Is your PASSPORT expiring?

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Don’t be caught short without a passport.  Your New Financial Year routine should include a note to check your passport expiry date!

If you’re in Australia, but you’re not an Australian citizen, chances are you entered on a passport from another country.  Your visa will be electronically linked to your passport.  For this reason, it’s important that your passport is in date while you are in Australia.

It’s not uncommon for people to lose track of their passport expiry date, and only look at it when they are planning travel – particularly when people are in Australia on long term visas.

So it’s a great idea to set a reminder every year to check your passport validity.  Sometimes it can take many months to replace a passport, and most countries will require you to have a passport with at least 6 months validity for travel.

If your passport has expired, it might hold you up if you need to travel in an emergency.  If you are applying for another visa, having an expired visa may also cause a delay in lodging or granting your next visa.

Most adult passports have a 10 year validity period; whereas child passports are usually only 5 years – making it easy to overlook an expiring passport.

To obtain a new passport, you may have to send your passport away or in some cases you might need to travel within Australia to your country’s embassy.  Right now, with the COVID-19 situation, we are seeing clients experience delays in obtaining new passports.

What  if you are in Australia on a visa, and your passport expires?

You can’t travel on the expired passport, use it for identity purposes, or apply for another visa using that passport.  This could make things complicated if your visa is about to expire, or you need to travel urgently.

Your visa does not expire just because your passport does.  But when you obtain a new passport, you need to contact the Department of Home Affairs so your current visa can be linked to your new passport.  This does not happen automatically.  Notification can be made through Form 929, or through the IMMI account.

Some visas have a condition attached – 4021 – which mandates that you must hold a current lawful passport while holding that visa.  If your passport lapses, you could be in breach of that condition, which could give rise to cancellation proceedings by the Department.

Not holding a valid passport can lead to delays if you need to lodge another visa application and delays in undertaking visa medicals, which require proof of identity.

If you’re in the process of applying for Australian Citizenship, it’s not necessary to have an in-date passport.  However you will need to provide other forms of identity, so don’t throw away your out of date passport!

If you’re in the process of a visa application – make sure to keep your Migration Agent updated with any new passports or identity documents.

For a confidential discussion about Passports or Visas – contact us at Emergico Migration.

Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)