Citizenship by birth in Australia

Evidence of Australian citizenship by birth

Since the legal status of Australian citizenship came into force on 26 January 1949, there have been various changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 relating to the acquisition of Australian citizenship by birth. Different rules apply, according to a person’s date of birth.

Information on the various kinds of documents that are acceptable as evidence of Australian citizenship is contained in DIAC form 119, Application for a Certificate of Evidence of Australian Citizenship. This form, and other citizenship information, is available from DIAC and at http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/119.pdf

Australian birth certificate: evidence of citizenship

An Australian birth certificate can establish citizenship, as long as it is:

Born in Australia before 20 August 1986

People born in Australia before 26 January 1949

Australian citizenship did not exist before 26 January 1949. Before then, people born in Australia were British subjects. In most circumstances they automatically became Australian citizens on 26 January 1949.

Further information about the citizenship of people born in Australia before 26 January 1949 is available from DIAC.

People born in Australia between 26 January 1949 and 5 May 1966 inclusive

People born in Australia between 26 January 1949 and 5 May 1966 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless their father had the immunity from suit and legal process accorded to an envoy of a foreign country.

People born in Australia between 6 May 1966 and 21 November 1984 inclusive

People born in Australia between 6 May 1966 and 21 November 1984 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless their father was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities or was a consular officer of a foreign country and was not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.

People born in Australia between 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 inclusive

People born in Australia between 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 inclusive became Australian citizens by birth unless one parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities or was a consular officer of a foreign country and neither parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.

Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986

General

People born in Australia (including Norfolk Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island) on or after 20 August 1986 are Australian citizens by birth if at least one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the time of the person’s birth.

In cases where both the applicant and the parent(s) of the applicant were born after 20 August 1986 and neither of the parents has held an Australian passport with at least 2 years validity issued on or after 1 January 2000, the following applies:

In cases where the applicant is unable to provide supporting documentation to confirm their Australian citizenship, refer the applicant to DIAC.

Permanent resident

For these provisions, a permanent resident is a foreign national who:

Evidence of parent’s citizenship or permanent residency

Evidence of citizenship of a parent includes: