Why should I become a citizen?

Australian citizenship is an important step in your migration story. Becoming an Australian citizen means that you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia and all that this country stands for. It is also the beginning of your formal membership of the Australian community. It is the step that will enable you to say 'I am Australian'.

Australian citizenship is a privilege that offers enormous rewards. By becoming an Australian citizen, you are joining a unique national community. Our country has been built on the combined contributions of our Indigenous people and those who came later from all over the world. We celebrate this diversity and at the same time, strive for a unified and harmonious nation.

The strength of the Australian community means that we work together to solve problems and to make Australia the great country that it is. We have a stable system of government and Australians respect the authority and laws of the government. Our stability, our culture and our laws have been shaped by our history. By joining the Australian community, you will inherit this history and you will be in a position to contribute to it.

Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship

As a permanent resident of Australia, you have already enjoyed living in a free and democratic society. When you become an Australian citizen, you will have new responsibilities. You will also have a range of new benefits.

Responsibilities – what you will give Australia.

As an Australian citizen you must:

  • obey the law
  • defend Australia should the need arise
  • serve on a jury if called to do so
  • vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
    See: Australian Electoral Commission

Privileges – what Australia will give you.

As an Australian citizen you have the right to:

  • vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
  • apply for work in the Australian Public Service or in the Australian Defence Force
  • seek election to parliament
  • apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely
  • receive help from an Australian official while overseas
  • register children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent.

Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

At the citizenship ceremony, you pledge that you share Australia's democratic beliefs and that you respect the rights and liberties of the people of Australia.

Our democratic beliefs:

  • Parliamentary democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Living peacefully
  • Respect for all individuals regardless of background
  • Compassion for those in need

Our freedoms:

  • Freedom of speech and freedom of expression
  • Freedom of association
  • Freedom of religion and secular government

Our equalities:

  • Equality in Australia
  • Equality of men and women
  • Equality of opportunity

Last modified Thursday 13 February 2014