There may be circumstances where Immigration does not believe that a person is an Australian citizen. The writer had one case where a person was born in Australia in the 1940’s but the person had British passport by descent. Immigration required that person to obtain a resident return visa to enter Australia. But one way to resolve this issue is to make an application for an Australian passport. A person’s rights under the Australian Passports Act 2005 are as follows:
- 7 Australian citizen is entitled to be issued an Australian passport
(1) An Australian citizen is entitled, on application to the Minister, to be issued with an Australian passport by the Minister.
(2) An Australian citizen’s entitlement to be issued with an Australian passport is affected by s 8 and by Div 2.
(3) An application for an Australian passport must be:
(a) made in the form approved by the Minister; and
(b) accompanied by the applicable fee (if any).
8 Minister to be satisfied of person’s citizenship and identity
Before issuing an Australian passport to a person, the Minister must be satisfied:
(a) that the person is an Australian citizen; and
(b) of the identity of the person.
Note: See s 42 & 43 for details about how the Minister satisfies himself or herself of an Australian passport applicant’s citizenship and identity.
If a passport is refused then ordinarily the delegate will give reasons for that decision (there are time limits for applying for reasons). There is then a two stage review process, first is an internal review by the Department and if that review is unsuccessful then there is a review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, under the Australian Passports Act. That Act is administered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade which has a less aggressive stance to citizenship issues than Immigration.