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Refugee background children/young people may have an incorrect birthdate on their visa paperwork, which becomes the basis for all the official documentation in the country of settlement. Similarly, children seeking asylum may have an incorrect birthdate on their immigration paperwork. This issue is not uncommon and may have significant effects on school placement, developmental assessment (including formal assessments such as cognitive assessment) and access to welfare, services and case management/support.
Families may be reluctant to raise this as an issue, and sometimes this is because they are worried about the implications for their migration claim/visa/citizenship. It often emerges as an issue some years after settlement.
The reasons for an incorrect birthdate are often complex:
Immigrant health clinic resources. Initial version: Georgie Paxton. Revisions: Georgie Paxton, Daniel Engelman August 2013, reviewed May 2016, May 2019, Feb 2020. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org