonments-Accra
11.How long will it take?
• Please allow a minimum of six weeks to receive a new passport once payment has been taken. PLEASE NOTE: incomplete applications will cause delays
Passport services are by appointment
Appointments at the Australian High Commission
To make a passport appointment at the Australian High Commission in Ghana, please schedule your appointment online .
Applicants with extraordinary circumstances requiring urgent service should first check online for available appointments and, if none are available, email [email protected] for assistance.
Current passport delivery times
The Australian Passport Office (APO) is experiencing strong demand for passports. You should allow a minimum of 6 weeks to get a new passport or renew your old one. Priority processing service is not available in Ghana. Please note incomplete applications will cause delays.
Please let us know if you have an upcoming flight, an urgent need for a new passport or you are travelling in the next 6 weeks so we can discuss your options.
- Plan your travel accordingly and lodge your application early to ensure you get your passport in good time.
- To minimise processing time, make sure your application includes everything we need. Incorrectly completed applications will cause delays.
- Passport photos taken in photobooths are rejected so please use a photo shop. The photo background must be white/grey. Retouched/edited photos and glasses are not permitted. Photos with digitally altered backgrounds will be rejected.
Child applications aged 15 or under must be lodged by a parent or person with parental responsibility for the child.
The application must include:
• a completed PC8 application form.
• two new Australian standard Passport photos of the child (one must be endorsed by the guarantor and have the child’s name written on the back)
• copies of photo identity documents for parents providing consent.
• certified copies of any supporting documents that have not been provided with the first application.
Child applications aged 16 or 17 must be lodged in-person by the applicant together with a parent or person with parental responsibility for the child. Applications must still include parental consent. The person lodging the child's application must also provide proof of identity.
How to apply
The Australian High Commission Ghana offers lodgement of passport applications appointment as well as by mail. Allow up to 6 weeks to receive your new passport.
Do you want to renew or apply for an Australian passport in-person?
To apply in person, please complete steps 1 to 6 below.
Do you want to renew or apply for an Australian passport by mail?
To apply by mail, please complete Steps 1 to 4 below and then contact the Australian High Commission at [email protected] to confirm that you have prepared your application and gathered all required documents. The Australian High Commission will confirm the mailing address and the procedure for paying your application fees. Applications sent by mail will require pre-paid self-addressed return courier package in order for your newly issued passport to be delivered to you. Alternatively, you may arrange with your preferred courier to deliver your passport when ready for collection.
Steps to renew or apply for an Australian passport
Step 1. Complete a passport application form online at https://www.passports.gov.au/
Step 2. Print your form and sign it. Make sure all sections are signed before lodging the form with us. Refer to sample: Completed Passport Application Form.
Step 3. Obtain two passport photos. Carefully check the photo specifications as poor photos are the most common reason an application cannot be accepted. Photo guidelines are available online.
Step 4. Make an appointment online to lodge your application or if applying by mail, obtain details on how to mail your application by emailing ([email protected]) or calling us, +233 302 216 400. Details on how to make payment will be provided at this time. You will be required to include a pre-paid self-addressed return courier package for your newly issued passport to be delivered to you. Alternatively, you may arrange with your preferred courier to deliver your passport when ready for collection.
Step 5. (For lodgement in person only) Bring your completed passport application, all original supporting documents, and your receipt showing you have made a payment with the bank as instructed. You must have an appointment to visit the High Commission.
Step 6. You will be called or sent an email when your passport is ready to be collected from the High Commission. If you are unable to collect your passport, please contact us and we will provide information on how to nominate someone else to collect it for you.
Step 7. (for applications mailed-in)
You will be called or sent an email when your passport is ready to be collected from the High Commission. If you are unable to collect your passport. please contact us and we will provide information on how to nominate someone else to collect it for you.
Please make a booking at the Australian High Commission to lodge your application in person.
What to bring to your passport appointment?
- Your completed application form.
- The current application fees. Check Fees You may contact us for the Ghana cedis equivalent)
- Your current or most recent Australian passport if you have one.
- Documents that prove your Australian citizenship and your identity.
- If you are under 18 years of age (and have never been married): your full original birth certificate showing the names of your parents and your full name at birth. (Australian birth extracts and commemorative certificates are not acceptable.)
- Name change documents, if applicable.
- Two colour photos, less than six months old, with one signed as a true photo of the applicant by the guarantor. Ensure that photos meet Australian Passport Office standards. See photo guidelines here for details.
How to get a visa before travelling to Australia.
Visit our Department of Home Affairs at www.homeaffairs.gov.au for all your visa related enquiries.