Dual Citizenship Australia

Before 1949, Australians were British subjects only. Australian citizenship began as its own citizenship on January 26, 1949. Australian citizenship used to follow the principle of jus soli (right of the soil), where anyone who was born in Australia was a citizen, but since August 20, 1986, Australia's citizenship is primarily based upon jus sanguinis (right of blood).

Australia has permitted dual citizenship without restriction since April 4, 2002.

Australian citizens are also Commonwealth citizens and have some rights in the U.S. Australian citizens can also live and work in New Zealand.

Australia Dual Citizenship

How can you acquire Australian citizenship?

Citizenship By City-of-birth


Since august 20, 1986, anyone born in Australia to at least one Australian parent or one parent who is a permanent resident is born with Australian citizenship. Otherwise, those born in Australia to non-Australian parents acquire citizenship by the child's 10th birthday.

Those born in Australia to stateless parents may sometimes be registered as Australian citizens.

Citizenship By Descent


Those born to at least one Australian parent are eligible for citizenship and must apply for citizenship by descent. The following categories of people may apply for citizenship by descent:

  • British subjects born outside Australia before January 26, 1949 to an Australian father became citizens upon entering Australia with a permanent visa up to April 30, 1987;
  • Those born outside Australia to an Australian parent (if the parent is also a citizen by descent, the parent must have lived legally in Australia for 2 years) on or after January 26, 1949 may register as a citizen by descent;
  • Those born outside Australia or New Guinea before January 26, 1949 may register as a citizen if the child's parent was born or naturalized in Australia or New Guinea and the parent became a citizen on January 26, 1949.
Citizenship By Naturalization


Permanent residents from July 1, 2007 must have been resident in Australia for 4 years before applying for naturalization. Additional requirements are the following:

  • must have been in Australia for 12 months as a permanent resident;
  • must have not had absences from Australia for more than 12 months, including no more than 3 months in the 12 months preceding the application;
  • must have not been unlawfully present in Australia in the 4 years preceding the application;
  • must understand the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship (except for those age 60 or older);
  • ability to speak and understand basic English (except for those age 60 or older);
  • understand the nature of the application;
  • intent to reside in Australia or to maintain a close, continuing association with Australia;
  • must attend a citizenship ceremony and make a pledge of commitment.

Those who were permanent residents before July 1, 2007 were subject to the previous 2 year residence requirement for naturalization applications made before July 1, 2010.

Assistance for naturalization is available through our partners at http://www.immigrationdirect.com.au/australian-citizenship/citizenship-application.jsp.

Citizenship By Adoption


Those meeting the following requirements acquire Australian citizenship automatically:

  • you are a child adopted in Australia on or after November 22, 1984;
  • must be a permanent resident;
  • at least one adoptive parent is an Australian citizen.