Australian Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Published on June 12, 2024

Australian Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Becoming an Australian citizen is a significant milestone in your migration journey. It symbolises your commitment to Australia and its values, marking the beginning of your formal membership in the Australian community and allowing you to proudly say, “I am Australian.”

Australian Citizenship:

Responsibilities and Privileges


  • Obey the laws of Australia
  • Vote in federal, state, or territory elections and in referendums
  • Defend Australia if required
  • Serve on a jury if called


  • Vote in federal, state, or territory elections and in referendums
  • Apply for children born overseas to become Australian citizens by descent
  • Seek employment in the Australian Public Service or the Australian Defence Force
  • Run for parliament
  • Apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely
  • Request consular assistance from Australian officials while overseas

Making a Pledge

During the citizenship ceremony, new citizens make the Australian Citizenship Pledge, committing to:

  • Loyalty to Australia and its people
  • Sharing Australia’s democratic beliefs and respecting its rights and liberties
  • Upholding and obeying Australian laws

You do not officially become an Australian citizen until you have made this pledge.

Democratic Beliefs

Australia’s democratic system includes:

  • Parliamentary Democracy: Citizens vote for representatives in parliament who make and change laws.
  • Rule of Law: All individuals are equal under the law.
  • Living Peacefully: Australians believe in peaceful change through discussion and democratic processes.
  • Respect for All Individuals: Equality and respect regardless of background.

Freedoms and Equalities


  • Speech: Express ideas freely within the law.
  • Association: Join or leave any legal organisation.
  • Religion: Follow any religion or none at all, with all citizens treated equally by the government.


  • Gender Equality: Men and women have equal rights.
  • Equal Opportunity: Achievement should be based on talent, effort, and work.

Community Values

Australian values are based on freedom, respect, fairness, and equality of opportunity. Citizenship involves participating in and contributing to the community, upholding the rule of law, and demonstrating mutual respect and tolerance.

Voting and Citizenship Application

Voting is compulsory for all eligible Australian citizens aged 18 and over. To apply for citizenship, you must meet specific criteria and may need to undergo an interview and a citizenship test.

For detailed information on eligibility, application processes, and more, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

Will Citizenship Be Revoked?

Here are the five ways a person can lose their Australian citizenship:

  1. Renunciation: A person can renounce their Australian citizenship voluntarily (section 33).
  2. Revocation for Offences or Fraud: The Minister can revoke citizenship if it was obtained through an application involving offences or fraud (section 34).
  3. Revocation for Non-Compliance with Residence Requirements: The Minister can revoke citizenship if special residence requirements are unmet (section 34A).
  4. Revocation for Children of Former Citizens: The Minister can revoke a child’s citizenship if their responsible parent ceases to be an Australian citizen (section 36).
  5. Citizenship Cessation for Repudiation of Allegiance: The Minister can revoke citizenship for certain conduct or convictions if deemed contrary to the public interest (Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2).

Deportation of Permanent Residents for Crimes

Permanent residents who are not Australian citizens can be deported if they are convicted of an offence within 10 years of entry and sentenced to imprisonment for one year or longer (s 201 Migration Act). Additionally, PR holders may need a 155 visa to leave and re-enter Australia, which has character requirements that a criminal record can affect.

For example, drunk driving is a criminal offence in Australia. A permanent resident visa could be cancelled for such an offence, while citizenship is less likely to be revoked for the same reason.

Australian Citizenship Application Fees

Refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for specifics on costs and application procedures: New citizenship application fees from 1 July 2023. Alternatively, please refer to this link for more information: Citizenship application fees

Australian Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Current Status of Australian Citizenship Applications as of April 2024

Number of applications

The table below details the number of applications on hand as of April 30, 2024. There were 112,305 applications for Australian citizenship by conferral (including those under general eligibility and other situations, with children aged 15 or younger included in their parent’s application), 4,758 applications for Australian citizenship by descent, and 807 applications for evidence of Australian citizenship.

These figures are current at the time of publication and may vary slightly due to the dynamic nature of the system environment.

For more details, please refer to the link: Number of applications.

Number of applications received

Additionally, between April 1 and April 30, 2024, the Department of Home Affairs received 17,367 applications for Australian citizenship by conferral (inclusive of children aged 15 or younger in their parent’s application), 1,551 applications for Australian citizenship by descent, and 3,472 applications for evidence of Australian citizenship. For more details, please refer to the link: Number of applications received.

Processing Times and Tests

Processing times for citizenship applications vary. After applying, you may need to attend an interview and pass a citizenship test. If you fail the test, you can retake it up to three times without additional cost.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information on the test and interview, preparation tips, and processing times.

We have also written articles on how to apply for citizenship and tips for preparing for citizenship tests and interviews. Please refer to:

Navigating the Path to Australian Citizenship: A Comprehensive Guide for Permanent Residents

Decoding the Australian Citizenship Test and Interview: Preparation Tips

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

The information provided in this blog post/article is for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create a representative-client relationship. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the content may not reflect the most current legal developments or specific circumstances.

Do not rely solely on the information presented here – but please book in a consultation with us to see how you this information applies to you and may benefit you. Any reliance on the material in this post is at your own risk.

Australian immigration law is arguably one of the most complex laws in Australia. Seek professional legal advice tailored to your individual needs before making any decisions based on the content of this post.