Yes. But it was not until 1986 that an amendment made it otherwise. Because of the significant rise in immigration requests, the government decided to make some changes, which brought stricter policies. Things were much simpler because of the lack of huge migration and security risks, along with pressure on resources. So, a baby born in Australia was an Australian by birth.
But today things are different. A baby born in Australia may still need Visa. So, the answer to your question is it depends. It depends on the immigration status of the parents.
On the 20th of August, 1986, a law was passed that made it clear that only babies born to Australian parents have Australian citizenship by birth. Prior to that, regardless of parents’ immigration status, all babies born in Australia became citizens of Australia. This was an automatic birthright-ship with which all were pretty comfortable until the numbers began to rise. It ceased to apply on the above date by law. So, now babies born in Australia must meet one of the two criteria to become citizens.
- Either one or both of their parents are Australian citizens and permanent residents of the country.
- It has been resident of Australia, ordinarily from their birth till they become 10 years old.
What if the Baby Is Born After Their Parents Arrive?
This is a curious question and difficult to answer if you do not know the law properly. If neither of the parents is Australian citizens, once the baby arrives, and the birth certificate is issued, the parents must apply for the passport. The baby will have the same type of Visa as the parents, by default.
One way to recollect is that when a baby arrives, it has the best status of both the parents. It is only when the parents are on temporary Visas, that the situation becomes more complicated.
So, if the parents are both on Visa, the child, as mentioned above, has the same type of Visa. But they must contact the Department of Immigration and inform them about the same and carry out the steps. Usually, they will attach the Visa to the baby’s passport. This involves little to no cost. This is the case for several types of Visas such as residency Visa, work Visas, and the same applies to the baby too.
What if Parents Separate After the Baby Arrives?
The situation gets even more complicated. You must seek help from proper authorities to understand the basics clearly, and then work on it. An immigration agency at Canberra office is a good start to clarify the queries.
As we know by now, if either of the parents is an Australian, the baby is an Australian citizen by birth. For example, an immigrant on a temporary Visa has a baby with an Austrian, and then they separate. In this case, the baby is an Australian, but if the couple split, the foreign parent does not have any legal rights to stay.
In this situation, the parent has to leave the country and handover the care of the baby to someone else. In such exceptional cases, the Immigration Minister is the final authority over the matters, and he decides the fate. In other words, the minister must decide whether to grant the foreign parent a permanent Visa or not.
Waiting for this decision can be stressful for a parent who must leave the country at any moment. Therefore, consider this case before making the trip. So, if you are planning on traveling overseas shortly after birth, ensure that all the documents are in the correct order. If you are not sure, seek advice from more than one immigration agency of Australia, from your native country of residence, before planning the journey because it can create problems otherwise.
Notify as Soon as Possible
If you are in touch with an immigration agency, notify them as soon as possible. If you had a baby, then you should work immediately towards securing the right documents. The online articles may provide general information so do not rely on them closely, and seek advice. For Visa holders and/or Visa applicants, this is crucial to have the protection beforehand because you are not sure about several laws. There can be more complex situations such as:
- Babies born to non-biological parents.
- Babies born to parents at merits review or judicial review.
- And, parents who have several consecutive Visa grants and transactions since the birth of the baby.
Hence, a baby born in Australia does need a Visa only if none of the parents have one. Else, the baby is an Australian. This is the general case that applies to all. There can be any number of issues; however, having one Australian parent is best for the family. This avoids any type of prosecution or trouble.