Can I enter Australia even though my Australian passport is about to expire?

I am an Australian citizen living in the US with a US passport, planning a return visit to Australia. My Australian passport expires 15 days after I arrive but I don’t want to renew it (which would be harder since I have a new name). Can I use my US passport and obtain an Australian visa, or just use my Australian passport to enter?

L Cirner, Palo Alto California

This is a Catch-22 situation. Australian citizens must enter Australia using their Australian passport. Even though your passport expires soon after arrival, that won’t stop you from entering.

But there’s another problem and that’s your airline. Airlines require your passport to be valid for at least six months from the time you board your flight, although some interpret this as six months after your date of return. Since you don’t have that time on your Australian passport, it’s likely that you would not be allowed to board your flight using that passport. If you were to use your US passport to board the flight, the check-in staff would expect to see a visa and as an Australian citizen you are not eligible because it’s unnecessary.

What you might do is contact your airline, explain the problem and see if you’d be allowed to board using your about-to-expire Australian passport. However your booking is probably in your new name and that’s an even bigger problem. The easiest resolution is to renew your Australian passport. A name change for a legitimate reason is not an obstacle.

I live in Australia and have my International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate. I also have dual UK citizenship. Can I get a COVID certificate to use in EU countries from my British passport?

E and J Shields, Malvern East, Vic

According to the UK’s NHS website (, to get a UK National Health Service COVID pass if you were vaccinated overseas, you need to be a UK resident.

If you are planning to travel in the UK, it is no longer mandatory for venues throughout the UK to require patrons to prove their COVID-19 status.

If you are travelling in Europe, you can use your ICVC to obtain a Swiss or a French pass, either of which is valid throughout Europe. You can find more information at the Traveller (

It may also be that by the time you go, Australia will have finally got around to having our ICVC recognised on par with the EU DCC.

We were interested in an Italian holiday until an obstacle crossed our path called the Super Green Pass. We were not able to find out if Australians are permitted to have one and if so, how to get one.

P and J Walsh, Montmorency, Vic

Italy’s Super Green Pass is required for travel on public transport, staying in a hotel, eating and drinking in cafes and restaurants, visiting a museum or gallery and just about any other social activity you can think of. To obtain the pass you must be fully vaccinated, with the last dose delivered within the past six months.

In a stroke of good fortune, Italy is the one country in Europe that accepts Australia’s International Vaccine Certificate (ICVC) as equivalent to Italy’s Green Pass. Provided you were vaccinated within the past six months, your ICVC has the same currency as a Super Green Pass.

You can find confirmation on Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website if you search “Italian nationals returning to Italy and foreigners in Italy” (

There’s a high probability that Italians on the ground won’t be aware of this directive so take a printed copy. Click on the Italian language option tab at the top of the page, that’s the version you’ll need as well as the English-language translation.

My husband and I travelled to the US a week ago and we’ve tested positive for COVID-19. We’re self-quarantining but I’m concerned we might continue to return a positive PCR test and that will prevent us returning to Australia. Is there a way around this?

P Leneghan, Northbridge, NSW

Australia has changed its protocols for incoming travellers and a RAT test is now accepted as sufficient proof for re-entry. Unlike PCR tests, which can continue to show a positive response for months after the infection has passed, RAT tests will return negative once the infection is over.

There are several requirements that you need to fulfil for your RAT test, including that the test has been carried out by or under the supervision of an authorised person, which might be a pharmacist or a medical doctor. Also, the RAT test must be done within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time.

You can find more information on the Department of Health website, search “Australia Inbound International Travel” (

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