Down Under Visa Logo


There is a problem in living in a society with a free flow of information. The answer is that some of that information is not true, or doesn’t apply to Australian situations.

I was a school kid in the early 70’s. No internet, obviously. Yet what did most kids grow up watching? Sesame Street! Entertaining, yes. Loved the Martians! But how did kids learn to say the last letter of the alphabet? Zeeeeeeee! I can remember arguing with my fellow 8 year olds that it was pronounced ZED! Yes, I was even bossy back then!

What does American TV teach us about immigration law?

  1. Marry in Australia, and she gets to stay
  2. Your child will automatically become an Australian Citizen at birth!

Both are wrong!

Let’s clear up the last one, because Down Under Visa had two incidents of confusion with clients just today.

A child born in Australia acquires the Citizenship of the parent. If both parents have different migration statuses, then the child gets the best status of the two parents!

So if one parent is an Aussie Citizen, then yes the child becomes an Australian Citizen at birth. However if the parent with the better migration position is on a temporary visa, the child can only take on that status. It is NOT possible for the child of a 457 holder or a student visa to acquire Citizenship at birth. The same applies to that large number of NZ Citizens in Australia, apart from those termed as “eligible New Zealand Citizens” who arrived before 26 February 2001.

But if a child is born overseas, say in Philippines, to an Aussie dad and a Filipina mum, they don’t automatically become an Australian Citizen. They are in fact a Filipino Citizen on birth, and will remain that way unless something is done about it.

I’ve had my say here about making sure your Filipina wife gets Australian Citizenship if you can. I will say basically the same thing about kids. If you have a child overseas and you are an Australian Citizen, you can and must do what you can to get them Australian Citizenship. A definite possibility, yet realise that if you don’t sponsor the child…..and especially if you were to die and were unable to sponsor the child…..then the child is going to be stuck here without your support.

So what’s your option?

A Citizenship By Descent application!

We need to prove that your child is in fact your biological child. We build clear history in paperwork that establishes that the child is in fact yours, and that you are an Australian Citizen. When this is demonstrated, then the child will be issued a certificate of Australian Citizenship. You can then apply for an Australian Passport for the child, and from that point on he/she may travel freely to Australia. No visas needed.

The only warning I will give is that you must not try to claim a child as your own if the child is NOT your own. Two reasons:

  1. They CAN do DNA testing, and you could get caught out committing fraud
  2. Understand that under Philippines Law you are committing an offense if you register a child as your own when the child is NOT your own.

We’ve had clients before who have tried to claim a child as their own, and they’ve run into trouble. Yes, whilst I agree that it’s the most chivalrous thing in the world to say “I will raise this child as my own and give the child my name”, you cannot do it legally!

If you marry a single mum, bring them both to Australia and you can give the child your name after 12 months. You can do it with a simple form from Births, Deaths and Marriages. No need for adoption. I did that myself years ago. But do it the legal way!

Please contact us if you would like us to manage an application for Citizenship By Descent for your child, and we will be happy to do so. Go to our website at

Getting a tourist visa, then a partner visa in Australia?
Where’s my visa sticker? About Australian visa grants.


    • Hicham

      My freind was born overseas and her dad got his cetizenship one month after she got born .. Can she still be eligible for citizenship

      • Jeff Harvie

        Not a chance, sorry. One parent must be an Australian Citizen at the time of birth.

    • ian gaviola

      Hi, my wife and I are both filipino born citizen and have the australian citizenship in 2013. Our only child was bor in 2017 here in australia. and now we are planning to apply dual citizenship (filipino and australian citizenship). my question is, is our child qualified to have dual citizenship?

      • Jeff Harvie

        Your child will have gained automatic Australian Citizenship at birth. If you want your child to attain Philippines Citizenship also? You need to apply via the Philippines Embassy in Australia.

  1. Marcel Tabone

    Hi could you please give me the cost of and time frame for applying for Australian citizenship for my child. I am an Australian born citizen of Australia currently living with my Philippine wife. Our child was born in the Philippines but I believe can have Australian citizenship citizenship by decent. Would this also give my child dual citizenship?
    Regards Marcel Tabone

    • Jeff Harvie

      Hello Marcel

      Could you please contact us via the contact page on the website? This isn’t the place to discuss private matters. Cheers.

  2. Gav


    Currently living in Australia.

    My wife and my step son are in the process of a partner visa.
    We have had a child prior entering Australia & submitting for the visa.

    I even arranged rego. for our daughter and she has received Australian Citizenship doc.

    Now suddenly the Dept. of Immigration are asking for a DNA test.
    But….hold !?

    My daughter is already an Australian citizen.

    What’s the go there?

    • Jeff Harvie

      It means they have some concerns. It could be a random check, or they may have discovered something that’s concerned them. You need to comply if you want things to move forward.

  3. May Ann Prince

    Hi can i ask you something, im a filipina and my husband is australian, i give birth my daugther here in the philippines and my father was here when my baby is born and he sign the birth certificate of my daugther, now i want to ask if can i apply a australian citizenship in embassy for my daughter? Should i have trouble if we will travel in australia as a tourist visa?

    Thank you

    • Jeff Harvie

      Are you saying your father claimed that HE was the father of the child? If so, go and see an attorney ASAP. Your father broke the law, and the information on the birth certificate is false. You can’t get anything until this is corrected legally. And that means no “fixers”.

      • May Ann Prince

        I’m sorry i write wrong what i mean is the father of my child was he is signing the birth certificate, im sorry again my english is not really good. Should i have trouble to travel in australian even our daugther is not australian citizenship yet?

        • Jeff Harvie

          I’m glad to hear that, May Ann. You would have had a major problem if that had happened.

          You can apply for a tourist visa for you and one for the child, or you may apply for Citizenship for the child and then you will only need a visa for yourself. If you need our help, please complete the free Visa Assessment Form on the website.

          • May ann prince

            Thank you so much for your help, i appreciate it.

      • Angela Mae Orca

        Hi, I am married to Australian citizen and is now 5mos pregnant. I just want to know what’s the best thing to do.. to apply for tourist visa and get a bridging visa in Australia so I can have our baby in australia or to just have the baby here in Philippines and apply for citizenship by descent. And how long is it going to take to get that Citizenship? And does he needs to get paternity or DNA test even if he’s going to be here when I have my baby and he’s going to sign the birth certificate

        • Jeff Harvie

          I wonder why you didn’t look at starting something earlier? You need to be ready to apply for a partner visa, and that takes time. And you only have a small window to get into Australia. I would suggest you do an assessment (top right hand corner on our website) and we can see if we can help you.

          • Angela Mae Orca

            I have been in australia 5 times. We got married in Philippines last January and that time I conceived. Right now I’m in Australia on tourist visa and it’s about to expire this May 21 and im going back to Philippines On the 18th. That’s why I want to know what’s the best way to do. To just have my baby there and get an Australian citizenship by descent for our baby or get a tourist visa again and apply for bridging visa here/apply for partner visa and get a bridging visa.. Thank you for your response.

          • Jeff Harvie

            Again, that’s beyond the scope of a questions section on a BLOG Angela. You need some help, or you could find yourself in a difficult spot.

  4. Gina

    Hi. I am a Filipino citizen and my partner is Australian citizen. We have a 1 year old son who was born here in the Philippines. We are planning to go Australian embassy to change his citizenship. What are the requirements that we need to submit?

    • Jeff Harvie

      Asking me to tell you how to prepare and lodge an application is beyond the scope of Q&A on a BLOG post. If you would like help, please use the Assessment Form on our website.

  5. Ferdie

    Hi Jeff! My family is here already as tourist visa. Im an AU citizen. But my daughter is ph citizen. I already lodge her citizenship by descent. Is it okay for her to stay/live here while waiting for her citizenship or she needs to go back to the PH before her tourist visa expires?


    • Jeff Harvie

      There is no bridging visa associated with Citizenship applications, sorry to say. If it’s not granted in time, she needs to either stay or you need to apply for an onshore tourist visa for her (IF there is no restriction on her current visa to making further applications onshore).

      • Myrna G.Jalos

        Hello.sir jeff harvie,this is my situation,i had australian boyfriend and we have child now,but i born my daughter here in the Philippines and his daughter is registered to to his name also ,we been traveled to Australia before because he sponsor us as defacto visa,was 2011 we decided to comeback here in the philippines with my daughter but we dont get any special visa there ,so 2012 we never goback to australia for some reason the visa he applied before was denied,but now since 2012 he never support his child until now,our daughter is already 11years old now,and i want to apply her an australian citizenship ,can you help me what i first to do sir? Thanks for kindly response..

        • Jeff Harvie

          I imagine we can help you, Myrna. It is certainly possible to apply for Australian Citizenship By Descent even without the input of the father of the child, as long as you can prove that he is the father of the child and that he is an Australian Citizen himself. But be aware that it is only the child who will gain this advantage. Without his sponsorship, you will not be able to get any sort of permanent visa for yourself. If you would like this professionally managed, please use the CONTACT FORM on the website and let me know?

      • Stella

        Hi Jeff,

        I’m a Filipina currently on bridging visa here in Australia while waiting for my partner visa.
        My partner is Aussie citizen. Today I found out I’m 5 weeks pregnant. I also realised giving birth here is quite expensive compared to the Philippines.
        My question please- based on your experience, should I stay here to give birth so my child can have AU citizen automatically?
        Or should I move back to the Philippines? I’m sure my partner will be there to sign birth certificate etc.
        I guess I just don’t wana go through the stress of processing citizenship by descent for my child. But I also don’t want to pay $15,000 for cesarean birth here when I can do that in the Philippines for $3,000.

        Thank you!

        • Jeff Harvie

          Assuming it was a partner visa you applied for, why don’t you apply for a Medicare card?

  6. Irene Mulholland

    Hi , I just got my citizenship. And I have a daughter in the Philippines. Can I apply a citizenship by descent for my daughter? How much it will cost me for her paperworks? Thanks

    • Jeff Harvie

      If you became a Citizen after she was born, no sorry you can’t apply for her in the Philippines. You need to bring her to Australia on a Child Visa, and after 4 years she can apply for Citizenship.

      If you would like help with a child visa, please complete our online visa assessment form.

  7. Jocelyn Delavega

    Hello Jeff i am a filipina citizen and have a child with australian citizen a retired and currently living here in philippines he aknowledge the child but were not together anymore can i demand a support for my child ?

    • Jeff Harvie

      If you can establish that the child is truly the biological child of an Australian Citizen, you may apply for Citizenship of the child. You may not however make demands for support under Australian law because you are not inside Australia. Australian laws do not apply outside of Australia.

  8. Jennifer tacardon delagarde

    Where i can go to australian embassy here in philippines to apply for my daughters citizenship by descent?i was pregnant of 8mos. That time we had car accident Dec. 3 2018 ,where i lost her father a australian .I had here by csection .I’m still on recovering ,after this i want to process her citizenship.we are married .

    • Jeff Harvie

      You’re welcome to apply by yourself if you feel confident, however you need to look up how to do it online and not by going to the Australian Embassy. They won’t let you in to discuss applications. If you would like our help, please complete the online assessment form on our website. My condolences for your husband.

  9. John M.

    Jeff, l am Australian and have dual citizenship. I currently live in the states. My daughter is 19 and hold a USA citizenship and would like to apply for Australian citizenship, which form do we submit here to the embassy for her?
    Also my wife is also a USA citizen and will be relocating to Australia with us to live to assist my aging parents, what form do with start with her process and can it be stated here in the states?
    Thank you for your assistance.

    • Jeff Harvie

      Please understand that this is not a free information service for people intending to manage their own visa applications. I need to earn a living, and so do other migration professionals.


Questions: Please search our BLOG menu or Visa Knowledge Base

Submit a Comment

NOTE: Please restrict your comments to what's written on this page.

PLEASE NOTE: You may comment on posts, and you may ask general questions about the visa topic. However requests for “how-to?” information on how to lodge visas or how to deal with specific problems will not be answered. Please engage the services of a professional Registered Migration Agent for actual assistance or advice. Thank you.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Questions about visa types we don’t handle, or about countries we don’t apply for visas from, will not be answered, Philippines to Australia visas for couples and families only.

Do you have suggestions for topics you would like to read an article about? Click HERE and we will see what we can do!



How does it work?

How It Works Image

Search Our Site

Happy Couples

Happy Couples Image


Google Reviews

See All Reviews

Facebook Reviews

Subscribe to our BLOG


Want the latest in Australian Visa information?

SUBSCRIBE to the Down Under Visa BLOG Page

Never miss a single important update!

BONUS EBOOK! “Philippines to Australia – Australian Visas, Frayed Emotions and a Journey You Will Never Forget” by Jeff Harvie RMA

Just want to buy the book? Purchase directly from Amazon by clicking HERE

We never share or sell your data

Migration Law

Registered Migration Agent Details Image

Should you use a Registered Migration Agent or not?



Migration Alliance Image

Latest Posts

Useful Links

Filipina Wives Image Down Under Visa - Visa Q & A Image Online Filipino Weddings Image
Online Weddings for Australian Filipina couples