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Emergency Passports: Has your child been abducted? Has their passport been withheld?

In order to obtain a passport for a child, the Australian Passports Act requires, in most circumstances, that the consent of both parties be obtained.

However, there are circumstances where the Family Court can make an order allowing for a child to be issued with an Emergency Australian Passport without the consent of a parent.

Nicholes Family Lawyers have recently been successful in obtaining such orders.

We have represented clients whose children have been abducted overseas and had their passports withheld, with the result that a new passport has had to be issued in order for the child to leave the country.

It is important to be aware that the issuing of a new passport can trigger immigration issues as an entry stamp into the country will not be included in the child’s new passport and children may face problems when trying to leave some countries. In such a circumstances, it is important to speak with the Australian embassy in the country the child has been abducted to in relation to this matter.

Applications in the Family Court seeking that emergency passports be issued may be heard on an ex parte basis, that is, without the knowledge of the other parent. However, after the order has been made allowing the child to be issued with an emergency passport, the other parent will need to be notified of the order and the parent’s court documents and evidence.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) also has a process for the issue of emergency passports in certain circumstances.

We have had success in obtaining both emergency passports and concurrent passports through DFAT.


By Nicholes Family Lawyers


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