Can a Child Born in Australia get Australian Citizenship?

Yes, but depends on the immigration status of the child’s parents.

Up until the 20 August 1986, regardless of the parents’ immigration status, all babies born in Australia became Australian citizens. After this automatic birthright to citizenship has been ceased on 20 August 1986, babies who are born in Australia and meet one of the following criteria can become an Australian citizen:

  • One or both parents are Australian citizen or a permanent residents; or
  • Have been ordinarily resident in Australia from the day of their birth until they become 10 years old
One or both parents are Australian Citizens or a permanent residents

If one of the parent is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and gave birth in Australia, the baby will be considered as an Australian citizen. This citizenship entitlement also applies to a baby who is born outside of Australia, but one of the parent must be an Australian citizen.

If in case the baby was born outside Australia and neither of the parents are an Australian citizen but a permanent resident, the baby will be eligible to apply for the permanent residency by applying for Child visa (subclass 101 or 802).

Have been ordinarily resident in Australia from the day of their birth until they become 10 years old

On a condition that the child was born in Australia and has been ordinarily resident in Australia for 10 consecutive years, the child may automatically acquire an Australian citizenship on his/her 10th birthday regardless of the parents’ citizenship or immigration status. To find out if the child satisfies the ordinarily resident requirement, the child needs to meet the definition of ordinarily resident:

  1. He or she has his or her home in that country; or
  2. That country is the country of his or her permanent abode even if he or she is temporarily absent from that country

However, the person is taken not to be so resident if he or she resides in that country for a special or temporary purpose only.

What is considered as Special or Temporary Absence?

Depending on the nature and extent of the absence, the child may still be considered to be a resident of Australia during the absence period.  If in case the child always accompanied his/her mother wherever she travelled in the period from birth to the child’s 10th birthday, when assessing whether the child meets the definition of ordinarily resident in Australia, movement of the child’s mother will be taken into consideration.

Absences such as medical treatment and short overseas holidays will be considered as Special or Temporary absences, but must show firm intention to return back to Australia. However, for a child that was removed from Australia and did not retrain the right to re-enter Australia will not be considered to be ordinarily resident even if he/she spent most of their years in Australia.

Parents on Temporary Visas

Where at least one parent is a temporary visa holder, the child is taken to have been granted the same visa as his/her parents. Even though the parents are not required to apply for a visa for the child, they must notify the Department of Home Affairs as soon as the child’s birth certificate and passport are available so that a visa can be attached to the child’s passport.

Summary Table               

  Baby Born in Australia Baby Born Outside of Australia
Parent 1: Australian Citizen
Parent 2: Australian Citizen
Citizen by Birth Citizen by Descent
Parent 1: Australian Citizen

Parent 2: Permanent Resident

Citizen by Birth Citizen by Descent
Parent 1: Australian Citizen

Parent 2: Temporary Visa Holder

Citizen by Birth Citizen by Descent
Parent 1: Permanent Resident

Parent 2: Permanent Resident

Citizen by Birth Need to Apply Child Visa
Parent 1: Permanent Resident

Parent 2: Temporary Visa Holder

Citizen by Birth Need to Apply Child Visa
Parent 1: Temporary Visa Holder

Parent 2: Temporary Visa Holder

Parents’ Temporary Visa No Visa