Australian declaratory visas

What are ADVs

An Australian declaratory visa (ADV) is an administrative process that connects a person’s status as an Australian citizen with a non-Australian travel document that the person holds.

An ADV is an entry authority, not a visa under the Migration Act. There is no power to grant visas to Australian citizens. However, the ADV process parallels that of visas issued under the Act so that an Australian citizen travelling on a foreign passport has their right to return to and enter Australia recorded in departmental systems in a manner accessible to border operations.

Duration of ADVs

ADVs are valid for five years from the date of issue, for multiple journeys, while the person remains an Australian citizen.

Who is eligible for an ADV

To be eligible for an ADV the applicant:

  • must be an Australian citizen and
  • either:
    • must have a valid and current non-Australian travel document or
    • if under 18 years old and travelling with a parent or legal guardian, must be able to be included in their parent’s valid and current non-Australian travel document)

and

  • must have compelling reasons for not travelling on an Australian travel

Generally speaking, there are two groups of eligible persons:

  • Persons under 18 years old:
    • This allows some flexibility with return documentation for For example, it allows an Australian citizen child to travel on the same foreign passport or travel document as a parent or legal guardian who is not an Australian citizen, or on the child’s own travel document of other nationality.
    • Note: To guard against the possibility of child abduction, appropriate parental consent is required – refer to Evidence of eligibility.
  • Persons in a compelling situation:
  • Persons in an emergency, or who have other compelling reasons preventing their travelling on an Australian travel document, may be issued an ADV.
Compelling reasons for the issue of an ADV

The use of Australian passports for travel by Australian citizens into and out of Australia should be encouraged in the first instance. There are, however, some compelling situations where travelling with an Australian travel document will present difficulties for an Australian citizen who is a dual national.

Following are three examples of what may be considered compelling reasons for the issue of an ADV. This list is not conclusive and there may be other situations that may require the issue of an ADV to be considered. For situations not covered below and for which further guidance is required, officers may email this instruction’s owner:

  • Emergency situation in which processing of an Australian passport is not feasible
  • Travel document and/or visa restrictions
  • Compelling situation involving personal risk if travelling on Australian travel
Emergency situation in which processing of an Australian passport is not feasible

An emergency could include, for example, a genuine and unforeseen need for urgent travel due to serious illness of a family member, business matters of a critical and exceptional nature or a life-threatening situation requiring immediate evacuation.

Responsibility for Australian citizens rests primarily with DFAT. If DFAT advises this department that the normal arrangements for the issue of an Australian travel document, or that the normal arrangements for the authorisation of uplift are either inappropriate or not feasible, an ADV may be issued.

Travel document and/or visa restrictions

 There may be restrictive travel document or visa requirements that seriously disadvantage an Australian citizen with dual nationality. For example, there may be a situation in which an Australian:

  • cannot enter a country on an Australian travel document or
  • cannot obtain the appropriate visa in their Australian travel document due to lack of time in an emergency. (Note: Applicants should be advised that DFAT’s Australian Passport Office provides a priority processing service for those satisfying requirements of genuine Payment of the priority passport fee guarantees the processing of a passport application within two working days.)

or

  • for some other insurmountable situation, must enter and leave a country on their travel document of other nationality, and require evidence of an exit visa or right to enter to another country.
Compelling situation involving personal risk if travelling on Australian travel document

 A compelling situation could include a situation where the applicant would be genuinely at risk of either physical harm, intimidation or loss of personal rights or possessions if travelling with an Australian travel document. An example of a compelling situation includes that where an Australian citizen, and/or their relatives, may lose inheritance rights, property or access to services if travelling to their country of other nationality with an Australian travel document. Another example is that where an applicant provides a strong case indicating that significant intimidation, discrimination or threat to personal safety would occur on entering or leaving a country with an Australian travel document.

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