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In late February 2020, a couple on student visas recently had a child. The couple had completed their studies and were finalising their arrangements to depart Australia and return to their home country, Pakistan. Part of these arrangements included applying for a passport for their new born child so that the child could depart Australia with them and enter Pakistan lawfully. Unfortunately, the couple faced delays in obtaining a passport for their child. As their Australian visas were about to expire, they required a visa to remain in Australia temporarily so that they could obtain a passport for their child before departing Australia.

We advised the couple and their child  that a visitor visa (tourist stream) should be applied for as it would allow them sufficient further time in Australia to finalise their travel arrangements and obtain a passport for their child. The problem with this is that each and every applicant for an Australian visa must have a passport to apply for an Australian visa. This requirement is Public Interest Criterion  (PIC) 4021.

What is PIC 4021?

PIC 4021 provides that a person must hold a valid passport in order to be granted a visa. This is a time of decision criterion for a visa application. There are exceptions to this rule and they include applicants for refugee and humanitarian visas.

If the applicant does not have a passport, the Department policy advice manual provides that delegates must ask the following questions in order to determine if it would be unreasonable for the applicant to have a passport at the time of decision:

  • Does the applicant need a passport to enter or leave Australia.
  • Has the applicant contacted the relevant authorities (for example, if there are delays in issuing a passport).
  • What is the timeframe within which the relevant foreign passport issuing authority has officially stipulated that the passport would be issued (noting that this factor should be considered in tandem with the applicant’s intention to enter and/or leave Australia).
  • What are the implications (especially for the applicant) should a visa not be granted until the passport is issued.


How did Kah Lawyers help the couple?

We provided a submission as part of our application that contended that the sole purpose of the visa application for the family was to allow the couple and their child to stay in Australia temporarily so that they could obtain a passport for their child and depart Australia as a family.

The Department accepted our logical submission and waived the requirement for a passport for the child, The child’s visa was granted and her parents were able to remain in Australia lawfully while they finalise their departure arrangements.

If you are applying for a visa application but do not have a valid passport, book a consultation with Kah Lawyers by clicking the button below for a telephone or Skype appointment to discuss your matter.



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Disclaimer: This information is current at the time of publication and subject to change. The contents of this blog post is provided for general information only and Kah Lawyers does not accept any liability for any damages suffered by persons who relied on this information. This information does not constitute as legal advice and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.