DFAT provides consular and passport services to Australians travelling overseas and their families in Australia through its network of overseas missions and honorary consulates, the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra and consular cooperation arrangements with other countries. The services the department provides include: assisting Australians who are hospitalised, imprisoned or require welfare assistance overseas; helping family members when Australian travellers die or go missing; and coordinating evacuations from international trouble spots. Overseas, this support is provided through Australia's consular network, which comprises 165 points of consular service worldwide.
The department also provides timely and comprehensive travel advice to Australians overseas and those who are planning to travel. These advisories ensure Australians are well-informed and well-prepared for travel overseas and assist travellers to avoid dangers and difficulties. They provide up-to-date information about the security environment in a particular country, including in relation to possible terrorist threats or problems with law and order. They also provide advice on a range of practical issues like visa requirements, health and medical issues and cultural or religious differences.
The department provides secure travel documents to eligible Australians in accordance with the provisions of the Passports Act 1938 (Cwlth) and other relevant legislation. Passport services are provided through passport offices located in Australia's major cities and diplomatic and consular missions overseas. International security concerns impact on passport issuing processes and DFAT places a strong emphasis on identity verification and fraud prevention.