Citizenship by descent - documents

There are three types of documents required for a citizenship by descent application:

  • identity documents
  • supporting documents
  • good character documents (if you are aged 18 years and over).

Identity documents

Provide three documents that, all together, show the applicant’s:

  • birth name, date of birth and gender
  • current residential address
  • photograph
  • signature, if you are aged 18 years and over.

For any name changes, provide official evidence including links between names.

A completed Identity declaration for the applicant signed by a person with the relevant authority:

  • for online applications, submit Form 1195 – Identity Declaration (236KB PDF)
  • for paper applications, the Identity declaration is included in the citizenship form.   
  • Examples of identity documents are available.

    Applicants under 6 years of age

    If a child under 6 years old does not have the three documents, provide their birth certificate and, if available their passport.

    For the Identity declaration, if no Australian citizen has known the child for at least one year, the declaration can be signed by a person who belongs to a profession on the designated list of occupations who has known the child for less than one year.

    Supporting documents

    Supply the following documents in support of your application.

    Documents about the applicant’s Australian citizen parent

Include documents that show that one of the applicant’s parents was an Australian citizen when the applicant was born, such as the parent’s:

  • full Australian birth certificate
  • Australian citizenship certificate or naturalisation certificate
  • Australian passport.

Evidence of other citizenships held by the Australian citizen parent such as a letter or certificate showing the date they got the other citizenship, if applicable.

If the parent’s Australian citizen parent was a citizen by descent or by adoption under the Hague Convention or a bilateral arrangement, evidence that the parent lived in Australia for two years, such as:

  • school records
  • employment records
  • any documents issued by an Australian government agency.

Note: This is not required if the applicant has always been stateless.

    Applicants under 16 years of age

If you are the responsible parent applying on behalf of a child who is under 16 years of age, provide the following:

  • documents that together show a signature, photograph and current residential address, such as a passport driver licence, credit card or utilities bill
  • any orders relating to the custody, guardianship or parental responsibility for this child, if this applies.
  • Applicants outside Australia

    If the applicant for descent is outside Australia, check the website of their nearest office of Immigration outside Australia for any additional information or documents that are required.

    Surrogacy arrangements

    Provide a surrogacy contract signed by all parties and other evidence (if applicable) in relation to the surrogacy arrangement. You might also be asked to do a DNA test.

    The responsible parent of the applicant must consent to the application for citizenship by descent. Depending on the laws in the country where the child was born, this might require the birth mother's consent.   

    Note: The documents provided must have been issued from the country of birth of the applicant and accompanied by an accredited translation from the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

    More information on surrogacy is available in Fact Sheet - International surrogacy arrangements.

    Good character documents

If you are 18 years of age or older, provide penal clearance certificates from outside Australia countries if, in the last 10 years:

  • you lived or travelled outside Australia since the age of 18 years
  • the total time spent outside Australia added up to 12 months or more
  • the time spent in any one country was more than 90 days.
  • Provide a penal clearance certificate from every country that you spent more than 90 days in.

    We might also ask you to provide a penal clearance certificate in other circumstances.      

    Do not send certified copies of penal clearance certificates—only send original certificates.

    Note: If you are applying from outside Australia, you need a National Police Certificate if you spent any time in Australia after turning 18 years of age.

    Documents not in English

    Documents not in English must be translated.

    If the applicant is in Australia, use a translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters.

    If the applicant is outside Australia, contact the Australian mission in the country which issued the documents for advice on translators.

    Include both the translation and the document which is not in English in your application.