Application process for citizenship by descent

The following steps are a guide to the application process for Australian citizenship by descent.

Click on Step 1 below to begin.

Step 1. Determine that you are eligible

You may be eligible to apply to become an Australian citizen by descent if:

  • you were born outside Australia
  • one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth.

If your Australian citizen parent was a citizen by descent then that parent must have spent at least two years in Australia.

If you were born outside Australia or New Guinea before 26 January 1949 you may be eligible if:

  • at least one or your parents became an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949
  • that parent was born in Australia or New Guinea, or was naturalised in Australia before your birth.

All applicants aged 18 years and over must complete and lodge a Form 80 Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment with their application.


Applications for children under 16 years of age must be made by a responsible parent.

Children born through surrogacy arrangements

If the application is for a child born from a surrogacy arrangement Fact Sheet 36a International Surrogacy Arrangements provides information.

Step 2. Gather your original documents

Use this checklist as a guide to the original documents usually required.

Step 3. Copy and certify your documents

Have your documents copied and certified and your identity declaration and photograph signed.

You must copy your original documents and have them certified by an Australian citizen from the designated list of occupations.

Applicants outside Australia

If you are overseas when applying, you can have your original documents certified by a citizen of your country of residence who is employed in one of the designated list of occupations.

Step 4. Complete and lodge your application

Complete and lodge your application together with your certified documents, photograph and fee.

All applications lodged within Australia should be lodged by post, courier or in person with the department's Tasmanian office. All applications lodged outside of Australia should be directed to your nearest Immigration office outside Australia.

Once you have had your documents copied and certified you will need to complete all parts of the application form.

More information on how to complete the form is available.

The Client Service Charter provides details on the service standard for processing an application for Australian citizenship by descent. If you do not receive notification within the time given in the charter you can contact the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880, for applications lodged in Australia. For applications lodged outside Australia, you can contact your nearest Immigration Office Outside Australia.

Citizenship commences on the date the application is approved. You do not need to attend a citizenship ceremony.

Last reviewed Thursday 13 February 2014

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