Born in Australia

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:

Birth not registered

Late registration of birth

Applicants that claim to have been born in Australia but their birth was not registered, must apply to an Australian Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) for a late registration of their birth and the issue of a birth certificate.

Late registration of birth is normally possible but the circumstances and conditions vary from State to State.

Birth in Australia that has not been registered

If an applicant’s birth in Australia is not registered, then a birth certificate may not have been issued.

In these cases, the applicant should:

Late registration of birth cannot be obtained

If late registration is not possible then the applicant should request written evidence from RBDM stating that no certificate can be issued.

The applicant must also provide other documentation of acceptable integrity to establish their date and place of birth. The applicant must provide:

Adoption in Australia

Citizenship by adoption in Australia

Normally, Australian adoption orders are presented directly to the relevant State Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages and a new birth certificate is issued.

The child then automatically acquires Australian citizenship providing the adoption occurred on or after 22 November 1984 and, at the time of adoption:

People adopted in Australia before 22 November 1984 do not automatically acquire Australian citizenship and may apply for conferral of Australian citizenship. Applicants adopted before this date must produce a certificate of Australian citizenship in support of their passport application.

Applicants for a passport need to submit their full birth certificate and, if born on or after 20 August 1986, proof that one parent was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident in Australia at the time of the adoption.

See also ‘ Applications for adopted children born overseas ’.

New Zealand parents

Applicant born in Australia to NZ parents

New Zealand citizens are subject to special citizenship arrangements. If both parents are New Zealand citizens, evidence from DIAC is required unless the applicant has a citizenship certificate or previous passport issued after 1 January 2000.

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

Australian birth certificate

Sample of a full Australian birth certificate

Doubt regarding authenticity of a birth certificate

If an Authorised Officer has doubt as to the authenticity or acceptability of a particular birth certificate, the officer must contact the relevant RBDM to confirm the details.

Occupation of parent listed on full Australian birth certificate

The occupation of each parent on the full birth certificate must be checked to ensure that neither parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities because of their employment by a foreign government or international organisation in Australia at the time of birth of the applicant (e.g. diplomat, consular, technical official etc). See ‘ Citizenship by birth in Australia ’.

Applicants whose parents’ occupations fall into these categories should be advised that they have no entitlement to Australian citizenship.

If a child’s birth certificate does not show the parents’ occupations, ask the applicant to present evidence that one parent was an Australian citizen or had permanent resident status at the time of their birth.

Unacceptable birth certificates

Extracts of birth certificates, commemorative birth certificates and birth cards cannot be accepted to establish Australian citizenship.

Extract of birth certificate

Extract of Australian Birth Certificate An extract of birth is not a full birth certificate. It is often an A5 size and does not:

Commemorative birth certificate

Commemorative Australian Birth Certificate Commemorative birth certificates are certificates with a theme or fancy graphic design. They cannot be accepted because they do not establish a person’s name at birth if the person has had a change of name between the time of birth and the time of issue of the commemorative birth certificate. In some cases the commemorative birth certificate does not show the parents’ occupation at the time of the applicant’s birth.

In all cases where a commemorative birth certificate is issued, clients are also issued standard format birth certificates. Advice is given by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the application for a commemorative birth certificate that it cannot be used for official purposes.

Birth card

Birth cards are credit-card sized cards that the NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages introduced as an alternative form of identification to extracts of birth certificates. The cards carry the same information as an extract, along with a photograph and signature of the holder.

Birth cards cannot be accepted for the purposes of confirming Australian citizenship, for the same reasons that extracts of birth certificates cannot be accepted.

The birth card can however be used for proof of identity purposes as it shows a photograph and signature of the person, which can be cross checked against the person and application at the time of the interview.

NSW RBDM stopped producing the birth card as of 1 August 2008. Birth cards still in circulation should not be accepted after 1 August 2013.