Getting out of here, getting out of Australia
It’s now been just over 2 months of the overseas travel ban. All of my clients who applied to go overseas have been able to leave, though not all on the first attempt, and not all in a timely manner. What has been clear is that after a few stumbles, when government officers were overwhelmed with demand from panicked intended parents and others, that intended parents are getting overseas, even though sometimes it’s been less than smooth:
- at commencement, one client managed to get approval after two days.
- another couple, husband and wife, managed to get approval at different speeds- one after 12 days and the other after 14.
- one client had to reapply- then got approval.
- one client was told his first application was refused- and come back with certain paperwork. He then reapplied- was refused and told to come back with different paperwork. He then did so on his third application- and was accepted.
- a couple’s application was delayed to such a degree that they missed the birth of their child.
It is important to assume that you will not be there for the birth of your child and to make sure that you have put in place appropriate guardianship arrangements, just in case.
When making the application to leave for overseas on compassionate grounds, it’s a good idea to lodge the application as soon as possible. The paperwork that should be considered to go with the application, being lodged at the same time:
- a copy of the surrogacy or gestational carrier agreement
- a statement by the hospital or IVF clinic as to when the child is due to be born and where, and your involvement as a parent
- a letter to similar effect by your overseas lawyer/surrogacy agency
- if you have a pre-birth order, a copy of that order
- a letter by your Australian lawyer
Of course, each of these documents needs to be in English. You should set out as succinctly as possible in the application as to the need to travel and why it is an exceptional circumstance requiring you to be there, and what hardship will be caused if you are not.
If you have travle bookings, set these out. Alloe for two weeks or more for the approval to be granted.
Approval will be to allow you to fly from one airport, for example, Sydney. You can change your flights and dates, but not the airport. If you decide to fly from a different airport, you will have to apply for a new approval, and start the process again. Take care with your flight bookings!