Child born overseas to an Australian citizen

Commonly, if you were born overseas on or after 26 January 1949 to an Australian citizen parent, you may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship by descent.

If your responsible parent became an Australian citizen by descent, he or she must have been present in Australia for periods totalling two years at some time in their life.

If you were born outside Australia or New Guinea before 26 January 1949 you may also be eligible for Australian citizenship by descent if at least one of your responsible parents became an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949.

If you are an Australian citizen who is considering entering into an international surrogacy arrangement, Fact Sheet 36a International Surrogacy Arrangements provides important information.

Your Australian citizenship options

Children born overseas to an Australian citizen parent apply for Australian citizenship using Form 118 - Application for Australian citizenship by descent.

Find out how to apply for Australian citizenship by descent.

You can apply online or on a paper application form.

Other options

If your responsible parent had lost their Australian citizenship at the time of your birth, you cannot apply for citizenship by descent. You may be eligible to apply for citizenship as a child of a former citizen.

If you are adopted, you cannot apply for Australian citizenship by descent. You may be eligible to apply for citizenship by adoption.

If you are unsure of which option is for you, the Citizenship Wizard may suggest an application option to suit your circumstances.

Requirements for applications lodged overseas

You should contact your nearest immigration office outside Australia or see their website for more information before lodging your application because:

  • you may be required to attend an appointment and present original documents as part of your application process
  • some posts only accept certain currencies for fee payments with your application
  • some posts will ask you to bring in your original documents and will certify copies for you to attach to your application
  • some posts may only accept copies certified by an Australian citizen in your country of residence
  • some posts may also accept copies certified by a citizen of your country of residence if no Australian is known to you
  • some posts may direct you to their preferred third party for document certification.