Who determines Australian citizenship?
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is responsible for matters relating to citizenship.
Applicants should be referred to DIAC if they have any questions concerning their citizenship status including if they:
- Claim to hold Australian citizenship, but appear to have lost the proof of it; or
- Held an Australian passport issued to them as a British subject and claim, but cannot prove, they hold Australian citizenship.
DIAC contact details:
- Visit the DIAC websites:
- www.citizenship.gov.au or
- Telephone the Citizenship Information Line (CIL) on 131 880.
Doubt regarding Australian citizenship
An Authorised Officer must be satisfied that the applicant is an Australian citizen at the time of issue of an Australian passport.
Where officers have reason to question whether an applicant:
- holds Australian citizenship; or
- may have lost their Australian citizenship (see ‘ Loss of Australian citizenship ’); or
- has lost their proof of Australian citizenship;
then further evidence of citizenship must be requested from the applicant.
Under no circumstances is an Australian passport (including an Emergency passport) to be issued to an applicant unless citizenship has been properly established.
Loss of Australian citizenship
Adult applicants who acquired the citizenship or nationality of another country by doing any act or thing other than marriage before 4 April 2002 automatically lost their Australian citizenship. Their children under 18 years also lost their Australian citizenship unless the other parent was also an Australian citizen or permanent resident. People in this situation should be referred to DIAC to determine their citizenship status and to inquire about resumption of their Australian citizenship if necessary.
From 4 April 2002 acquiring the citizenship or nationality of another country does not result in the loss of Australian citizenship. However this is not retrospective and persons who acquired another citizenship prior to this date may have lost their Australian citizenship.
Passport application forms include a declaration regarding citizenship. Applicants who sign the declaration and meet all other criteria do not need to provide proof that they have not acquired citizenship or nationality of another country.
All citizenship enquiries must be referred to the Citizenship Section of DIAC for resolution before any document is issued.