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
    and
  • 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
    and
  • that parent was born in Australia or New Guinea, or was naturalised in Australia before your birth.

Children

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

You must submit certain documents with your application. Providing all of the required documents will enable us to process your application promptly.

Your application may be returned to you if the required documents are not provided with your application.

Use this checklist as a guide to the original documents usually required. If you are 18 years of age or over, you must also complete Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (624KB PDF).

If you are applying online, you will require a completed Form 1195 – Identity declaration (305KB PDF) with endorsed photograph for each applicant in your online application.

Step 3. Scan or certify your documents

Online application

You will need to scan all of your original documents including your completed form 1195 – Identity declaration and endorsed photograph, so that you can attach them to your online application. Any documents which are in colour should be scanned in colour. Save your scanned documents where you can access them while completing your online application.

Paper application

If you are applying on a paper form, you will need to provide certified copies of your documents with your application. A 'certified copy' is a copy of an original document, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate or proof of identity that has been authorised as being a true copy of an original.

Copies of your original documents must be certified by an Australian citizen who is not related to you by birth, marriage or de facto relationship and is currently working in a position from the designated list of occupations.

Applicants outside Australia

If you are applying from outside Australia and do not know an Australian citizen, your original documents can be certified by a citizen of your country of residence who is not related to you by birth, marriage or de facto relationship and who is currently working in a position from the designated list of occupations.

Step 4. Complete and lodge your application

Online application

To apply online you will need to have an ImmiAccount. After you have completed and paid for your online application your will need to attach your scanned documents.

This includes a completed Form 1195 – Identity declaration (305KB PDF) and endorsed photograph for each applicant in your online application.

If you are 18 years of age or over, you will also need to attach a completed Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (517KB PDF).

Paper application

Complete Form 118 - Application for Australian citizenship by descent (237KB PDF) and lodge it together with the certified copies of your documents, endorsed photograph and the application fee. Information on how to complete the form is available.

If you are 18 years of age or over, you will also need to lodge a completed Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (517KB PDF).

If you are outside Australia, send your application to your nearest Immigration office outside Australia.

If you are in Australia send your application to our office in Tasmania.

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.

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

Last reviewed Monday 15 September 2014