Am I eligible for citizenship?

Various categories of people can apply for Australian citizenship. For people migrating to Australia from another country then, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for citizenship. Two of the most common categories that lead to citizenship are migrants acheiving permanent residence or spouses/partners of Australian residents. Potentially eligible people include:

  • migrants with permanent residence
  • spouses of Australian citizens
  • New Zealand citizens who have lived here for a long time
  • children born overseas to Australian citizens
  • children adopted overseas by Australian citizens
  • children of former Australian citizens
  • former Australians who lost or renounced their citizenship
  • Papuans born before independence in 1975
  • people who arrived under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme
  • refugees and humanitarian entrants

If you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for citizenship then you can check the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website for guidance. The Citizenship home page includes information on eligibility for citizenship by the above categories. You can also use the Citizenship Wizard, which will give you further information based on your specific case details.

Am I already a citizen?

Even if your parents were not Australian citizens, there are circumstances under which you may still automatically be an Australian citizen. If you were born in Australia on or after:

  • 20 August 1986 to an Australian citizen or permanent resident parent, you became an Australian citizen at birth.
  • 20 August 1986 to parents who were not permanent residents or Australian citizens, you may have become an Australian citizen automatically on your 10th birthday.

If you were born in Australia between:

  • 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 you became an Australian citizen at birth, unless one parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges or was a consular officer.
  • 26 January 1949 and 21 November 1984 you became an Australian citizen at birth, unless your father was entitled to diplomatic privileges or was a consular officer.

If you arrived in Australia after 26 January 1944, you are probably not an Australian citizen even though you have been able to vote or may have served in the Australian armed services.