Children’s passports: getting your ex-spouse’s permission
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If the child does have a passport, please note that a parent can apply for an airport watch list order, which would put a block on a child’s passport. This prevents that child from leaving Australia unless a court order is made lifting that restriction. If the Court can be convinced that there is a risk the child is being abducted to another country or that the child might not return to Australia, the Court might not make an order lifting the restriction. Generally, though, the Court considers international travel to be beneficial for children.
If a child does not have a passport, and the other parent refuses to sign the passport application, you will need to submit both the application for a child’s passport form and the application for a waiver of consent. You may be asked to provide further information with these forms. If the Passport Office refuses your Application, you will then need to seek a Court Order through the Family Law Courts.
What happens if you cannot get consent?
If the consent of anyone with parental responsibility for the child cannot be obtained after all avenues have been exhausted, and there is no court order permitting the child to travel internationally, a written request for 'special circumstances' under section 11(2) of the Australian Passports Act 2005 may be made. An Approved Senior Officer, an officer delegated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will consider the statement in support of the request to determine if a passport may be issued without the other person's consent.
In such cases, the passport application must be accompanied by:
- a statement made on Form B8 or B9 in which you state why the necessary consent has not and cannot be obtained, and explain the special circumstances relevant to the application, and
- the child's full birth certificate, and
- the originals of all court orders affecting parental responsibility for the child.
Source: Australian Passport Office