The process of you migrating to Australia involves you becoming a citizen of Australia as the last step. It is a procedure in which a foreigner non-Australian individual becomes an Australian citizen with his/her free will. Australian citizens vouch for their loyalty to Australia and its citizens and are then entitled to exercise their responsibilities and rights as citizens.
To become an Australian citizen is a privilege. While you are granted many rights and benefits as a citizen of Australia, there are some essential responsibilities you must accept too.
Responsibilities and privileges
As an Australian citizen, you have new duties to:
- Respect the liberties and rights of Australia
- Obey the law
- Vote in the state, federal, or territory elections, and referenda
- Defend Australia if necessary
- Behave per Australia’s democratic beliefs
- Serve on jury duty if summoned
Citizenship benefits or entitlements
When you become an Australian citizen, you are eligible for certain benefits too.
- Enter or leave Australia multiple times
- Ask for the aid of an Australian consulate if you get in trouble overseas
- Vote in the state, federal or territory elections
- Vote in a plebiscite or a constitutional referendum
- Seek election to parliament, with the condition that you must be 18 years or over and must not be a dual citizen
- Apply for an Australian passport
- Register the birth of your child in another the state as an Australian citizen
Making a vow
At the citizenship ceremony, you will have to make the Australian citizenship pledge. You vow to remain loyal to Australia and Australian people and to uphold and share Australia’s:
- Democratic beliefs
Australia is a democracy. You can elect representatives to run the state and make laws.
Democratic rights, beliefs, and liberties
The rule of law
All Australian citizens are equal in the law and must abide by it. No group or person gets preferential treatment.
The people Australian citizens elect as representatives are answerable to the general public for their decisions.
Living with peace
We prefer peaceful persuasion, discussion, and democracy. We never use violence to bring about change.
We always show a spirit of ‘mate-ship.’ We come together to support and help each other during times of need.
Respect for all individuals
We treat all Australian citizens with respect and dignity. No matter their traditions, beliefs, and background.
Freedoms for citizens
Freedom of expression and speech
You can say whatever you wish to speak on any subject. However, you must do so without harming others, and you must also respect how other Australian citizens express themselves and their thinking.
Freedom of association
You are free to join any:
- Religious group
- Political party
- Trade union
- Social group
- Cultural group
You can also refuse to join a particular group if you do not wish to join that group.
Freedom of religion and secular Government
You may follow any religion or may wish to not follow any religion, as long as you are not breaking any laws.
Equality of women and men
Women and men are treated equally in Australia. You are free to make choices on personal matters. The laws protect both women and men from violence and intimidation. Both men and women can:
- Join the police and defense forces
- Become politicians
- Go to school and work
- Are treated equally and fairly in court
Equality in Australia
Our laws and rules make sure no individual is treated differently because of gender, race, disability, or age.
Enrolling to vote
Enrollment is compulsory for all eligible Australian citizens.
Dual nationals or citizens
Many Australians are nationals of two or more states. This means an individual may be a citizen of Australia and another country at the same time. They can hold:
- A foreign passport
- An Australian passport
Not all states allow dual citizenship. If you think that you might be a dual national, check with the other state’s consulate or embassy. Australian citizens can hold dual nationality:
- If a parent is a national of another country
- If a permanent resident becomes an Australian national and keeps previous citizenship
- Through marriage to a citizen of another country
- If an Australian citizen becomes a citizen of another country and maintains their Australian citizenship
- If a child is born in another state and a parent is an Australian national (the child can become a citizen of that state by birth)
You may not receive the full Australian consular or embassy service as a dual national in another state if you do not enter that state on your Australian passport.
Entering and leaving Australia
As an Australian national, you must use your Australian passport to:
- Leave Australia
- Re-enter Australia
An Australian passport is proof of your Australian citizenship when traveling. If you try to enter Australia without an Australian passport, you may experience difficulties at the border. If you are a dual citizen and hold a foreign passport, you can use it once you have left Australia.
Entering and leaving another country of nationality
You may choose to enter or leave the other state of citizenship on that country’s passport. You might need an exit visa in your passport.
Getting help in another country
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or DFAT might to help Australians overseas.
The Consular Services Charter briefs you about what the Australian Government:
- Can do to help
- Cannot do to help Australians in another state