What this Act covers
This Act sets out how you become an Australian citizen, the circumstances in
which you may cease to be a citizen and some other matters related to
Becoming an Australian citizen
There are a range of ways you can become an Australian citizen.
Acquiring citizenship automatically
Generally, you become an Australian citizen automatically if you are born in
Australia and one or both of your parents are Australian citizens or
permanent residents when you are born.
There are some other, less common, ways of automatically becoming a citizen.
Division 1 of Part 2 has details about acquiring citizenship
Also, if you were a citizen under the old Act immediately before the day that
this section commences, you will continue to be a citizen: see
Acquiring citizenship by application
The other way to become an Australian citizen is to apply to the Minister.
This is covered by Division 2 of Part 2. There are 4 situations
in which you can apply for citizenship.
The first is citizenship by descent. Generally, you would apply for this if
you were born outside Australia and one or both of your parents were
Australian citizens when you were born. Citizenship by descent is covered by
The second is citizenship for persons adopted in accordance with the Hague
Convention on Intercountry Adoption or a bilateral arrangement: see
The third is citizenship by conferral. Generally, you would need to be a
permanent resident and willing to make a pledge of commitment to apply for
citizenship by conferral. You may need to successfully complete a citizenship
test. There are some less common circumstances in which you can apply for
citizenship by conferral. Citizenship by conferral is covered by
The fourth is resuming citizenship. In certain cases where you previously
ceased to be an Australian citizen, you can apply for your citizenship to
resume. Resuming citizenship is covered by Subdivision C.
The Minister must be satisfied of your identity for you to acquire citizenship
by application. Rules about identification are in Division 5 of
The Minister may be required to refuse your application on national security
Ceasing to be an Australian citizen
There are a number of ways that you can cease to be an Australian citizen.
You can renounce your citizenship.
If you did not automatically become an Australian citizen, the Minister can
revoke your citizenship in certain circumstances.
There are some other, less common, ways of ceasing to be a citizen.
Division 3 of Part 2 has details about ceasing to be a citizen.
Evidence that a person is an Australian citizen
You can apply to the Minister for evidence of your Australian citizenship.
This is covered by Division 4 of Part 2.