Immigration, citizenship and passports

Australian immigration and citizenship requirements are important aspects of the adoption process, and these are handled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Intercountry adoption and Australian citizenship

A child adopted outside Australia by an Australian citizen under the Hague Convention or bilateral arrangement may be eligible to become an Australian citizen immediately on completion of the adoption outside Australia if an Adoption Compliance Certificate has been issued and the adoption is recognised under Australian law.

As circumstances can vary, please contact us to talk about your individual case and be referred to DIBP for citizenship and visa support.

For further information on citizenship requirements, please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Visa requirements

Adopted children who do not become Australian Citizens before traveling to Australia usually enter Australia on an Adoption (Subclass 102) Visa. A child must meet a number of requirements to be eligible for this visa.

Immigration health assessments are one of the requirements for children applying for an Adoption Visa. For further information on visa health requirements please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

As circumstances can vary, please contact us to talk about your individual case and be referred to DIBP for citizenship and visa support.

For further information on visa requirements, please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Guardianship of certain children

Children whose adoptions are yet to be finalised in Australia, or are not recognised automatically under Australian law, are officially under the guardianship of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection when they enter Australia.

The minister can delegate their powers and functions as guardian to certain officers in the central authority in the state or territory where the child lives.

For further information on these guardianship arrangements, please visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Passport requirements

Please note that the Australian Passport Office is responsible for passport applications and assessments.

Prior to issuing an Australian passport to a child, the child’s identity, the identity of those with parental responsibility for the child and the child’s Australian citizenship must be established. The written consent of all persons with parental responsibility for the child is also needed.

More detailed information about applying for your adoptive child’s passport can be found on the Australian Passport Office website within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Changes to evidence of citizenship for Australian passports

The Australian Passport Office has changed procedures for confirming Australian citizenship of people born overseas and applying for an Australian passport with an Australian birth certificate. These changes may affect adoptees, even those who have previously held an Australian passport. More information can be found by visiting Changes to evidence of citizenship for Australian passports.

Applying for your child’s birth certificate

Each state and territory has its own process to apply for a birth certificate for a child adopted through intercountry adoption. In most cases families need to contact their local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages first to register their child’s birth, then they may apply for a birth certificate. You may need to contact your local adoption authority to make this application.

To find out more information, please contact the central authority in your state or territory.