The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.6.2 Residence & citizenship - child


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 (1.5.1).

Act references

CSA Act section 12, section 24

CSRC Act section 4

Australian Citizenship Act 2007

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, and/or
  • an Australian citizen, or ordinarily resident in Australia on the day the application is made.

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

Unless an international maintenance arrangement (CSRC Act section 4(1)) applies in respect of a child (CSA Act section 12(4A)(a)), a terminating event occurs for the child if the child no longer meets any of the following requirements (CSA Act section 12(1)(f)):

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

Present in Australia

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

Australian citizen

Australian citizenship can be acquired automatically or by application and there are also circumstances where a person ceases to be an Australian citizen. Provisions relating to citizenship are contained in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, to which the Registrar will have regard when making decisions on a child’s citizenship for child support assessment purposes.

Ordinarily a 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).

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