Passport Policy for Permanent Residents

I was in Washington DC yesterday renewing my passport. The US is still imperial, so to comply with Australian metric standards I had to order A4 paper and the photos took two goes before they were within the bounds of the ‘biometric’ software reader. But the passport is just a piece of identification to get between the political boundaries that exist on this planet. The passport isn’t for my benefit, it is for the government’s, such that flows of travellers can be tracked. So why not make it easier on permanent residents and give them an Australian passport.

Permanent residents have an Australian address and have gone through all the security stuff that immigration requires – so give them the option of having an Australian passport along with a permanent resident visa. There are probably many cases where it would expedite an individual getting through a political border. I expect that many permanent residents from disadvantaged nations would prefer to use an Australian Passport, just as an American permanent resident might prefer to use an Australian Passport in the Middle East.

Until Australia manages to do border deals like the member states of the European Union have with each other, then giving Australian Passports to permanent residents may make it easier for individuals to move between the customs and travel regulatory regimes of nation-states.

This entry was posted in regulation. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
3 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sinclair Davidson
Sinclair Davidson
14 years ago

Cam, it’s not clear what the issue is here. (I don’t think you’re calling for open borders). Permanent residents have a five-year visa. They can come to Australia and live forever, but if they choose to travel they have to get new visa’s every five years. The price of a visa is approximately the price of a citizenship application (or it was when I did my sums). So it pays PRs to get Australian citizenship – in addition those new Australians are not required to renounce their previous citizenship (by Australian law) – although many PRs from ‘disadvantaged nations’ would have no problem doing so.

Justin
Justin
14 years ago

I don’t think that’s right Sinclair. (I was an immigration lawyer but haven’t practised for seven years, so it may have changed.) The situation was that permanent residents, instead of getting a passort, get a ‘Travel Document’, which is to all intents and purposes the same. It even looks pretty much the same. Permanent residents have the same right to travel abroad as Australian citizens have. The fact of travelling doesn’t require them to renew their PR visa every five years. But from the time the permanent visa is granted, they have five years to enter Australia and take up residence. The price of a visa varies with the visa class.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

jimmythespiv
jimmythespiv
14 years ago

Cam You are forgetting that the PR, from, say, Italy, can travel on his/her Italian passport.  If they want to travel on an Australian passport they can take out citizenship.   The crucial difference is whether the person wants to define themselves as an Italian living in Australia, or as an Australian.