Document checklist for Australian citizenship by descent

The checklists below list documents commonly required for applications for Australian citizenship by descent.

There is also general information about documents that may assist you, including how to obtain certified copies of your documents.

If you have difficulty finding suitable documents please call the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 in Australia between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

If you are outside Australia and need assistance please contact your nearest Immigration office outside Australia.

Identity documents

Document Checked

Birth certificate, or equivalent, that shows:

  • birth name
  • birth date
  • place of birth
  • names of parents.
Evidence of any change of name and linkages between names used, if applicable  
Passport, if any  
Evidence of current residential address  
Identity declaration completed and accompanied by an endorsed photograph.  
Form 1195 - Identity declaration (297KB PDF) for each person included in your application if you are applying online. Note - Form 1195 is not required if you are applying on a paper application as the identity declaration is included within the application for descent form.  

Good character

Document Checked
You will need to provide original penal clearance certificates from overseas countries if, in the last 10 years:
  • you lived or travelled overseas since the age of 18 years or over, and 
  • the total time spent overseas added up to 12 months or more, and 
  • the time spent in any one country was more than 90 days, or 
  • you are requested to do so by the department.
If you are applying outside Australia, a penal clearance certificate is required for ANY time you have spent in Australia since the age of 18 years.

Complete an Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Police Check Application form.

Supporting documents

Document Checked

Documents that show one responsible parent was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth, such as:

  • a full Australian birth certificate
  • an Australian citizenship certificate or naturalisation certificate
  • an Australian passport

Evidence of other citizenships held by your Australian citizen parent such as a letter or certificate showing a date of acquisition of other citizenship, if applicable.


If your Australian citizen parent was a citizen by descent, evidence that your parent was resident in Australia for two years, such as:

  • school records
  • employment records
  • any documents issued by an Australian government agency

Identity documents for the responsible parent who is applying on behalf of a child under 16 years of age.

Documents must collectively show a signature, photograph and current address, such as a passport, drivers licence, credit card or utilities bill.

Any orders relating to the custody, guardianship or parental responsibility for this child, if this applies.  
A court order and other evidence (if applicable) in relation to the surrogacy arrangement which assigns parental responsibility to the nominated parent.
Note: The documented evidence provided must have been issued from the country of birth of the child and accompanied by an accredited translation from the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

More information on surrogacy matters is available in Fact Sheet 36A International Surrogacy Arrangements
If you are 18 years of age or over, a completed Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (624KB PDF)  

You may be required to provide additional documents to those listed above.

If you are overseas when you are applying, you should contact the nearest Australian overseas post or see their website for more information before lodging your application.
See: Immigration Offices Outside Australia

Last modified Saturday 18 April 2015