Many people who migrate to Australia decide to become Australian citizens.

If you become an Australian citizen you are legally recognised as Australian and are given all the same privileges and responsibilities as someone who was born in Australia.

For some becoming an Australian citizen is a celebration of the bond they have formed with their new home in Australia.

Citizenship ceremonies are commonplace in Australia. 123,438 people from approximately 190 different countries became Australian citizens during 2012-13.

Each year Australia celebrates its new citizens on Australian Citizenship Day - 17 September.

Visit the Australian Citizenship Day website for information on how to get involved next September 17.

On Australian Citizenship Day last year over 2,200 people became Australian citizens in over 46 citizenship ceremonies.

To become an Australian citizen you need to first check that you are eligible and then you need to make a formal application. There are three main categories of citizenship available:

  • Australian Citizenship
  • Australian Citizenship by descent
  • Australian Citizenship by adoption

Australian Citizenship eligibility includes:

  • migrant with permanent residence
  • spouse or partner of an Australian citizen
  • New Zealand citizen living in Australia
  • child of a former Australian citizen
  • child aged 16 or 17 years - must be a permanent resident 
  • child aged 15 years or under - must be a permanent resident and living with a responsible parent or an unaccompanied humanitarian minor
  • Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme arrival
  • Refugee or humanitarian entrant
  • person born in Papua before independence in 1975

More details on how to apply for Australian citizenship.

Australian Citizenship by descent

  • Born overseas to an Australian citizen

More details on how to apply for Australian citizenship by descent.

Australian Citizenship by adoption

  • If you were adopted by an Australian citizen in accordance with the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption

More details on how to apply for Australian citizenship by adoption.

There are a number of online tools you can use to help you through the process of becoming an Australian citizen such as the Citizenship Wizard; Citizenship test practice papers; the Our Common Bond resource and a Residence calculator.

If you think you are already an Australian Citizen and you would like confirmation of your citizenship you can contact the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 (8.30am – 4.30pm Mon-Fri).

This article covers general information about Becoming an Australian Citizen , and doesn't take your individual circumstances into account. Please use it as a guide only.

Sources: Australian Citizenship – Becoming an Australian CitizenAustralian Citizenship Day

photo credit: George via photopin cc