Confirming your Australian citizenship

Only Australian citizens can be issued an Australian passport.  When you apply for an Australian passport you must provide proof that you are an Australian citizen. 

Following changes to Australian citizenship laws on 20 August 1986 (responsibility of the Department for Immigration and Border Protection), the evidence you need to show that you are an Australian citizen depends on whether you were born in Australia before or on or after 20 August 1986, or if you were born overseas.

If you were born in Australia before 20 August 1986, your full birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) will suffice to confirm your citizenship, provided your parents were not in Australia as foreign diplomats or consular officers at the time of your birth.

If you were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and have previously held an Australian passport issued on or after 1 January 2000 that was valid for at least two years, you can present that document to confirm your citizenship.

If you were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and one of your parents was an Australian citizen, you can provide:

  • your parent's full birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM), showing your parent was born in Australia before 20 August 1986, or
  • your parent's Australian passport issued on or after 20 August 1986 that was valid for at least two years at the time of your birth, or
  • your parent's Australian citizenship certificate detailing their acquisition of citizenship before your birth.

If your parent was also born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, you will need to provide their full birth certificate issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) plus a grandparent's Australian birth certificate issued by an Australian RBDM or their Australian citizenship certificate.

Alternatively, you can provide evidence of your own Australian citizenship with a citizenship certificate issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).  The DIBP website provides information on how to apply for evidence of Australian citizenship.

If you were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and one (or both) of your parents was an Australian permanent resident, you must provide evidence of your own Australian citizenship with a citizenship certificate issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).  The DIBP website provides information on how to apply for evidence of Australian citizenship

If you were born outside Australia, you must provide one of the following documents to confirm your citizenship:

  • an Australian citizenship certificate
  • a Citizenship by Descent extract
  • an Australian citizenship certificate of an Adoption in accordance with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or bilateral arrangement
  • an extract from the Register of Australian Births Abroad

If you are unable to present one of the documents listed above, you will need to apply for evidence of Australian citizenship issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). The DIBP website provides information on how to apply for evidence of Australian citizenship.

Important: before booking any travel, you should take into account passport processing times and if you need to apply for evidence of Australian citizenship, DIBP processing times.

Referral to Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)

If we are unable to determine your citizenship status based on the information you provide with your application, we may refer you to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to obtain evidence of your Australian citizenship.  We may also refer you to DIBP to resolve any discrepancies between the information on your citizenship certificate and other information held by the Australian Passport Office (APO) or contained in your passport application.  Further information can be found at the DIBP website