How to become an Australian citizen

To become an Australian citizen, you must apply through the Department of Home Affairs.

If you need advice about whether you are eligible to become a citizen, you can phone the department’s information line on 13 18 80. 

As an Australian citizen, you can:

  • vote in federal and state or territory elections
  • apply for your children born overseas to become Australian citizens by descent
  • apply for a job in the Australian Public Service or the Australian Defence Force
  • apply for an Australian passport and leave and re-enter Australia 
  • ask for consular assistance from an Australian official while overseas
  • seek election to parliament.

Application process

If you are eligible to become a citizen, you will be asked to complete an application form, pay a fee and attend a short interview.

Most applicants are required to take a citizenship test and answer questions about:

  • Australia and its people
  • Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties
  • government and the law in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs will notify you in writing if your application has been successful and tell you the date, time and location of your citizenship ceremony.

Citizenship ceremonies

Council regularly holds citizenship ceremonies to celebrate and welcome people in our community becoming Australian citizens. 

Each year the largest citizenship ceremony takes place at our Australia Day event, where civic awards are also presented. 

The citizenship ceremony usually takes about 45 minutes and includes:

  • an official welcome
  • an address by the Mayor of Kempsey Shire or a special guest
  • the Australian Citizenship Pledge
  • the presentation of certificates of Australian citizenship
  • the presentation of a gift to all new citizens
  • the singing of the national anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

To become a citizen, you must make the Australian Citizenship Pledge at your citizenship ceremony. In doing so, you are making a public commitment to Australia and accepting the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.