Embassy of Australia
United States of America

Citizenship by descent

An applicant can be registered as an Australian citizen if one of their biological parents was an Australian citizen at the time of their birth. Citizenship by descent applicants must be registered as such before they apply for an Australian passport.

Please note, if the applicant’s parent acquired their Australian citizenship by descent, the parent must have been present in Australia for periods totalling two years at some time in their life in order for the applicant to now be registered as an Australian citizen by descent.

How to apply

Our preferred lodgement method is online.  Please visit our website for guidance on how to apply for citizenship by descent online and the supporting documents you will need.

Application fee

Please visit our website for information on application fees for the first applicant as well as the fee for second and subsequent sibling applications when lodged at the same time.

Processing times & receiving the certificate in the mail

Please visit our website for current global processing times.  Please note, if the application is not submitted with the all the required documents there may be significant delays in processing.

If your application is finalised and citizenship by descent is acquired, our office will print a certificate and mail it to the postal address listed within the application form.  Postal times may take 2-3 business days.  If your postal address changes, please visit our website for guidance on how to update it as soon as possible to avoid the certificate being lost or stolen.

Submitting supporting documents

Applying online is our preferred method of lodgement and assists us to process your application as quickly as possible.

All supporting documents must be clear scanned copies of the originals uploaded to your online application via ImmiAccount

Before you make an application you must ensure you have all of the required documents. If all the documents are not provided with the application form, the application may be deemed invalid with no further processing.

Please DO NOT send original documents unless you are requested to do so by your case officer.  Original documents are not required for initial processing of your application. 

If you lodge a paper application by mail to the Washington office, copies of your supporting documents should be certified.   Please visit our website for information on how to obtain certified copies of original documents.   Documents can be certified by the same person endorsing the applicant's photograph if they are employed in a position from the designated list of occupations on our website

If your documents are not in English, you will need to obtain official translations of them.  Please visit our website for information on translating documents not in English. 

Character documents

If you are 18 years of age or older, you will need to complete Form 80 and provide penal clearance certificates.  Please visit our website for further information on required penal clearance certificates.