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 click here for guidance on how to apply for citizenship by descent online.

Application fee

Please click here for information on the application fee for the first application as well as the fee for second and subsequent siblings applications when lodged at the same time.

Processing times & receiving the certificate in the mail

Please click here for our current 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 address changes, please advise our office by contacting the Americas Service Centre in Canada.

Submitting supporting documents

Our preferred lodgement method is online and all supporting documents should be clear scanned copies uploaded to your online application via ImmiAccount.  Please click here for further information.

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 click here 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 click here 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 you may also need to provide penal clearance certificates.  Please click here for further information on penal clearance certificates.