Visa Without Passport

Getting an Australian Visa Without Passport

The first thing you should do when preparing a visa application is to make sure you have a valid passport and check the expiry date of your passport. If you have a valid passport at the time of your visa application, however, it expires before a decision is made, your visa application may be refused!

Public Interest Criterion 4021 (“PIC 4021”) of Schedule 4 to the Migration Regulations 1994 provides that the visa applicant must hold a valid passport unless it would be unreasonable to require the visa applicant to hold a passport.

There are only limited circumstances where it would be considered 'unreasonable' to require the applicant to be the holder of a passport. This includes circumstances of natural disaster, war or similar events.

The passport requirements in PIC 4021 applies to most of the visa applications other than, amongst other, the following:

•        Refugee and humanitarian visas

•        Protection, Temporary Safe Haven and Territorial Asylum visas

•        Border visas

•        Enforcement visas

•        Special purpose visas  


In the case of Xu (Migration) [2017] AATA 2884, a decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), the applicant applied for a visa. The passport of the applicant expired before a decision was made on her application. The Department on numerous occasions requested that a current passport be provided. The mother of the visa applicant said that she was not able to obtain a passport for the visa applicant as that required permission from the visa applicant’s father. The visa applicant’s parents were divorced and the mother had no contact with the father.

The delegate refused to grant the visa on the basis that the passport requirement in PIC 4021 were not met and that it is not unreasonable to require the visa applicant to be the holder of a valid passport. The AAT affirmed the decision of the delegate. While recognising the difficulties put forward by the visa applicant’s mother, those difficulties did not overcome valid passport requirement in PIC 4021. It was not unreasonable to still require the visa applicant to hold a passport.

 Therefore, check your passport before you apply for a visa! If your passport is about to expire, renew it before you apply for a visa!

 If your passport is expiring and you cannot renew it in Australia for a further visa application in Australia, contact our experienced immigration lawyers to discuss your options. You can email us at or give us a call directly on +61 2 7200 2700.