1.6.2 Residence & Citizenship - Child

Context

The Registrar can make or continue a child support assessment for a child who meets the residence and citizenship requirements of the CSA Act. These requirements are modified if the payee or payer is in a reciprocating jurisdiction.

Residency & citizenship for child support purposes

A person can apply for a child support assessment for an eligible child who is under 18 years of age and not a member of a couple and who is (CSA Act section 24(1)):

  • present in Australia on the day the application is made (see 1.6.2), and/or
  • an Australian citizen, or ordinarily resident in Australia on the day the application is made (see 1.6.2).

This requirement does not apply if the payee is a resident of a reciprocating jurisdiction (CSA Act section 24(2)).

Where the payee does not reside in a reciprocating jurisdiction (see 1.5.1), a terminating event occurs for the child when the child does not meet at least one of the following residence requirements:

  • the child is present in Australia
  • the child is an Australian citizen
  • the child is ordinarily resident in Australia

Present in Australia

This term has its ordinary meaning. It means physically present in Australia.

Australian citizenship can be acquired automatically by birth or by adoption

A person born in Australia before 20 August 1986 is an Australian citizen (Australian Citizenship Act 1948 section 10, Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 4).

A person born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 is an Australian citizen only if:

  • the person's parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident when the child was born, or
  • the person was ordinarily resident in Australia until they were 10 years old (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 12).

A child who is adopted by one or more Australian citizens is an Australian citizen if the child is present in Australia as a permanent resident at the time that they are adopted under the law of an Australian state or territory (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 13).

Australian citizenship by application

A person who is not an Australian citizen may acquire Australian citizenship by application to the Minister for Immigration in the following circumstances:

  • if the person was born outside Australia and at least one of the person's parents was an Australian citizen (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 sections 15A to 19A),
  • if the person was adopted outside Australia in accordance with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption by at least one Australian citizen (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 sections 19B to 19F), or
  • if the person satisfies the general eligibility criteria and has successfully completed a citizenship test, or if the person meets one of the other eligibility criteria set out in Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 21 (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 sections 19G to 28).

In any of those situations the person may apply to the Minister for Immigration to be granted Australian citizenship. The person becomes an Australian citizen when:

  • the Minister approves the person becoming an Australian citizen (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 sections 19 and 19F), or
  • a pledge of commitment is made by the person, if that person is required to make a pledge (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 28), or
  • one or more of the responsible parents become Australian citizens under Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 28, the child (whose application was made at the same time as responsible parents) becomes an Australian citizen on the first day on which a responsible parent becomes an Australian citizen (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 28).

Losing Australian citizenship

A person ceases to be an Australian citizen if:

  • the person renounces their Australian citizenship (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 33),
  • where citizenship was acquired by application, the person's citizenship is revoked by the Minister for Immigration (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 34), or
  • the person served in the armed forces of a country at war with Australia (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 35).

If, at the time the person ceases to be an Australian citizen, that person is also a responsible parent of a child under 18, the Minister may revoke the child's Australian citizenship (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 36). The Minister may not revoke a child's Australian citizenship if the child has another responsible parent who continues to be an Australian citizen. The Minister must not revoke the Australian citizenship of a child if the child would then not be a citizen of any country (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 36).

A 'responsible parent' of a child is (Australian Citizenship Act 2007 section 6):

  • the child's parent, unless they no longer have any parental responsibility for the child because of a Family Court order,
  • any person the child is to live with under a parenting order,
  • any person responsible for the child's long-term or day-to-day care, welfare and development under a parenting order, or
  • any person with joint or sole guardianship or custody of the child under Australian or foreign law, whether because of adoption, operation of law, an order of a court or otherwise.

Ordinarily resident in Australia

This term also has its ordinary meaning. It applies to a child who is not physically present in Australia, but who usually lives here. The Registrar will take into account the same factors that it considers when deciding whether a parent resides in Australia (i.e. in the ordinary meaning of that term, see 1.6.1 for further information).

Last reviewed: 21 September 2015