There are many benefits of being an Australian citizen. You can obtain an Australian passport, vote in state and federal elections, have the right to obtain medical treatment and various social security benefits, including the age pension, as well as the right to stand for a political appointment at the state and federal level.

Documents You Will Need for an Australian Citizenship Application

There are basically three ways you can become an Australian Citizen

  • If you are born in Australia and at least one of your parents is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, then you become an Australian citizen automatically. You still have to apply for an Australian passport and there are documents you have to provide to get one, but there is no particular difficulty with this. Thousands of Australians become new Australian citizens every day because they have been born in the country.
  • If you are born overseas and at least one of your parents is an Australian citizen, it is normal practice that you become an Australian citizen by birth. There is a little more that you have to prove than if you were born within Australia, and there may be complications because you were born in another country, mainly because this might mean you also have the right to be a citizen of another country as well, in other words a dual citizen. Not every country allows dual citizenship and may insist that those with the opportunity of being a citizen of more than country must choose which country they want to become a citizen of when they get to a certain age. Note that Australia allows dual citizenship. If you are a dual citizen your Australian citizenship may mean you have certain responsibilities to another country. For example, some countries may have compulsory national service.
  • If you were born outside of Australia but became a permanent resident of Australia at some point, then you may gain Australian citizenship by grant if you have lived in the country for at least four years and at least one of those years was as a permanent resident. There are “good character” requirements in addition to the residency requirements and you must also pass a citizenship test, which is a multiple choice test of your familiarity with Australian values and government as well as your ability to understand English.

A good example of the difference between the first and third method of becoming a citizen is that a person who is born in Australia to Australian parents who acquires a criminal record and doesn’t know anything about their own system of government cannot be denied citizenship. It is their right. The permanent resident who commits a serious crime or is seriously confused about the Australian democratic system may be refused if they apply for Australian citizenship.

Documents Needed for Australian Citizenship

A person who is born in Australia to Australian parents does not need any documents to obtain citizenship because they become citizens through birth as a right. However, they certainly need documents to obtain an Australian passport, which they are allowed to do as they are automatically already citizens. The documents they need are:

  1. Documents proving identity, such as a driving license.
  2. A birth certificate showing that they were born in Australia to at least one parent who was an Australian citizen or permanent resident if this is not indicated on the birth certificate.
  3. A marriage certificate or any other document showing proof of name change if their name is different from that shown on the birth certificate.
  4. Possibly proof that one of their parents was an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, such as a certified copy of their parent’s passport or pages showing a permanent resident’s visa.

An application for citizenship by the grant must be accompanied by several documents:

  1. Documents proving identity, such as a driving license.
  2. Valid passport showing permanent residence status.
  3. Evidence of time spent in Australia. This must be relatively recent. Some permanent residents have found that their applications for citizenship have been turned down because they spent many years outside of the country for one reason or another.
  4. Police certificate showing no criminal record in Australia.