We use cookies for statistical purposes.

Our Articles

Obtain Australian Citizenship by Descent

Obtain Australian Citizenship by Descent

The legislation on immigration in Australia prescribes that foreigners can obtain Australian citizenship by descent. Of course, this procedure can be started as long as the foreigner is related to Australian citizens. The eligibility criteria takes into consideration several scenarios, which will be presented in this article, where you can find out as well the papers necessary for this procedure.

If you want to obtain Australian citizenship by descent, you are also invited to address to our Australia migration lawyer, who can provide more details on this subject, and who can also represent you in the procedure or explain the legal steps that you have to follow.

Who is eligible to obtain Australian citizenship by descent?

There are few categories of persons who are considered eligible for receiving citizenship by descent in Australia. One can apply if at least one of the parents was an Australian citizen at the moment when the applicant was born (in the case of overseas births). The legislation on immigration in Australia also provides this right to persons who were adopted by Australian citizens.

Besides the citizenship by descent, a foreigner can also apply for Australian citizenship obtained through marriage. The spouses of Australian citizens must first apply for visas issued for this specific purpose, and there, they have 2 main visa categories:

  1. temporary partner visas;
  2. permanent partner visas (these allow the right to apply for citizenship when the person meets the residency requirements).

For residence in Australia on a permanent basis, the highest number of visas is available for the work stream. The second most important category is the family stream. For instance, for the year 2022-2023, there are 52,500 visas available.

The partner visa stream represents the majority of the visas, accounting for 40,500 visas, while the next is the parent visa stream (with 8,500 visas).

Below, we will present the main things that you should take into consideration if you want to apply for Australian citizenship in the case in which one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the moment of your birth, and if the birth took place outside Australia:

  • you will be required to pay a processing fee of AUD 230;
  • in the case in which you have other siblings who want to obtain Australian citizenship by descent at the same time with you, a fee of AUD 95 will be required for each sibling;
  • in the case in which you have an age above 18 years old, you must make proof of having good character;
  • persons with an age below 15 years old must have their application signed by their parents;
  • in order to apply, you will need to complete the Form 118, a document that must be submitted with the Department of Home Affairs.

If you were born outside Australia from Australian citizens (or at least one Australian citizen), you can be eligible for citizenship if you were born on 26 January 1949 or after this date. You should also know that you do not have to be related by blood with an Australian citizen in order to obtain the right to apply for Australian citizenship.

You can also be an adopted child of an Australian citizen, as long as the adoption was done following the protocols of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or another bilateral agreement legally recognized in Australia. You can refer to our immigration lawyer in Australia if you need legal advice on the international adoption treaties recognized here.

Our team can answer questions about those parents who are a permanent resident in Australia before acquiring citizenship and the rights of their children, according to the moment when they were born.

Below, you can watch a short presentation on how to obtain Australian citizenship by descent:

What documents are necessary for Australian citizenship by descent?

When applying for Australian citizenship by descent, you will, evidently, have to prepare an extensive set of documents, in accordance with the requirements of the law. Firstly, the applicants have to present the original documents that attest their right to apply for citizenship by descent, as well as documents that show their moral integrity (not having a serious criminal conviction is a prerequisite of this procedure).

The application has to contain original documents that show your parents’ citizenship situation – here, Australian citizenship has to be proved and it is necessary to show that the parents (or parent) had Australian citizenship or had obtained Australian citizenship at the moment of the applicant’s birth.

In the case in which your original papers are not in English, you are required to provide a certified translation, and the persons who make the certified translations have to be registered and accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

You can also use certified copies of the documents, but in particular cases, for certain types of documents; in general, one has to provide original papers. The legislation on immigration in Australia stipulates different rules based on the age of the applicant. Thus, persons who have an age above 16 years old have to provide documents related to the following: the current residency, the date of birth, name, gender, signature and the person’s photograph.

In the case in which the applicant has changed his or her initial birth name, documents showing this modification have to be added to the application file. In the case in which the applicant does not offer sufficient documents showing the above mentioned, the application will be rejected and this is why we recommend you to address to our Australia migration lawyer when preparing the file. We invite you to contact our lawyer for legal advice and assistance on any inquiry you may have referring to the issuance of Australian citizenship by descent.