In limited compassionate circumstances, may consider the issue of a Certificate of Identity (COI) on a case by case basis. Validity will be limited to the minimum time required for travel to be completed.

Compassionate criteria are:

  • Death or serious illness likely to lead to death of an immediate family member (i.e. father, mother, spouse, husband, wife, brother, sister), where the applicant’s government is not represented in Australia and it is not possible to obtain a foreign-national travel document in time to meet the emergency travel needs. The applicant must provide a statement from a medical authority confirming the situation;

  • Where it can clearly be shown that an approach to the person’s own government (usually due to a sudden overthrow of the former government) for a travel document would represent a serious threat to that person’s life or wellbeing; or

  • For newly created countries where a national passport service has not yet been developed or, for those countries where the Australian Government does not recognise the government or travel document of that country.

The Delegate may use their discretion to approve the issue of COI’s under other compassionate or unusual circumstances.

Note: Delay is not an acceptable reason for entitlement to a COI. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that it is not unreasonable to wait six months to be issued a passport from the country of nationality.