Friday, 8 January 2010

Australian Citizenship by Descent

One of the most straightforward pieces of my family's migration puzzle, has been the process for obtaining an Australian passport for my 21 month year old son.

Before we could apply for a passport on his behalf, we first had to register him as an Australian Citizen by descent of his mother.  All this entailed was sending a simple form (118) - with his birth certificate, his British passport, his mum's Australian passport and a passport photograph of him (that was signed on the back, by my local Postmaster as a true likeness) - to Australia House along with a fee of £70.  Additionally, you have to pay the cost of two Royal Mail Special Delivery envelopes for the send and return of your documents.  It took less than two weeks for us to receive everything back and a Cerificate of Australian Citizenship.  If only it were this easy for me!

Once we had the certificate, we then immediately set about applying for his passport using the online tools to prepare his application form.  Because this would be our son's first Australian passport and we are overseas, the application needed to be dealt with offline.  Fortunately, the website allows you to save and return to applications, as well as print off the filled out form.  Again we had to get his passport photo certified as a true likeness, this time it had to be an Australian citizen - so I was grateful to a work colleague.

The final stage of the application required my partner to make a visit to Australia House, with all her and our son's ID documents.  The application cost $104AUD and a train ticket into London.  We had to wait nearly a month to get an appointment, but the passport itself arrived within two weeks.

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