Can a child hold dual citizenship?

14 FEB 2023


Becker & Waterman [2022] FedCFamC2F 1611

In this matter, a father made an application to the courts to prevent the child from holding a secondary passport from the child’s mother country of birth (‘Country B’).

Since the parent’s separation, the child had been living with his mother and spending time with his father as agreed between the parents.

In this application, the father proposed to make alternations to the current parental responsibility arrangements between the parents and to alter the time each parent spends with the child. During the application, the father seek to restrain the mother by an injunction from obtaining a passport from Country B for the child.

The father opposed the issuing of the child with the second passport and adopted a “non-negotiable” attitude to the prospect. When inquired into his reasoning for rejecting the passport issuing, the father answered “if hehad a Country B passport, he couldn’t be the Prime Minister of Australia.” During his evidence, the father revealed that he had not read the recent High Court cases regarding section 44 of the Constitution, but instead he had obtained legal advice to support his reasoning that the issuing of the second passport to the child would result in trouble if the child choose to be a member of Federal Parliament.

During the father’s oral evidence, he mentions about the senators that had to renounce their dual passports to remain as members of Federal Parliament. Through this evidence, the father demonstrated that the child could do the same act to avoid the issue that the father had presented for his reasoning. Therefore, the father had contradicted his own evidence through his oral evidence. The court found the inconsistency between the evidence presented by the court and his “non-negotiable” attitude to be a very poor reflection of the father’s attitude to the responsibilities of parenthood.

The mother’s reasoning behind the issuing of the passport is that laws of Country B are that those who are a citizen of the Country B who try to enter the country without their country’s passport would be fine up to EUR 5,000. The child was a citizen of Country B through the mother’s citizenship to Country B. Therefore, the father was asking for the mother to breach the law of Country B every time she visited with the child.

The court found it not to be in the best interest of the child for the mother to breach the laws of Country B every time she visited with the child. Thus, the court found it to be in the best interest of the child for him to be issued with a passport from Country B and to be retained by the mother.

The father’s application for an injunction was dismissed.


The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice, Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.


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