Australian High Commission
United Kingdom
Australia House, London

Emergency passports and urgent travel

Emergency passports

If your travel is urgent (under three weeks) and you can provide evidence of urgency (e.g. travel itinerary, visa appointment confirmation, letter from employer), you may be eligible for an Emergency passport for an additional fee. 

The eligibility will be assessed case by case when the application is lodged.

You can choose to apply for an Emergency passport only, OR opt for an Emergency passport and an Ordinary Passport at the same time on the same application form. Please follow the step-by-step guide HERE on how to lodge your application. Along with all other requirements, please ensure that you provide printed evidence of urgency. If sending by post, please clearly write “URGENT PASSPORT” in large font above the address on the front of the envelope. 

If you are not eligible to apply by post, you will need to book an emergency appointment to lodge your application. Please email [email protected] (subject line should say “EMERGENCY PASSPORT APPOINTMENT”) and include your telephone number or call 020 7887 5816 Monday-Friday 10am-12pm.

An Emergency passport is usually issued within 2-3 working days after the payment is taken and all requirements are met.  Some applications, such as child applications without full consent or for children born through surrogacy, require additional processing time. 


Features of an Emergency Passport

An Emergency passport has four visa pages, and the validity will be limited to meet your immediate travel needs (maximum 1 year validity in exceptional circumstances). It does not contain a chip and cannot be used to enter or transit some countries. Please research the country you are travelling to determine if an Emergency passport is acceptable. Australia will accept an Emergency passport as a valid travel document.

If you are travelling to a country that requires a visa, you should check with the embassy of that country whether a visa can be issued in an Emergency passport and if there is a minimum validity required for the passport.


Can I add an Emergency Passport to my pending application after I've lodged?

Yes.  If your travel date moves up or your passport isn't ready in time for your travel, you can add an Emergency passport to your existing application for an additional fee.  This option only applies to people whose regular passport applications are still in progress with our office and who need to travel urgently. 

To request an Emergency passport be added to a current application: 

  • Contact us (as above) to book an appointment to lodge the application (if you are not eligible to apply by post). Please have your previous application form number on hand to assist us track the progress of your application (you can find this on your receipt OR under the barcode in the top right corner of your original form)
  • You will need to provide printed evidence of urgency (e.g. travel itinerary, visa appointment confirmation, letter from employer)
  • You will also need to provide a signed Credit Card Authorisation Form authorising the office to charge the Emergency Passport fee

We recommend that you do this no later than a week prior to your departure date.  If you submit a request with less notice, we will make our best effort to issue your Emergency passport before your travel, however this may not be possible.  


What to do once your travel is complete

If you applied for an Emergency passport only, please retain this passport, as you will need to present this Emergency passport with when you lodge for your next Ordinary passport application.

If you applied for an Ordinary passport and an Emergency passport (either at the same time or whilst the Ordinary application as in progress), then we will contact you once the Ordinary passport is ready, to confirm you have completed your emergency travel.