Immigration, citizenship and passports

The Department of Home Affairs handles Australian immigration and citizenship requirements.

Intercountry adoption and Australian citizenship

If you adopt a child from one of the 13 partner countries, your child may be eligible to become an Australian citizen if:

  • an adoption compliance certificate has been issued and
  • the adoption is recognised by Australian law

If you have specific questions about your circumstances, contact us to talk about your case. We can refer you to the Department of Home Affairs for citizenship and visa support.

Adoption visa for your child

If your child doesn’t become an Australian citizen before travelling to Australia, they will enter Australia on adoption visa (subclass 102). There are health requirements for children applying for an Adoption visa.

Guardianship of children

If your child’s adoption needs to be finalised in Australia or isn’t recognised under Australian law they will enter Australia under the guardianship of the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. These children are known as IGOC minors.

The Minister can delegate some of their powers and functions to persons in your state and territory central authority (STCAs). These people are known as IGOC delegates.

The Minister (through the IGOC delegate) can appoint an appropriate and willing person to be the custodian of an IGOC minor for day-to-day care arrangements. If the IGOC minor is a child who has entered Australia following an intercountry adoption, then the custodians will usually be the adoptive parents.

However, guardianship of these children stays with the Minister (and is exercised by an IGOC delegate) until the adoption has been finalised by an Australian court.

Passport for your child

The Australian Passport Office is in charge of all passport applications and assessments. Your child’s identity and citizenship needs to be established, as well as your parental responsibility.

The written consent of anyone else with parental responsibility for the child is also needed.

Changes to confirming identity for Australian passports

The Australian Passport Office has changed the way it confirms your Australian identity. These changes may affect adoptees, even if they have held an Australian passport.

Applying for your child’s birth certificate

In most cases, you need to register your child’s birth through your local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and then apply for the birth certificate.

You may need to contact your state and territory central authority to make this application.