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

If you live in any region in China, apply by mail or courier to the Australian Visa Office, Guangzhou. Applications in person will be accepted by appointment only.

Please see: Home Affairs Contact Details


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: 3 April 2018