After a few weeks, Manny, my friend who wanted to get an Australian passport for his baby daughter, called again.
Manny: Hello Harsh! How are you?
Me: I am good, mate. Looks like you got Australian citizenship certificate for your baby daughter.
Manny: Yes, I did. Thanks to your advice, I was able to get it without any problem. Plus, my GP was happy to endorse my documents so thankfully I didn’t face any hardships like you.
Me: Oh, that’s wonderful. So did you apply for an Australian passport for your baby?
Manny: No, not yet. I am planning to travel to India during Diwali time. So I want to get the passport for my daughter. How do I do it? What all documents are required? How long does it take?
Me: It’s quite simple really. I will tell you how I did it.
The power of the Australian passport
According to the Passport Index, Australian passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world. If you have an Australian passport, you can travel to a total of 161 countries. Out of them, 110 countries including the US, the UK, all of the European and Nordic countries and a lot more, allow you to travel visa-free. Naturally, having an Australian passport is something of pride.
Applying for an Australian passport is completely online. You need to create an account at the Australian Passport Office website and start filling out the application. Agreeably, the process is much simpler than that for getting Australian citizenship certificate for a baby.
What are the documents required?
To complete the passport application, you will need:
- Baby’s birth certificate details such as birth registration number, date of issue, state etc.
- Baby’s citizenship certificate details such as certificate number, date of issue etc.
- If there was a name change, supporting evidence such as change of name certificate, is required
- Residential address and contact details
- Guarantor passport details.
A guarantor must be an Australian citizen who has known child since birth and is not related to the child. A colleague at work or a friend who is an Australian citizen should be good enough. He also needs to sign the back of the photo of the baby, endorsing it as the true photo.
One caveat here is that the guarantor must have an Australian passport with a minimum of 2 years validity. I almost filled out the application form with a guarantor whose passport was going to expire within a year. Thankfully, at the last moment, I noticed my mistake and sought the endorsement from another of my colleague.
Once I filled the application form and submitted it, I took the print of the form. I took the printed application form to the nearest Australia Post outlet along with:
- Baby’s birth certificate
- Baby Citizenship certificate
- Proof of identity, in my case driver’s license
- Endorsed photograph of my baby
- In addition, you might need to carry proof for the change of name, if applicable
Some Australia Post outlets require that you book an appointment for the passport application while some don’t. It’s better to call them and check with them if they require prior appointment. Once my passport application and the documents were verified, I had to pay the application fee which, at the moment was, $148 per child for a 5-year valid passport.
The lady gave me a receipt which has a form lodgement number whereby you can check the status of your passport application by calling the Australian Passport Office.
How long does it take to get the passport?
I received my baby’s passport within 2 weeks when the usual timeline is 3 weeks. If you want passport urgently though, you can apply for priority processing at AusPost outlet for a hefty fee of $215. With priority processing though, you can get your passport in just 2 working days.
How much does it cost?
An Australian passport in itself costs $148 per child. However, if you take into account the birth certificate and citizenship certificate, you spend a total of 393$ per child. Told you, Australia is expensive!
Manny: Great! That answered all my questions. I will start the process immediately. Thanks again, buddy.
Me: It’s alright bud. Just remember, the party is due.
Manny: Definitely mate.