Your child was born in Australia—does that mean he or she automatically becomes an Australian citizen? Most of us would hope so, but since the 20th of August, 1986 certain legal specifications have been in place that have restricted which of those born in Australia automatically become Australian citizens. Before this date, all children born in Australia were classed as Australian citizens. However, due to the rise of temporary migration, a change in law occurred.

Which Newborns Are Granted Automatic Citizenship?

Now only children with at least one parent who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident in Australia at the time of the child’s birth will automatically acquire Australian citizenship. Australian citizen parents can apply directly for an Australian passport for the child once the child’s birth certificate has been issued.  Australian permanent residents, however, must first obtain a citizenship certificate for their child before applying for an Australian passport.

What if the Parents are on Temporary Visas?

If both parents are on temporary visas in Australia, the child will legally hold the same type of visa as the parent. The child does not need to make a visa application, but the Department of Home Affairs will need to be notified of the birth. This is so the visa can be attached to the child’s passport.

If children born in Australia holding temporary visas live in Australia for 10 consecutive years, they become eligible for Australian citizenship applications and can be granted Australian citizenship.

Other Cases Where Citizenship is Not Automatic

So far we’ve pointed out cases where Australian citizenship is automatic or eventually granted, but what about other cases? Of course those born outside of Australia AND whose parents are not Australian citizens at their birth will not automatically acquire citizenship, nor be eligible for citizenship by descent. Only those born overseas to Australian citizens may acquire Australian citizenship by descent, but the parents must register the birth with the Australian embassy in the country where the child was born.

If the child is born overseas to two non-Australian permanent residents, the child is not automatically granted Australian citizenship or qualify for citizenship by descent but can apply for the Child (subclass 101) visa. Application processing will take approximately 11 to 20 months. This means that it will take anywhere from a year to almost 2 years before your child can enter and live with you in Australia.

The basic cost of this application is $2,740 AUD, but this is on top of the costs for health assessments, police certificates, and any other necessary tests and certificates.

Secure Your Newborn’s Australian Citizenship

When you apply for Australian citizenship for your child, there are many steps and requirements involved, all of which could lengthen the processing time. There may also be many unforeseen circumstances, and additional requirements you will have to procure. To ensure that the application process goes smoothly and with the least amount of hassle or worry, it’s best to get the assistance of experienced and trustworthy immigration specialists. Here at Immigration Downunder, we’re well versed on how to apply citizenship for a newborn baby in Australia and will do whatever we can to make sure the process is as easy as possible. Get in touch with us now to know more.

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