Passports

Follow this procedure to apply for a passport for a child protection client.

Document ID number 1106, version 3, 6 June 2017.

Introduction

Applying for a passport for a child on a protection order can, in some circumstances, be complex and some time may be required to gather necessary documents (including a birth certificate and evidence of citizenship) before the application can be lodged. The Australian Passport Office advises that while it endeavours to process applications as quickly as possible, generally an additional three to four weeks on top of normal processing times is required (this is in addition to the time required for practitioners and permanent care parents to gather required documentation).

Priority fees payable in other circumstances for the priority issue of a passport do not apply to these applications due to the special circumstances.

Child protection practitioners and permanent care parents should therefore plan for the process to take several months. It is strongly advised that, wherever possible, firm travel commitments are not made until the child’s passport is received. 

For further information see Passports - advice.

Procedure

Prior to commencing a passport application, child protection practitioners and permanent care parents should refer to Child Welfare or Protective Agencies: A guide to lodging child passport applications. This resource has been developed by the Australian Passports Office and provides step-by-step advice about how to complete an application form.

Case practitioner tasks

The Child Welfare or Protective Agencies: A guide to lodging child passport applications provides instructions about how to respond to each question on the application form. Child protection practitioners and permanent care parents are encouraged to follow this guide. Below are instructions on how to respond to some of the more difficult questions on the application form:  

Question 3: Confirming the child's citizenship

  • If any of the documents listed can be presented to provide proof of citizenship, complete as normal.

If you can’t obtain any of the documents listed, make an application to the Commonwealth Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to obtain evidence of citizenship. Use Form 119 from the DIBP website. It is important to note proof of citizenship applications take time to process and, where a proof of citizenship is required, this timing must be factored in to the overall time required to obtain a passport on behalf of a child, See Applying for evidence of citizenship on behalf of a child - procedure for tasks that must be completed.

  • If the child is an Aboriginal person and does not have evidence of citizenship, contact the passport office for advice.

Question 15: Declaration

  • If the child is subject to a family reunification order the child’s parents must sign the passport application. If parental consent cannot be obtained from each parent for a child on a family reunification order, contact the Australian Passport Office for advice about whether in the circumstances, an exemption may apply.
  • If the child is subject to a care by Secretary order or long-term care order and you cannot obtain parental consent, leave this blank. If parental consent cannot be obtained, Question 4 on the Form B-10 must outline why the requirement could not be met.

Question 17: Declaration by parent

  • The child protection operations manager signs the application.
  • Complete the 'Statement under the Passports Act 2005: Child subject to an order made under state or territory welfare law' Form B-10. The child protection operations manager must sign this form.

Question 4 – Additional consent

  • Where the question states ‘Was the consent of all other parties with parental responsibility or guardianship over the child obtained?’ You must indicate ‘no’ and record as much detail as possible in the free text box below. (For example, note if the parents have had no contact with the child for a period of time; or that the parents are unable to be contacted).

This is because under the APA the child’s birth parents retain ‘parental responsibility’ regardless of an order made under the CYFA conferring parental responsibility on the Secretary or permanent care parent. 

  • Attach the most recent children's court order (original). If the order has been transferred to Victoria from interstate, include documentation of the interstate transfer.
  • Attach the child's original birth certificate, and name-change documentation if the child’s name has been legally changed.
  • Attach a letter requesting return of original documentation once the application has been processed, providing your name and office address.
  • Prior to lodging the application check that you have supplied all the required documents by referring to Completing an Australian passport child application form document checklist.

If insufficient or incorrect documentation is supplied this will delay the application and in some circumstances, may require it to be resubmitted.

  • Lodge application at a local post office. Alternatively you may lodge an application at the Australian Passport Office, located at Level 2, Collins Square, 747 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC, 3008.

Supervisor tasks

  • Provide ongoing supervision and support.

Child protection operations manager tasks

  • Endorse passport applications and 'Statement under the Passports Act 2005: child subject to an order made under state or territory welfare law', Form B-10.
  • Endorse the ‘Granting a passport’ form.
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