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Tuesday, 8 November 1983
Page: 2441

Question No. 321

Mr Maher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 23 August 1983 :

(1) Is a naturalised Australian required to supply a birth certificate when application is made for a passport; if so, why.

(2) What assistance will a citizen receive where an overseas birth certificate can only be obtained with great delay, expense or inconvenience.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) All Australian citizens are now requested to submit a full birth certificate with passport applications. The requirement stems from consideration of the recomendations of the Stewart Royal Commission report on passports. In some States it is possible for Australian citizens to change their names legally as many times as they wish. When this has been done, a new extract of birth may be issued showing the new name. This might provide the opportunity, for anyone wishing to do so, to obtain a new passport on each change of name while still in possession of another valid passport. The full birth certificate establishes the name at birth, and in the present redevelopment of the passport computer system the name at birth of all applicants will be recorded as a base name against which can be cross referenced any name the applicant may subsequently choose to use.

(2) Where an applicant has an urgent need to travel and/or has insufficient time to obtain a birth certificate from overseas, the applicant may be issued with a restricted validity passport on production of a certificate of citizenship. This passport would be extended to full validity once the birth certificate has been submitted to a passports office. Special arrangements can also be made for applicants who, for legitimate reasons, are able to demonstrate that they cannot obtain an overseas birth certificate.