Australian Embassy

Citizenship by Adoption

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Children who are adopted from China under the inter-country adoption program, with the support of an Australian state or territory central adoption authority by Australian parents, may apply for Australian citizenship.

The average processing time for applications lodged in China for citizenship by adoption is 1 month from the date of lodgement.

A person becomes a citizen on the date they are registered as a citizen by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. A certificate of Australian citizenship is issued at the time of registration.

It is important to note that once citizenship by adoption has been acquired, the child must apply for an Australian passport and an exit permit in order to leave China. Adoptive parents should factor this time into how long the adoption process will take in China.

Only children who have been adopted by the Australian inter-country adoption program are eligible for Citizenship by Adoption. Children adopted through other means, or by permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens should refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s information on Adoption (subclass 102) visa.


Applying for citizenship by adoption

The Checklist for Citizenship by Adoption is designed to assist you in preparing and submitting your application. It includes links to the correct application forms.

Please note:

• This is a guide only. Further information and/or documents may be requested during the processing of your application to assist our assessment. Please contact us should you have any questions about any of the required documents.

• Original documents should be provided with your application, and these will be returned to you.

• Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by an official English translation. An official English translation is one that is done by someone who is appropriately qualified. In China this can be a Public Notary Office or professional translator. All supporting documents must be clear and legible.

• Applications containing false or misleading information are likely to be refused. We reserve the right to verify any documents lodged with your application with a document issuing authority, a relevant third party, or via document examination techniques. Please advise us of any changes to the information you have provided as soon as the change happens.


Where to Apply

You may apply at any Department of Immigration and Border Protection office in China. You should apply at the closest Visa Office to where you will spend most of your time during the application process. Visa Offices are located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Applying in Person

Applications for citizenship by adoption can be made by appointment only.
To make an appointment, please send an email with your name and contact number to in Beijing in Shanghai in Guangzhou

Applying by Mail

If you are in China and wish to apply for registration of citizenship by adoption by mail, please send your application and supporting documentation by mail to the Visa Office in your preferred location of Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou at the address listed on the Contact Us page.

Please ensure that you include a receipt for the correct Visa Application Charge.

For applications lodged in Beijing, please also include an additional RMB 20 to cover the EMS return of your passport and citizenship decision. For applications lodged in Shanghai and Guangzhou, your passports will be returned by EMS and the receiver will be charged on delivery.

For more information on Australian citizenship, please visit the citizenship website at


Once your child has successfully been registered as a citizen you are able to apply for a passport for your child to travel to Australia on. Information about how to proceed with a passport application can be found at the Services for Australians section on this website.


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Page last updated: 13 November 2015