I'm an Australian citizen living in the US1 and I need to renew my Australian passport. As of July 1st 2015 I need to visit an Australian embassy2 in person in order to complete this task.

However my spouse is an American citizen and I want to know if she can accompany me into the Australian embassy and wait with me while my passport application is processed. Or will she have to have to wait outside?

  1. In before all of the "Expats" comments :D, I already asked about this question's validity on Meta. See Is this a travel or expats question?

  2. I will be visiting the embassy in DC for which there are no pre-booked appointments and applications are only accepted on a walk-in basis. The embassy site indicates that a typical wait time at this location is around 30 minutes (which is probably a question for another day)

  • 1
    Her going to the Australian embassy without being Australian is not that big of a deal as it is for her to go without any embassy related work there. That might be the only reason for a no there. Apr 14, 2018 at 17:15
  • 1
    @HankyPanky and that is the crux of the matter.
    – Peter M
    Apr 14, 2018 at 17:26
  • 1
    I would contact them, but I would not expect a problem, since she could be going there to get a visitor visa. Apr 14, 2018 at 17:51
  • 2
    Lots of people visit embassies without being nationals of the embassy, for example to apply for visas. Apr 14, 2018 at 20:02
  • 1
    @DJClayworth And lots of embassies say "No entry for you!" if you don't have business at that embassy.
    – Peter M
    Apr 16, 2018 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


I did the obvious thing and called the embassy in DC this morning, and was advised that my wife can accompany me into the area where passport renewals are done and remain there when I go to the service window while I renew my passport.


It's impossible for us to say as it depends a great deal on the discretion of the security staff.

The Australian embassy is rarely under the type of security alerts that Israeli or American embassies face, but there are times when they for any number of reasons might want to restrict visitors to strictly those with business before them. Sometimes they're just so busy that they don't have enough seating, so they restrict people then too.

You should plan on going with your spouse and they can let your spouse in - mazel tov. But just in case they won't, you should have already checked to see which cafes are nearby and made plans to meet your spouse there later on.

This also has the advantage that if you had any impermissible items on your body (cellphones with cameras; pocketknives; handgun; polonium; etc.), your spouse is already ready to take them and hold them at the cafe for you.

Cafes near australian embassy

  • 1
    It's always best to leave your handguns and polonium at home. :) Apr 15, 2018 at 0:46
  • 1
    @JimMacKenzie: It's a lesser-known verse of that Johnny Cash song. "Don't take your Po to town, son / leave your Po at home, Bill / don't take your Po to town." Apr 16, 2018 at 14:09

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