Australian citizenship by birth – children born before 20 August 1986 acquired Australian citizen by simply using their birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This is enough to confirm you are an Australian citizen provided your parents were not in Australia as foreign diplomats or consular officers at the time of your birth.
Australian citizenship by birth : section 12
If you are born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, you are an Australian citizen by birth if one of your parents was an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, you will need to provide your parent’s birth certificate showing him or her was born in Australia before 20 August 1986. Or his or her Australian citizenship detailing their acquisition of citizenship before your birth.
If both of your parents are not Australian citizens or PRs at the time of your birth but you have lived in Australia for at least 10 years, you may still be entitled to Australian citizenship (click here to learn more).
Obtaining evidence for Australian citizenship
You can apply for evidence of Australian citizenship if one of the following applies:
- Born in Australia before 20 August 1986 and is an Australian by birth
- Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and at least one parent was an Australian citizen or PR at the time of birth
- Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and spent the first 10 years in Australia
- Previously issued with an Australian citizenship certificate (including being listed on a parent’s citizenship certificate) and is seeking to replace it
- Previously issued with an extract which showed your registration as an Australian citizen by descent
- A PR and adopted in Australia on or after 22 November 1984 and became an Australian citizen
- Born in the former Australian Territory of Papua before 16 September 1975 and retained your Australian citizenship
- Born outside Australia before 26 January 1949 to a father who was born in Australia, and you arrived in Australia before 1 May 1987 and acquired Australian citizenship
Eligibility for Australian citizenship certificate
Having an Australian citizenship certificate shows you are n Australian citizen. You can apply to get a certificate or replace one that has been lost, destroyed or damaged.
To be eligible for an Australian citizenship certificate, you must be:
- Born in Australia between 26 January 1945 and 5 May 1966 and your father must be an Australian citizen and not a foreign diplomat
- Born in Australia between 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 and at least one of your parents was an Australian citizen or PR and one of your parents must not be a consular officer of a foreign country or was entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities
- Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 to at least one parents who was an Australian citizen or PR when you were born.
- Born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, and you were ordinarily resident in Australia for the first 10 years after you were born. You do not need to be in Australia on your 10th birthday, if you meet the other requirements. Your parents must not be foreign diplomats as you would not have been ordinarily resident in Australia
- Previously issued with a citizenship certificate or extract because you have lost the original certificate, or you were a child on your parent’s citizenship certificate, or you applied for and became a citizen by descent
- Born in the former Australian Territory of Papua before 16 September 1975 and did not lost your Australian citizenship when PNG achieved independence on 16 September 1975 or acquired PNG citizenship by making a Declaration of Loyalty to PNG.
- Adopted in Australia on or after 22 November 1984. You must be adopted under a law of an Australian state or territory, or adopted by an Australian citizen on or after 22 November 1984, or you were a PR in Australia at the time of your adoption
- Born in Australia to NZ parents:
- born between 26 January 1949 and 19 August 1986 to NZ parents who were not a diplomat, consular officer or entitled to diplomatic privileges and immunities
- born in Australia between 1 September 1994 and 26 February 2001 and at least one of your parents as ordinarily resident in Australia held a permanent resident visa, SCV 444 or Special Category visa as an airline crew member or airline positioning crew member at the time of your birth. You were not an Australian citizen at birth if one of your parents:
* held a special purpose visa on a different basis; or
* was a diplomatic representative of NZ; or
* the spouse or dependent child of a diplomatic representative of NZ
c. born in Australia on or after 27 February 2001 and at least one of your parents held a permanent residence visa
d. born in Australia on or after 27 February to NZ parents present in Australia on a SCV 444 if at least one of them:
* was in Australia on 26 February 2001; or
* had been in Australia for a period, or periods that total at least 1 year in the 2 years immediately before 26 February 2001; or
* had been issued with a Centrelink certificate stating that they were resident in Australia on a particular date.
xi. Born in Australia before 26 January 1949 and were a British subject on 25 January 1949 unless your father was a foreign diplomat.
x. Born in New Guinea before 26 January 1949 and you were a British subject on 25 January 1949.
xi. British subject born outside of Australia before 26 January 1949 and you were:
* a British subject on 25 January 1949 and lived in Australia for the 5 years from 26 January 1944 till 25 January 1949, or
* born to an Australian father and you entered Australia before 26
January 1949 on an unrestricted basis or were granted PR in
Australia before that date, or
* a woman who was a British subject on 25 January 1949 and married an Australian before 26 January 1949, and you entered Australia and were granted a PR before 26 January 1949, or
* born in New Guinea and were a British subject on 25 January 1949.
Assessment of claimed Australian citizenship by birth
If the Department of Home Affairs or Australian Passport Office is not satisfied that one of your parent who is an Australian citizen or PR is your parent at the time of your birth, you will be invited to undertake deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing. This is not mandatory but is a useful mean to establish a biological relationship when documentary evidence such as birth certificate is not sufficient to show the parent-child relationship.
If you decided to provide a DNA testing result, you will need to complete Form 1526 DNA Consent declaration. By completing this form, you are agreeing to disclose your information to the Department.
In addition, you are also required to complete Form 1527 and Form 1528.
DNA testing centres
The followings are Australian based laboratories for DNA testing:
- DNA Labs (1300 663 244 or 02 9855 5369)
- International Biosciences (02 9098 8450)
- DNA QLD (1300 172 837 or 07 3054 4302)
- Easy DNA (1300 482 165)
- Identilab (1300 114 294)
- DNA Solutions Pty Ltd (1800 000 362 or 03 9800 1550)
- Genomics Diagnostics (1800 822 999 or 03 9918 2020)
- Insight Genomica (1800 436 663)
Other alternative evidence to prove parent-child relationship
If you choose not to provide DNA testing, you may provide any other evidence that can demonstrate the parent-child relationship at the time of your birth.
You can provide the following (but is not limited to):
- Evidence to show your Australia citizen or PR parent is named as a parent on your birth certificate and was included with their prior consent;
- Evidence to show your Australia citizen or PR parent was involved in providing care for you and/or your mother during the pregnancy. This can include, for e.g., emotional, domestic or financial support, making arrangements for your birth and prenatal and postnatal care; and
- Evidence that you have been acknowledged socially from or before birth as your Australian citizen or PR’s child. This can include you have been presented to your parents’ family and social groups as being their child.
There are 7 ways you could lose your Australian citizenship, click here to learn how.
A child abandoned in Australia could also acquire Australian citizenship, click here to find out how.
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you determine if you are able to obtain Australian citizenship by birth.
041 222 4020 or WeChat: AUDvisa
This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.