In this article, I write about our experience in applying for a passport for our Australia-born child.
Quick overview: We applied for the passport one year after the baby was born. We had two trips to Australia Post before we got all requirements right. And after submission, the passport came almost two weeks via post.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to provide an exhaustive guide, just a simple chronicle of our experience.
So where to start? If it weren’t for a travel, we wouldn’t have applied for a passport. It took us a year to finally sit down and seriously gather the requirements. I’d say the major difficult requirements for us are:
- Finding a guarantor
- Finding a person with a specific occupation to sign our identity declaration form. This is to acquire a Australian citizenship certificate, which is a separate application you must make.
- Finding it hard to understand a few unclear instructions or form questions.
- Thinking that ‘everything’ can be done online as what we’re told
- Setting appointments with Australia Post due to our schedules
How to apply for an Australian passport for your newborn
Anyone born in Australia is automatically an Australia citizen, as long as at least one parent is a permanent resident. You can get a birth certificate via your state’s Births, Deaths, and Marriages agency. For Victoria, its website is here. But that birth certificate does not suffice as a proof of your citizenship. You must get a citizenship certificate from Department of Home Affairs. This certificate is one of the requirements for passport application.
So the list of requirements for passport application can be found in a sheet that comes with the application form itself. Where to find the application form? First, create an account and lodge an application. Let’s call it Step 1!
Step 1. Create an account in passports.gov.au and lodge a passport application
Go to https://www.passports.gov.au/ , create an account and start a new passport application.
Important notes at this stage are:
- Incomplete applications are kept until 90 days after last edit. Then they are deleted.
- You can create applications for yourself, for family members, or for others who need assistance.
- You can’t change an application after you’ve created it. To correct anything, you’ll need to start a new application.
After you’ve filled in a form, you can download its PDF.
Step 2. Gather the required documents for your newborn
The instruction form that comes with the application form is quite informative, though there were a few unclear ones and requires calling their hotline.
We collated the credentials based on what the form asks:
- Birth certificate
- Newborn declaration which you got from the hospital
- 2 recent colored photos, one signed by your guarantor (to be explained in Step 2b)
- Guarantor’s passsport and contact details. A guarantor’s signature is required on the application form and that person should:
- be an Australian citizen whose passport is valid for at least 2 years
- have known the child since birth
- not be related to the child
One major requirement we missed is this:
- Australian citizenship certificate
Why? Because we find the following instruction unclear:
and the following form question:
By answering No to section 3b, it only directs you to section 4 which is already a new entity of question, not related to providing Australian citizenship proof. It is only through our visit to AU Post that we were told we must get the official certificate of Australian citizenship. So how to do that? Thru your Immi Account. But first, let’s get your photos taken and signed!
Step 2a. Get your newborn’s photo taken
The passport photo specs has so many requirements that it’s easier to just have it taken at the Australia Post office. Ours costs $20. Just go to your nearest AU Post office, no need for an appointment.
Step 2b. Have the photo’s rear signed
Have one photo’s rear signed by a guarantor, and another signed by a person who’ll sign your Identity Declaration Form 1195. Better if this is one same person, as it saves you a few trips and effort.
Step 2c. Get Australian citizenship certificate
Log on to your Immi Account, and then lodge a new application for Citizenship.
You will be directed to multi-page wizard of questions, and at the end will be required to upload supporting documents such as:
- Visa confirmation letters of both parents
- Birth certificate of newborn
- Form 1195 Identity Declaration – should be signed by a person:
- of specific occupation. The list of accepted occupations can be found in the form’s attachment.
- Australian citizen
- not related to you
- has known the applicant for at least a year
- Passport photo of your baby, rear signed by the same person above
- ID of the person lodging the application (which is you)
- Residence proof of the person lodging the application
Application fee is $190.
Once you submit the application online, you should able to receive the certificate within 3 weeks. For us, it was almost 2 weeks.
Step 3. Submit your passport application
Once you’ve gathered all requirements, call your nearest Australia Post office and book an appointment for a passport application.
Application fee iss $150. Click here for a detailed guide for the passport fees.
We got the passport almost two weeks after submission.
How did your application go? Let us know in the comments!