Bravo to the Australian High Commission (“AHC”) London staff in Immigraton & Citizenship. It is the one team who deals with all migration and citizenship by descent matters across Europe. Due to recent government changes to citizenship laws there is a backlog of applications for citizenship. Because of that backlog AHC staff have been unable to identify surrogacy cases without first opening the Application and reviewing it.
On Thursday I managed to connect with the head of this team (no mean feat) and alert him to a number of pending Applications for Citizenship by Descent that were for surrogacy births. Within 3 hours the citizenship was granted for my client’s child in Greece and the certificate details were sent electronically to the Passports section in Athens. A short email from me to the Complex Child Applications section in Canberra and amazing assistance from the Passports staff in Athens meant this child had a passport within 24 hours of my conversation with the AHC London team head.
Great effort by departmental staff and local employees. My grateful clients will be home by Boxing Day, 40 days after the birth of their child in Greece.
A word of caution – for those intended parents with a biological link to their child it is AHC London practice to request DNA tests for ALL surrogacy children born in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Greece. I don’t understand the reasoning for this because in the last 4 years I have never had a client for whom Citizenship have requested a DNA test.
Stay flexible and be prepared.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at IPT Law. We have had clients with 11 surrogacy babies born in November and December in 5 different countries. A perfect Christmas gift.