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.

A person becomes a citizen on the date they are registered as a citizen by the Department of of Home Affairs. 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.

How to apply

Please refer to the following link for information about how to submit your application.


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: 15 November 2023