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Child custody for an Australian Visa: Do I Need a Form 1229?

By 27 October, 2022October 3rd, 202310 Comments5 min read

Form 1229

It is essential that anyone with parental responsibility for a child give permission for them to be granted an Australian visa. This includes both temporary and permanent visas. If you intend to travel to Australia with a child under 18 years of age, you might need to complete a Form 1229 if the child has:

  • a non-accompanying parent(s); or
  • other person(s) with parental responsibility for them.

This article deals with circumstances where a Form 1229 is required, and why.

What is public interest criterion 4017?

Most visas are subject to public interest criterion (PIC) 4017 (commonly referred to as the ‘custody criteria’). PIC 4017 exists to ensure that a child cannot be granted a visa where there are unresolved custody or residence issues.

One of the following must be met to satisfy PIC 4017:

  1. The child’s home country permits them to travel to Australia; or
  2. Each person who has legal rights to determine where the child is to live consents to the grant of the visa; or
  3. The grant of the visa would be consistent with any relevant Australian child order in force.

Who does PIC 4017 apply to?

PIC 4017 refers to persons “under the age of 18”. This means that all applicants under the age of 18 need to satisfy this requirement. This includes any child who is not the dependent child of the main applicant.

PIC 4017 therefore applies to any person who is:

  • under 18;
  • included in the visa application; and
  • eligible to be included as a ‘member of the family unit’.

Parental responsibility (custody)

Where a child is travelling with both parents, satisfying PIC 4017 is a straightforward process. In most cases, a full birth certificate showing the names of both migrating parents will usually be sufficient.

Where a child is travelling with one parent who has full parental responsibility, satisfying PIC 4017 may be achieved by providing the relevant court or custody documentation that demonstrates this.

Where another parent (who is not included in the application or not accompanying the child) has some parental responsibility, then their consent for the grant of the visa to the child is likely to be required.

Providing consent

To satisfy PIC 4017, the main question to be addressed is whether the adult supporting the application (e.g., the visa sponsor or family head) has the sole right to decide where the child can live.

There are a number of reasons why a non-accompanying adult will have parental responsibility for a child. For example, some common circumstances this might occur include where:

  • only the child and one parent are visa applicants;
  • the child is applying with one biological parent and a step-parent; or
  • the child’s grandparent has a residence order.

In such cases, consent must be provided by any non-accompanying person with responsibility for the child.

The easiest way to provide consent is by completing a Form 1229. Alternatively, a Statutory Declaration from each person with parental responsibility will be suitable.

Completing a Form 1229

The Form 1229 is a relatively straightforward document. It requires details regarding the:

  • purpose of the child’s visit to Australia;
  • child’s identity document/s; and
  • non-accompanying parent/person’s details.

You should also attach the following to the Form 1229:

  • a certified copy of the child’s/children’s birth certificate(s);
  • a certified identity document of the non-accompanying parent/person (e.g., passport, birth certificate, or national identity card).

The Form 1229 and the accompanying evidence should be uploaded to the relevant visa application via ImmiAccount.

Children With a Deceased Parent

As mentioned above, a birth certificate is usually sufficient to demonstrate a parent-child relationship.

However, where the child’s other parent is deceased, you will need to provide a copy of their death certificate to confirm you have sole responsibility for the child.

I Am Travelling to Australia on a Holiday: Do I Need to Provide a Form 1229?

Most temporary and permanent Australian visas must meet PIC 4017. This includes applicants for a Visitor (subclass 600) visa. As such, each person who has parental responsibility for a child will need to provide consent for a Visitor visa.

Do you require further assistance?

If you need assistance including your child in your visa application or have any other immigration related queries, get in touch with our experienced team. Contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.
Emily Young

Author Emily Young

Emily completed her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Bond University in 2019, and is busy building her legal knowledge across the entire Australian immigration law framework. She's passionate about global mobility and social issues, having previously worked on matters regarding international parental child abduction, volunteered for Camp Quality, and even set foot in North Korea!

More posts by Emily Young

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Sharmila says:

    Hi ,
    I am in Australia student visa . Both my husband and I have visa of Australia. I have applied visa of our 3 yrs old daughter . Visa is yet to come. My husband has gone to our home country to bring here Australia if visa granted. Should we both fill 1229 form ?

    And under Child Custody Details , do I need to click yes in is this child in the primary applicant’s care and legal custody ?

    • admin says:

      Hi Sharmila,
      If both you and your husband were granted visas together then usually you would not need a Form 1229 (your marriage certificates and the child’s birth certificate shoudl be sufficient).
      There’s no harm in you adding a Form 1229 in any case.
      Good luck,
      Hannan Tew

  • Olubunmi Adebiyi says:

    Hi admin,
    I would like to ask that at what stage of the Visa application processing would the DHA request for the form 1229 for applicants under 18 years.

    • admin says:

      Hi Olubunmi,
      If you believe it’s required, you should provide it at lodgement to avoid delays.
      Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

  • Jo-Ann says:


    I have completed form 1229 as the parent with parental responsibility of daughter aged 16 years. I am the only parent on the birth certificate, myself and the biological father were never married, evidence requested now to prove sole custody but I thought that the birth certificate showing me as having parental responsibility would be all that was required as a single parent travelling with daughter and step family members including current partner, I’m a little confused as to how best to prove sole custody as the birth certificate showing me as named parent has already been provided , any advice much appreciated?

    • admin says:

      Hi Joann, Department policy about this is that a birth certificate is not necessarily initself sufficient: “The mere fact (or claim) that a non-custodial parent has had no contact with the child for a long time (or cannot be located) does not negate that person’s rights with regard to the child and officers cannot assume that this person consents to the grant of a visa. In such cases, PIC 4017 cannot be met and the the family head will need to: obtain a court order permitting removal of the child, provide other evidence that the laws of the child’s home country permits removal of the child or provide an Australian child order.” Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

    • HA HYUN NOH says:

      Hi, I had been a single mother in S. Korea. I married my current husband who is an Australian citizen this year and have applied for visas for my 7 year old son and I. I have sole custodial and parental rights over my son and have been able to lawfully travel around without his birthfather’s consent but the Australian government has requested the form 1229 after our visa application. I have sent the legal documents to say I have both the custodial and parental rights. I wonder if this will be accepted or whether I will still need the form 1229 and if there is any other way I can stay here with my son because my exhusband is not someone who will be willing to help me in any way and has not even been paying the monthly fees he is lawfully required to pay me for my sole parentage.
      Please help me with advice.
      Thank uou so much.

      • admin says:

        Hi Jo-Ann,
        A Form 1229 is not the only document that can show custody, so you might consider other legal documentation to pass the relevant public interest criterion (e.g. a court order).
        Feel free to contact us at [email protected] to discuss this further.
        Kind regards,
        Hannan Tew

  • Doting Father says:

    My ex-wife married an Australian and was issued a subclass 600 visa in October 2022. Our daughter’s application was rejected because I have joint custody and refused to give consent. Following this, my ex-wife applied for sole custody and the Malaysian court refused to award her sole custody, but decided to permit my daughter to move to Australia with her mother. I still have joint custody, but they are, apparently, reapplying using the approval from the Malaysian court. I have made two reports to Australian Border force, one before we went to court and again to update them on the court’s decision. Last week my daughter went to give her biometrics. Does this mean her visa is being approved? Or is there still hope that it will be declined? Thank you for reading and any advice is appreciated.

    • admin says:

      Hi there,
      PIC 4017 can be satisfied as long as the law of the applicant’s home country permits the removal of the applicant (even if joint custody exists).
      At first glance, it seems like your daughter will be able to obtain her Australian visa, but feel free to reach out at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss further.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

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