Children can certainly travel overseas provided that there is written consent
Children can certainly travel overseas provided that there is written consent of each person who has parental responsibility over the child. If there is written consent of all parties, application for passport may be filed at an authorized Australian Post Office or any Australian Passport Office.
If written consent is not provided by all parties charged with parental responsibility, a written request may be submitted to the Approved Senior Officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to consider issuing the passport due to special circumstances.
If the application for consideration due to special circumstances in unsuccessful, the applicant may go to court which will only order the issuance of the passport if is in the best interest of the child.
A child can be prevented from leaving Australia by applying to the court for the following remedies:
- 1) Prevent the child’s passport from being issued by:
- Lodging a Child Alert Request at any Australian Passport Office which has the effect of warning the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade that a passport for a child may be applied without the proper legal consent. Valid for 12 months. Applying to the court for a child alert order and such order stays in force until the child turns 18 or until the court directs otherwise.
- 2) Delivery of the passport to the court which may be that of the child’s or the passport of the accompanying adult. The court will keep the passports for the period of time stated in the order or until the issuance of further orders.
- 3) Restrain the removal of the child from Australia;
- 4) Request the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to place the child’s name on the airport Watch List and assist in the implementation of the order.
Important points to remember:
- A child alert order will not stop the child from leaving Australia on an Australian or foreign passport.
- If it is suspected that a child may be issued a passport by another country, contact the embassy of that country immediately.
- The AFP will need a copy of the court order placing the child’s name on the Airport Watch List and the child’s name will remain there until further orders from the court.
- If proper consent has been obtained or the applicant himself would wish the child out of Australia, a court order must be obtained to remove the child’s name from the airport watch list. Otherwise, the AFP will not allow the child to leave Australia.