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Emigrating With A Stepchild

Emigrating With A Stepchild

Old Jun 1st 2009, 5:38 pm
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Default Emigrating With A Stepchild

I am planning to emigrate within the next 18 months with my wife, biological daughter and 13 year old stepdaughter.

I know I need to obtain the biological fathers consent and wondered what happens if he refuses? Does my stepdaughter have the legal right to decide for herself? We have sat down with my stepdaughter and very openly discussed the whole issue. She is very excited about going to Australia and really wants to go. She doesnt see her dad much anyway (3/4 times a year) so isnt too concerned. Bottom line is, if she didnt want to go, we wouldnt be going.

Has anyone gone through the "getting the other parents consent" bit? If so, I'd love to hear how you gone on.
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
I am planning to emigrate within the next 18 months with my wife, biological daughter and 13 year old stepdaughter.

I know I need to obtain the biological fathers consent and wondered what happens if he refuses? Does my stepdaughter have the legal right to decide for herself? We have sat down with my stepdaughter and very openly discussed the whole issue. She is very excited about going to Australia and really wants to go. She doesnt see her dad much anyway (3/4 times a year) so isnt too concerned. Bottom line is, if she didnt want to go, we wouldnt be going.

Has anyone gone through the "getting the other parents consent" bit? If so, I'd love to hear how you gone on.
There are several on BE that have posted a great deal in the past on this subject. You will have to provide evidence that she is legally allowed to leave the UK (depends where you live) - 'Removal From Jurisdiction' (RFJ).

Many have had to go to court which can be costly (approx £5/10k) and very demanding. A statutory declaration can be good enough where the biological father signs a form and has to be witnessed and signed (possibly notarised). Often, going through court, favours the party emigrating but there is usually an agreement drawn up where 'contact' is agreed and even money for visits either way. I think that when a child is 12 or more, then there opinion carries some weight - sorry, not certain on that.

We asked my OH's to sign a stat dec and he was happy to, although, we did not expect that and were prepared to go to court. It can take a lot longer through court is he is a no show and ignores solicitors letters, court appearances.

A note of caution, is that occasionally, mirror agreements are mentioned and they would add to the cost and have some complications.

All in all, it's best top come to an agreement outside of court and the money saved can be used for flights back etc.

Good luck,
Cooler
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Old Jun 1st 2009, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

There is discussion in the article:
http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Child_...an_Immigration
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
I am planning to emigrate within the next 18 months with my wife, biological daughter and 13 year old stepdaughter.

I know I need to obtain the biological fathers consent and wondered what happens if he refuses? Does my stepdaughter have the legal right to decide for herself? We have sat down with my stepdaughter and very openly discussed the whole issue. She is very excited about going to Australia and really wants to go. She doesnt see her dad much anyway (3/4 times a year) so isnt too concerned. Bottom line is, if she didnt want to go, we wouldnt be going.

Has anyone gone through the "getting the other parents consent" bit? If so, I'd love to hear how you gone on.
My wife and I moved to Sydney on a 136 visa with our 14 yr old son (I'm not the Biological father).

We were told that we may need to obtain consent from the biological father by our agent if DIAC asked for it - funny thing is, they didn't ask.

He was actually happy to provide it if needed when my wife spoke to him about it (but we did go to see a solicitor to find out what would happen if we were asked to prove consent and he backed out)

From what I remember, and this is a vague recollection so don't quote me verbatim, she told us that since we had "custody" we didn't actually need permission from the point of view of removing him from the country but could apply to have a court / JP or something legal done to provide proof of custody to satisfy any requirements DIAC have.

She didn't even charge us for the consult, which in hindsight might have been a bad thing because I think a solicitors advice is insured if you pay for it?

Ask for permission from the father in writing, because it's far easier to go down that route than the other. I would reccomend you consult a Solicitor just to find out precisely what your legal position is should he refuse and if he can indeed throw any spanners into the works... just incase.

I'm sure if it came down to some form of arbitration, your Daughter's preference would carry a fair amount of weight, as would the frequency (or lack thereof) of previous contact with the Bio-dad.

Anyway, I *know* how much of a source of anxiety this can be so I wish you all the best.

Dean
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 12:26 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Dean....your a star. Thanks!

This is just the sort of advise I was looking for. We will write to the bio father in the first instance and take things from there. I will also take some legal advice on whether a Statutory Declaration is required or whether written confirmation from the bio father will suffice. A migration agent should be able to help with this.

Thanks again

Thanks for your best wishes.

Originally Posted by dogscogs View Post
My wife and I moved to Sydney on a 136 visa with our 14 yr old son (I'm not the Biological father).

We were told that we may need to obtain consent from the biological father by our agent if DIAC asked for it - funny thing is, they didn't ask.

He was actually happy to provide it if needed when my wife spoke to him about it (but we did go to see a solicitor to find out what would happen if we were asked to prove consent and he backed out)

From what I remember, and this is a vague recollection so don't quote me verbatim, she told us that since we had "custody" we didn't actually need permission from the point of view of removing him from the country but could apply to have a court / JP or something legal done to provide proof of custody to satisfy any requirements DIAC have.

She didn't even charge us for the consult, which in hindsight might have been a bad thing because I think a solicitors advice is insured if you pay for it?

Ask for permission from the father in writing, because it's far easier to go down that route than the other. I would reccomend you consult a Solicitor just to find out precisely what your legal position is should he refuse and if he can indeed throw any spanners into the works... just incase.

I'm sure if it came down to some form of arbitration, your Daughter's preference would carry a fair amount of weight, as would the frequency (or lack thereof) of previous contact with the Bio-dad.

Anyway, I *know* how much of a source of anxiety this can be so I wish you all the best.

Dean
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
Dean....your a star. Thanks!

This is just the sort of advise I was looking for. We will write to the bio father in the first instance and take things from there. I will also take some legal advice on whether a Statutory Declaration is required or whether written confirmation from the bio father will suffice. A migration agent should be able to help with this.

Thanks again

Thanks for your best wishes.
Stat dec is legal for the UK (RFJ), although I have read (BE) that a CO has asked for a court order as law and legal terms vary from country to country.

Furthermore, a stat dec can be rescinded by someone going to court if they change their mind.

Make sure you find a solicitor who has knowledge in this area.

regards,
Cooler
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Thanks cooler, will do. Sorry, forgive my ignorance, but does RFL and CO stand for? Give me a couple of years and I'll get to grips with all these acronyms!

Originally Posted by coolerkingcooler View Post
Stat dec is legal for the UK (RFJ), although I have read (BE) that a CO has asked for a court order as law and legal terms vary from country to country.

Furthermore, a stat dec can be rescinded by someone going to court if they change their mind.

Make sure you find a solicitor who has knowledge in this area.

regards,
Cooler
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

I have the very same problem...........having rung the australian call centre they emailed me this information..........I have an appointment tomorrow with a solicitor...........

In the UK a child aged 16 or under, requires permission to be granted a visa and travel into Australia from both parents or legal guardians. This consent is required to ensure that granting a visa to a child who is 16 years or under is not in contravention of Australia’s international obligations in relation to the prevention of child abduction.

If a child aged 16 or under applies for a visa other than an ETA or eVisitor visa they will be required to provide evidence both parents consent to the grant of a visa. Please see below for a list of acceptable documents that you could provide to demonstrate there are no outstanding consent/custody issues with a child before a visa for Australia can be granted. The document needs to make it clear whether it permits the child to visit or migrate permanently to Australia.

(1) Provide a statutory declaration giving permission for the following child/children to visit/migrate to Australia from the non-migrating parent or any other non-migrating person who has the legal right to determine where the following child/children can live.

The statutory declaration must also make it clear that the person witnessing the statement (ie solicitor, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public or Magistrate) has seen some form of photo identification of the person making the statement. The document must either be on the business letterhead paper of the witness, or provide their full contact details.

The Immigration consent form 1229 can be used, if appropriately witnessed for temporary residence visas. Permanent residence visas will require a statutory declaration to be signed. Please see the link below:

http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1229.pdf

OR,

(2) Provide a certified copy of a valid court order showing that you/your spouse has the legal right to remove the above named child/children temporarily/permanently from the United Kingdom.

OR,

(3) (FOR ENGLAND AND WALES ONLY) If both parents are named on the birth certificate of the child but the parents were not married at the time of birth, please provide a letter from your solicitor or legal representative confirming that the non-custodial parent has not lodged a Parental Responsibility Agreement since the birth of the child.



The Department of Immigration and Citizenship will be hosting ‘Australia Needs Skills’ expos in London in June 2009. To find out if you are eligible for skilled migration to Australia or to register an expression of interest to attend an expo, visit http://www.immi.gov.au/skillexpos/overseas.htm

Please note:
- The advice you are given by the London Contact Centre will be based on the information you supply.
- We cannot advise clients on the likely outcome of any visa application, as applications are assessed on an individual merits basis.
- The Department of Immigration & Citizenship strongly recommends that clients do not make any irreversible travel bookings until they have been granted an appropriate visa.

If you would like help finding the right Australian visa please visit the Visa Wizard website: http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard

We hope this information has been of assistance.

Yours faithfully


London Contact Centre
Migration Branch
Australian High Commission
Strand London WC2B 4LA

DIAC website: www.immi.gov.au
London website: www.uk.embassy.gov.au

7145

Telephone Information Service: 09065 508 900
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
Thanks cooler, will do. Sorry, forgive my ignorance, but does RFL and CO stand for? Give me a couple of years and I'll get to grips with all these acronyms!
RFJ - removal from jurisdiction and CO - Case Officer

There is a lot to pick up in migration alone But it'll be worth the effort in the end

Cooler
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Old Jun 2nd 2009, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

We managed to get my ex to sign a Statutory Declaration to bring our daughter over when she was 15. We didn't expect him to but he thought he might get out of paying all the money he owed me to the CSA. They do stop collecting when you move but he still has to pay everything he owes from when we lived in the UK but I wont hold my breath!

When we had sent off our application and got a case officer they contacted me and said that the Stat Dec wasn't enough, I needed a certified copy of my ex's passport and all his details so they could contact him! We weren't expecting that! I phoned our agent who said he had never heard of that but he phoned them back and we got our visa a few days later without giving my ex's details!

Not sure if they were supposed to do that or not!
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Old Jun 9th 2009, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

scarey stuff annette!

How did you get on with your solicitor?

Originally Posted by annette5 View Post
I have the very same problem...........having rung the australian call centre they emailed me this information..........I have an appointment tomorrow with a solicitor...........

In the UK a child aged 16 or under, requires permission to be granted a visa and travel into Australia from both parents or legal guardians. This consent is required to ensure that granting a visa to a child who is 16 years or under is not in contravention of Australia’s international obligations in relation to the prevention of child abduction.

If a child aged 16 or under applies for a visa other than an ETA or eVisitor visa they will be required to provide evidence both parents consent to the grant of a visa. Please see below for a list of acceptable documents that you could provide to demonstrate there are no outstanding consent/custody issues with a child before a visa for Australia can be granted. The document needs to make it clear whether it permits the child to visit or migrate permanently to Australia.

(1) Provide a statutory declaration giving permission for the following child/children to visit/migrate to Australia from the non-migrating parent or any other non-migrating person who has the legal right to determine where the following child/children can live.

The statutory declaration must also make it clear that the person witnessing the statement (ie solicitor, Justice of the Peace, Notary Public or Magistrate) has seen some form of photo identification of the person making the statement. The document must either be on the business letterhead paper of the witness, or provide their full contact details.

The Immigration consent form 1229 can be used, if appropriately witnessed for temporary residence visas. Permanent residence visas will require a statutory declaration to be signed. Please see the link below:

http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1229.pdf

OR,

(2) Provide a certified copy of a valid court order showing that you/your spouse has the legal right to remove the above named child/children temporarily/permanently from the United Kingdom.

OR,

(3) (FOR ENGLAND AND WALES ONLY) If both parents are named on the birth certificate of the child but the parents were not married at the time of birth, please provide a letter from your solicitor or legal representative confirming that the non-custodial parent has not lodged a Parental Responsibility Agreement since the birth of the child.



The Department of Immigration and Citizenship will be hosting ‘Australia Needs Skills’ expos in London in June 2009. To find out if you are eligible for skilled migration to Australia or to register an expression of interest to attend an expo, visit http://www.immi.gov.au/skillexpos/overseas.htm

Please note:
- The advice you are given by the London Contact Centre will be based on the information you supply.
- We cannot advise clients on the likely outcome of any visa application, as applications are assessed on an individual merits basis.
- The Department of Immigration & Citizenship strongly recommends that clients do not make any irreversible travel bookings until they have been granted an appropriate visa.

If you would like help finding the right Australian visa please visit the Visa Wizard website: http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard

We hope this information has been of assistance.

Yours faithfully


London Contact Centre
Migration Branch
Australian High Commission
Strand London WC2B 4LA

DIAC website: www.immi.gov.au
London website: www.uk.embassy.gov.au

7145

Telephone Information Service: 09065 508 900
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Old Jun 9th 2009, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Thanks cooler. May take me a while, but I'll get a hang of these acronyms eventually!

Originally Posted by coolerkingcooler View Post
RFJ - removal from jurisdiction and CO - Case Officer

There is a lot to pick up in migration alone But it'll be worth the effort in the end

Cooler
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Old Jun 9th 2009, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
Thanks cooler. May take me a while, but I'll get a hang of these acronyms eventually!
Then you'll be ITK

Nice avatar BTW

Cooler
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Old Jun 9th 2009, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

yorky1969

Had a terrible time with solicitor, £3k for a court order and 6-9 months to do, however rang oz house again because fathers name not on birth cert, no pr and no contact ever and this is what they sent me

Children born to unmarried parents BEFORE 1 Dec 2003 (England and Wales)

For purposes of visas for Australia, Immigration must enquire whether the unmarried father has acquired PR by agreement or court order, and if he has not, Immigration does not need to seek his consent. A solicitor, for example, may present a letter confirming that no PR orders have been lodged on the father’s behalf



So better news, only costing £500 now and will be done alot quicker now.........thanks for asking,

Annette
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Old Jun 10th 2009, 12:53 am
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Default Re: Emigrating With A Stepchild

Originally Posted by Yorky1969 View Post
Dean....your a star. Thanks!

This is just the sort of advise I was looking for. We will write to the bio father in the first instance and take things from there. I will also take some legal advice on whether a Statutory Declaration is required or whether written confirmation from the bio father will suffice. A migration agent should be able to help with this.
Do you even need father's consent? Does he have parental responsibility?
Many migration agents have a poor understanding of the nuances of child custody law as it is dealt with by Australian immigration.

(if you haven't yet read the wiki article, it is recommended to do so).
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