An Australian passport cannot be issued without the written consent of each person who has parental responsibility for the child.

This means that if you and your Ex have equal shared parental responsibility, they can withhold their consent and prevent a passport being issued to your child. However, if you have sole parental responsibility you do not need the consent of the other parent to obtain a passport for your child.

If your Ex refuses to consent you may:

  • Request that the Australian Passports Office to issue the passport due to 'special circumstances'; or
  • Apply to the Court for a court order.

If your Ex does not consent to a passport application you may make a written request to the Australian Passport Office that they consider issuing a passport under the 'special circumstances' provision.

Special Circumstances can include:

  • The existence of a child welfare order.
  • Absence of contact with the non-consenting parent.
  • An inability to contact the non-consenting parent for a reasonable period of time.

Alternatively, if you cannot get your Ex's consent you can apply to Court for an order permitting your child to travel internationally or hold an Australian passport.

An application for a court order should be filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia via initiating application or an application in a case, where there are already proceedings on foot. Your application should be supported by an affidavit, which addresses the following:

  • The reasons why the child requires a passport; and
  • Any prospective travel arrangements already made.

If the Court considered that the proposed international travel is in the best interests of the child, it may make an order permitting your child to hold an Australian passport and/or travel internationally.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice.