When you become an Australian citizen you gain the same rights as those who were born in Australia. After becoming a citizen you can call yourself an “Australian” in the full sense of the word. You have the same rights and privileges as Australian born in the country including voting rights.
This is a privilege that allows you to become part of a very prosperous country with considerable economic and social opportunities.
An important part of becoming a citizen of Australia is the understanding and commitment to the values of this unique community of peoples.
According to DIBP, Australians believe in the dignity and freedom of each person, the equality of men and women and the rule of law. Australian citizenship is about living out these values in your everyday life.
Who is an Australian citizen?
People born in Australia to parents who are Australian or are permanent residents automatically become Australian citizens. The other alternative is to apply and become accepted to be an Australian citizen by DIBP.
Also there are some specific additional circumstances outlined by DIBP where people can Australian citizens.
“There are a number of circumstances where you could have automatically gained citizenship even though your parent or parents were not Australian citizens.
If you were born in Australia on or after:
- 20 August 1986 to an Australian citizen or permanent resident parent, you became an Australian citizen at birth.
- 20 August 1986 to parents who were not permanent residents or Australian citizens, you may have become an Australian citizen automatically on your 10th birthday.
If you were born in Australia between:
- 22 November 1984 and 19 August 1986 you became an Australian citizen at birth unless one parent was entitled to diplomatic privileges or was a consular officer.
- 26 January 1949 and 21 November 1984 you became an Australian citizen at birth unless your father was entitled to diplomatic privileges or was a consular officer.”
How can I become an Australian citizen?
You must apply to DIBP to become an Australian citizen. After you have lodged the completed application form and paid the appropriate fee you will be contacted by the department.
Once you have notification of the success of your application you will be invited to participate in an Australian citizenship ceremony where you make the Australian Citizenship Pledge at an Australian citizenship ceremony.
An important part of the application process is the Citizenship Test. Introduced in 2007 this compulsory test must be passed in order to gain citizenship.
The test assesses the applicant’s English language abilities as well as important aspects and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen.
Australian citizens also have the opportunity to affirm their loyalty to Australia by making the Australian citizenship affirmation. People who are not Australian citizens, but consider Australia their home, can join in from the second line. At citizenship ceremonies, everyone is invited to make an affirmation at the end of the ceremony. The affirmation can also be made at other events, including school events. It has no legal standing and no records of participation are kept.
“As an Australian citizen, I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”