Australian citizenship by descent

Apply for citizenship by descent
(Photo: Department of Home Affairs website)
Date last modified: 07 July 2021

The following information is intended for New Zealand citizens applying for Australian citizenship by descent.

Before applying

Read the citizenship by descent eligibility criteria on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Applying for citizenship by descent

You can only inherit Australian citizenship through a parent, not a grandparent. To be eligible for Australian citizenship by descent:

  • you must have been born outside Australia; and
  • at least one of your parents must have been an Australian citizen when you were born.

If you were born outside Australia or New Guinea before 26 January 1949 you might be eligible if:

  • at least one of your parents became an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949; and
  • that parent was born in Australia or New Guinea, or was naturalised in Australia before you were born.

You will need to include certified copies of your identity documents such as birth certificates and passports with your application. Do not post original documents.

Dual citizenship

New Zealand citizens who are granted Australian citizenship automatically become dual citizens. Australian citizens must depart and enter Australia on an Australian passport. Once overseas you can travel on your New Zealand passport.

Apply online

ImmiAccount to apply for Australian citizenship by descent online. Paper applications attract an additional $80 non-internet application fee.

Attach copies of your supporting documents to your application. Refer to the Home Affairs website for document specifications.

Processing times

The Department of Home Affairs reports processing times for Australian citizenship by descent applications on its website.


Citizenship application fees are increasing from 1 July 2021. The application fee for citizenship by descent is currently $315. Applications for second and subsequent siblings applying at the same time are currently $130.


For more information refer to the citizenship by descent information on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Have a question?

Phone the Department of Home Affairs on 13 18 81 or contact them via social media. Please do not provide your personal details on a public forum.


Oz Kiwi is run by volunteers and entirely funded by public donations. Please consider donating to help Oz Kiwi lobby on behalf of New Zealanders living in Australia.

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The above “Australian citizenship by descent” information should not be relied on as an alternative to advice from the Department of Home Affairs, or a professional immigration services provider.

If you have any specific questions about an immigration matter, you should consult the Department of Home Affairs or a professional immigration services provider.

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