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Children's Passports

Nov 30, 2016   |   Deborah Awyzio

Changes to Passport Legislation (Integrity Act 2015)

The passports legislation (amendment) (Integrity Act 2015) is an Act to amend the law relating to Australian and foreign travel documents. Section 11 of the Australian Passports Act 2005 now provides that the Minister must not issue an Australian travel document to a child unless each person who has parental responsibility for the child consents to the child having an Australian travel document unless:

  • Each person who has parental responsibility for the child consents to the child having an Australian travel document; or
  • An order of the Court permits:
  • The child who has an Australian travel documents
  • The child to travel internationally
  • The child to live and spend time with another person who is outside Australia.

Section 11 goes on to provide that a person has parental responsibility for a child, if and only if the person:

  • If the child’s parent; and
  • Has not ceased to have parental responsibility for the child because of an order made under the Family Law Act 1975; or
  • The person is the child’s parent and has not ceased to have parental responsibility made under an under the Family Law Act 1975; or
  • Pursuant to a parenting order, the child is to live with that person or the person has parental responsibility for the child.
  • The person has guardianship or custody of or has parental responsibility for the child, under a Commonwealth, state or territory law.

It seems by implication that should a parent obtain an order which provides they have sole parental responsibility for the child, there should be no restriction on them making an application without the other parents’ consent for a travel document for the child.

Section 67ZD of the Family Law Act 1975 has been amended to remove the reference to include the word “any Australian travel document”. Section 67ZD permits the Court to order the passport or any Australian travel document of the child and any other person to be delivered to the Court where the Court considers there is a possibility of threat that a child may be removed from Australia.

Australian Passports Act 2005

Family Law Act 1975

Thanks to Deborah Awyzio from DA Family Lawyers for guest authoring this post.

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