How to Apply for Australian Citizenship

There are many good reasons why you might want to apply for Australian citizenship. You have probably been living in Australia for some time already or have married an Australian and have made the decision to become a citizen. Without citizenship, you cannot vote in a state or federal election, and even as a permanent resident lack the feeling of security that citizens have. Every time you leave the country (assuming there is a post-Covid return to normal at some point) you may have to go through some sort of bureaucracy to ensure you can return. Rules about becoming a citizen can change over time as well, usually making it less easy to apply. When you become a citizen, you are showing that you have a commitment to Australia and are ready to take an active role in Australian society.

Eligibility for Australian citizenship

There are three main ways to become an Australian citizen.

  1. The first is the most obvious one and is unlikely to apply to you. If you are born in Australia and one or both of your parents is already an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you automatically become an Australian citizen as of right. Note that just being born in Australia by itself is not enough. A highly controversial case currently being debated brings this distinction to mind. Two Sri Lankan nationals came to Australia as refugees. They got married while in Australia and had two children. Their refugee status was denied by the Australian government and their two children, despite being born in the country, were denied Australian citizenship status.
  2. The second is also obvious. If you were born in another country but one or both of your parents are Australian citizens, then you also normally have the right to Australian citizenship yourself.
  3. The third is the main way that anyone else not in the first two categories becomes a citizen. They must be a permanent resident, have been living in Australia for a minimum period of time, apply for citizenship and pay the relevant fee. This method of becoming citizenship is called naturalization.

More about the application will be explained further below.

Dual citizenship

When you become an Australian citizen, Australia allows you to keep the citizenship of your birth, i.e. be a dual citizen. However, not every country returns the favor. This means that if you become an Australian citizen, you may lose your own citizenship because the government of your birth country doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. This is an important consideration to think about before you apply for Australian citizenship, especially if you have many relatives in your old home country. Many people who have migrated to Australia decide to remain as permanent residents so they don’t lose the right to return and live if necessary in their birth country.

The application process

There are five main criteria that must be met before your citizenship application is accepted.

  1. You must be a permanent resident at the time of application;
  2. You must be over 16;
  3. You must have lived in Australia for at least 4 years, of which one-year minimum must have been as a permanent resident;
  4. You must be of good character. This basically means that you haven’t been in trouble with the law, e.g. committed a crime.
  5. You must pass a citizenship test that simultaneously tests your knowledge of English and knowledge and understanding of Australian society, values, and history.

Once you think that you have met the first four criteria mentioned above, it is time to fill in an application form, pay the application fee and send it to the Department of Home Affairs. You will be contacted once your initial application has been approved and you will then be asked to sit the citizenship test. If everything goes well, then you will be invited to attend a formal citizenship ceremony at a local venue with other new citizens. This often happens on Australia Day. After becoming a citizen you will be able to apply for an Australian passport.

All You Need to Know About Dual Citizenship in Australia

What is dual citizenship?

Multiple citizenship or dual citizenship in Australia is where an individual has the status of holding two citizenship, one Australian and another that allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship with Australia. The dual citizen is expected to follow the rules of both countries depending on where they are living at the time.

Does Australia Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Australia allows dual citizenship. Dual citizenship refers to the ability of an individual to hold citizenship of two countries simultaneously. Australia recognizes and permits its citizens to have dual citizenship, enabling individuals to acquire Australian citizenship while retaining their existing citizenship of another country.

How to file an application in Australia for dual citizenship

You can apply as long as you fulfill the requirements below:

You are entitled to be an Australian dual citizen as long as you:

  • are already an Australian citizen;
  • possess citizenship of a 2nd country which allows you to maintain your Australian citizenship;
  • remain as another country’s citizen and then become a citizen of Australia.

Australia does allow an individual to possess dual citizenship but a few countries don’t. So, you may have dual citizenship in Australia if the 2nd country also allows dual citizenship. Both two countries need to agree to dual citizenship. From the 4th of April 2002, all restrictions were removed from Australia so that Australians could hold other citizenships which meant dual citizenship was from that date quite legal.

Which countries allow dual citizenship in Australia?

The following countries permit dual citizenship with any country, including Australia:

  • Bangladesh,
  • Brazil,
  • Canada,
  • Colombia,
  • Egypt,
  • Fed. Rep. Yugoslavia,
  • France,
  • Hungary,
  • Ireland,
  • Israel,
  • Italy,
  • Jordan,
  • Lebanon,
  • Macedonia,
  • Malta,
  • Netherlands,
  • New Zealand,
  • Portugal,
  • South Africa,
  • Spain,
  • Switzerland,
  • Syria,
  • Tonga,
  • Turkey,
  • The United Kingdom,
  • The United States,
  • Western Samoa.

Restrictions that come with dual citizenship in Australia

If you are a dual national as an Australian traveling to your second country of nationality, you need to know if you have to face any restrictions. For example, some countries require compulsory military service for their dual nationals. These include:

  • Lebanon,
  • Israel,
  • Iran,
  • Greece,
  • Egypt.

If you do not undertake the military service required you are breaking the country’s law. You may be arrested and put in jail as you will be a defaulter (draft-dodger) Even if you are over the age for military service, you may still be charged for being a defaulter.

Health services

Some countries allow dual nationals to access their public healthcare service but this is not always the case.

Marriage and family issues

  • An Australian marriage between an Australian and someone who holds another nationality may not have the marriage recognized in that other country
  • An Australian in the second country could find that their marriage isn’t recognized so any children may be considered illegitimate

Underage marriages

Some Australian families may try to arrange a child’s marriage in their dual-citizen country where the marriageable age is less than in Australia. According to Australian law, the following applies:

  • a child below the age of 16 can’t marry
  • a child 16 or 17 years old needs a court order to marry which has been issued by an Australian court.

These laws are applicable to marriages that have taken place in Australia. If a child who lives in Australia below 18 years, marries overseas without obtaining a court order, Australia will not recognize that marriage.

Child custody

Dual nationality can affect a court decision about child custody.

As a dual citizen, Australia cannot help you in your second country in the following situations:

  • it cannot provide consular assistance if the other government doesn’t recognize that you are an Australian;
  • it cannot get you excluded from any compulsory military service if you have been called up;
  • it cannot assist you to get out of trouble if you have been arrested or put in jail;
  • it cannot provide any legal advice.

In conclusion, Australia is a country that allows dual citizenship, permitting individuals to hold citizenship in two countries simultaneously. Australians can maintain their Australian citizenship while also being citizens of another country. This unique aspect of Australian citizenship offers opportunities for global connections and experiences. However, it’s essential to navigate the complexities of dual citizenship carefully. To ensure effective communication and compliance with all requirements, it is advisable to hire professional translation services, especially when dealing with official documents and legal matters.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.


Australia’s Cultural Diversity Can Offer Benefits to Workplace Culture

Over the last few years, immigration has contributed to the growth in population and multiculturalism in Australia.

  • Up to now at least 29 percent of the population originates from another country.
  • Out of this 29 percent, 19 percent come from a non-English speaking country.
  • The Australian population includes at least 200 different countries of origin.
  • The Australian workforce is made up of a wide range of diverse groups.

Benefits Of Multiculturalism In Australia:

  • It can help to stop racial discrimination.
  • It develops and sustains a positive public view of Australia.
  • It creates a healthier work culture.
  • It can promote creativity and innovation.
  • It can help to upgrade work skills.
  • It supports the local economy and community life.
  • It can help to expand new business ideas and create new markets.
  • It fills unfilled job vacancies.

In addition to these positive results for immigration and cultural diversity, the age of immigrants generally falls in the working-age bracket, which is between 30 and 54 years. Immigrants make up 34.1 percent of this age group. Also, there is such an ethnically diverse workforce it benefits some of the best firms because it adds 35 percent to their revenue.

Other Benefits Of Multiculturalism and Immigration Are:

  • that workers are prepared to work flexible hours in both part-time and full-time jobs;
  • that workers can provide training in cultural awareness;
  • It supports zero tolerance for any workplace discrimination.

Australia champions cultural diversity compared to other countries that have a high migrant intake.

The benefits of a skilled labor force

A workplace team composed of ethnically diverse professionals may provide useful inputs about services and products and expectations of diverse communities and what gaps need to be filled to satisfy the markets. Because of the diversification present in Australia, innovative and new traditions introduced to make a brilliant workplace community.

Work opportunities grow due to immigration

The two areas which experience growth are in the field of education and construction. Migrants boost building programs and jobs in the educational sector and contribute to the growth in construction jobs to build a house for new migrants. Each year, construction jobs grow by 8 percent annually. This contributes 8 percent to the GDP per year.

What Is The Social Impact Of Diversity in Australia

Immigration fuels multiculturalism, fostering tolerance, strengthening the economy, and driving innovation. Enriching society with varied perspectives, skills, and traditions, while bridging workforce gaps and enhancing community dynamics.


Immigration contributes a lot to the Australian economy. If you just take income tax on its own that was worth more than $80 billion in the last year just from migrants. The IMF has estimated that Australia’s present migration program is expected to add 0.5-1% points to yearly GDP growth between 2020 and 2050. Between 2016 and 2017, Australia had a net overseas gain from migration which added up to 262,500 persons. This was an increase of 27.3 percent when compared to the years 2015 and 2016. Whatever individual Australians may say, the advantages of cultural diversity that come with immigration far outweigh the disadvantages.

Translation in a Multicultural Australia

Multicultural Australia is without a doubt here to stay and the New South Wales Government has shown its commitment in making sure that all its residents have adequate access to all services, and opportunities throughout the state. It recognises that some residents do find it hard to communicate well enough in English to ensure they can be easily understood. To help those living in Australia who have limited ability to speak English, it offers translation and interpreting services through its various state Government agencies both public and private as well as for individuals and community groups. These professionals play a vital role in making sure that language does not become a barrier when it comes to getting access to services and crucial information.

The state government hires both translators and interpreters who have been accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). This ensures a high quality service is provided to all clients whatever their cultural diversity in Australia.

Interpreting Services

The state government offers interpreting services wherever you are whether it’s for police investigations and interviews, legal matters, license testing, community interviews, health and educational situations, seminars and workshops or for individuals who need an interpreter at an interview. Its services are available 24/7 and can be booked in advance and at short notice.

Translation Services for Multicultural Australia

Translators provided by the NSW government are professionally qualified as translators and they are available in more than 104 languages and dialects that represent the cultural diversity in Australia. They are capable of translating personal documentation such as birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, overseas certificates and diplomas. They can also translate information pamphlets for organisations and transcribe video and audio materials. Proofreading is also a service that is offered by the state’s translators.

The use of Online Translation Aids

The New South Wales Government does not encourage the use of online translation products as their quality is doubtful at least at present. Most online translation tools don’t allow for the following:

  • Variations in language use
  • What is considered to be polite language
  • Providing a meaningful translation
  • Linguistic and cultural preferences of specific communities
  • Cultural diversity in Australia
  • Multicultural Australia’s state translators and interpreters have a strict Code of Ethics to follow. This has been developed for the state by the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) and Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (Ausit). This ensures confidentiality is maintained before and after the translation and when an interpreter is being used too.

    Is There an Official Language in Australia?

    The short answer is that there is no official language in Australia, but in reality, the situation is a little more complex.

    What is an official language?

    An official language is a language that is accorded supreme status in a country or state. The term “official language” is not usually the language spoken by a country or people but is assigned to be used by the government of a country. There are 178 countries that recognize an official language.

    The official language in Australia

    One question often asked is “Is English the official language of Australia?” On paper, Australia does not have an official language, but for practical reasons, English plays the role of the main language used for education, commerce, science, and administration. English is de facto the primary language because it happens to be the first language spoken by approximately 73% of the country’s population.

    Many people are searching and want to know what is the official language of Australia. While there is no official language in Australia, the main language of Australia is definitely English. The written English used is closely related to the English of Britain, although there are a few differences in spelling.

    English is regularly spoken by over 80% of citizens at home as a first language, even if a significant percentage of these people are bilingual or multilingual. That’s why it is considered that English is the official language in Australia.

    All official documents which are needed to support a government application such as a visa or citizenship application must be in English. If the original documents are not in English, then they must be translated by an accredited professional translator into English and certified that they are accurate translations of the original. If the translation takes place within Australia, then the translator must be accredited by the official accreditation authority, NAATI.

    The sorts of documents that are regularly translated into English are:

    Indigenous languages/Aboriginal languages

    When the European occupation of Australia began there were as many as 400 different indigenous languages, some of which were mutually intelligible, being more dialects than anything else. None of these languages has become adopted as either an official language or a national language of Australia in the same way as the indigenous language of neighboring New Zealand did (Maori). Many indigenous languages have either died out or are in danger of disappearing. Where one of the 70 odd indigenous languages that have survived is still widely used (mainly in the north of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland), professional translators help to bridge the gap when it comes to providing government services where a translation from the aboriginal language to English is required to assure understanding takes place.

    What are the most common languages spoken in Australia?

    There are many other languages spoken in Australia apart from English which is spoken by the large immigrant population that lives permanently in the country. 

    Most Australians speak just English so it is the most commonly spoken language in Australia. Overall about 73% of Australians speak just English while about 18.2 % are non-English speakers. Of the non-English languages, those that are spoken the most are listed below:

    • 2.5% speak Mandarin
    • 1.4 % speak Arabic 
    • 1.2% speak Italian
    • 1.2 % speak Vietnamese 
    • 1.2 % speak Cantonese 
    • 1.0% speak Greek
    • 0.7 % speak Hindi
    • 0.6% speak Spanish.
    • 0.6% speak Punjabi

    In Australia is Tamil an official language?

    Some people think that Tamil is one of the official languages in Australia. However, those people who know a lot about Australia will know that the country doesn’t have an official language but English has been used as a de facto official language since European settlement. Because of the large number of Tamils living in Australia, there have been requests made in Australia’s parliament to add Tamil to the national curriculum but no decision has ever been made so Tamil isn’t an Australian official language.

    Hire a professional language translator

    If you are looking for translations from your language into English you should consider hiring a professional language translator who has expertise in your language as well as English.

    Australia’s Christmas Number One

    While the annual countdown to the infamous Christmas number one single has already begun pretty much across the world, one Australian has already assured himself and his family of a Christmas number one hit. They have just been awarded the Guinness World Record for Christmas lights on a residential property, setting up 502,165 in a mammoth project that took approximately 2 months to implement. They comfortably beat the previous record holders, a family from New York, who used a mere 346,283 lights.

    David Richards and his family were helped by a local power company, which donated the electricity needed to send power through the 31 miles of wire used in the display. This weekend the Richards’ Canberra home will be opened to the public as a charity fundraiser and the lights will stay on until Christmas. It’s not known what Mr. Richards will do if his record is beaten, but he says that putting up any more lights would require a unique generator for all the electricity. Judging by the reaction of the people who have visited the display, Christmas lights are a universal language.

    How Christmas is celebrated in Australia

    Christmas in Australia

    Many Australians, the majority, in fact, have European ancestry. A surprising number of Australians were born elsewhere and have migrated to the Great Southern Land, bringing their language and culture with them. This means that despite the fact that Christmas evolved in the Northern hemisphere and is associated with snowy winter scenes, and well-wrapped-up people celebrating, it is still an important holiday period down under. For those Australians who see Christmas as a time to renew their faith and remember the birth of Jesus Christ, it really doesn’t matter where they are, just as Christians anywhere in the hotter parts of the world stop and recognize the religious rituals surrounding Christmas.

    For the less religious or the nonreligious, Christmas is primarily an occasion to get together with family and friends and enjoy time off work, share gifts, food and drink, and each others’ company. Because of Australia’s location and the fact that it occurs in the middle of summer, Christmas is of course much more likely to be celebrated outdoors, on the beach, or in people’s backyards. Typical family activities include backyard cricket matches, barbecues, and plenty of protective clothing against the sun and sometimes annoying insects.

    Christmas, despite its importance to Christians around the world, has become something in which everyone can take part. Australia has a diverse, multicultural population, with residents who have migrated from or were born to migrants from places where Christmas may not have been celebrated, but this doesn’t stop Christmas from being a time for relaxation, fun, and family time for everyone. 

    Fun facts about Christmas in Australia

    Christmas has to be adapted to different conditions in Australia, most obviously because it occurs in the middle of summer, not winter! Christmas on or by the beach or a river or lake is common and certainly more likely to be outdoors than in the Northern hemisphere. 

    One well-known variation on a northern hemisphere Santa Claus and his reindeer is the idea of Santa ditching the reindeer for kangaroos, immortalized in a song by Australian singer Rolf Harris “six white boomers.”

    Australians may or may not opt for a Christmas turkey, but a commonly used alternative is to fire up the barbecue, with snags (sausages), meat of some kind or another, and prawns are thrown onto it.

    As for mulled wine, a winter Christmas specialty, Aussies are far more likely to down a few stubbies (bottles) of ice-cold beer!

    Australian Christmas traditions

    Although Christmas for many Australians would be recognizable anywhere else in the world where it is celebrated, there are differences in Christmas traditions depending on the background of those celebrating and whether they were born in Australia or recent migrants. The latter are more likely to have Christmas traditions resembling those they took part in when they lived in their original countries. 

    Christmas events in Sydney and Melbourne

    Australia’s two largest cities have numerous well-advertised and well-organized Christmas-themed events leading up to Christmas, although probably the best-known event, watched by millions in Australia and around the world is the New Year’s fireworks display in and around Sydney Harbour.

    Other events in both cities include markets, carol singing, activities for kids including that old favorite – a visit to the old chap in the red coat with the white beard, lighting of the Christmas tree(s), etc.

    Visiting Australia over Christmas

    Many people travel to Australia over Christmas, especially those who have family in the country. Many extend their stay to see more of Australia and its attractions. Most parts of Australia enjoy warm to hot summers and it’s a great time to take advantage of Australia’s beautiful coastline. Many visitors who come for a few weeks or so over Christmas are able to do so with minimum fuss as all they need is a valid passport (must have at least 6 months validity after the date of return) and have applied for and obtained an ETA visa waiver. It gets a bit more complicated for other visitors who may need to apply for a tourist or short-term visitor visa before arrival as this takes longer. Most visitors will find hiring a car while in Australia very useful as public transport options are not that plentiful, especially outside of the larger cities. Valid driving licenses or international driving licenses will be needed and these may need to be translated into English.

    Still, for anyone looking to visit Australia for Christmas or at any other time, there are professional NAATI translators who are happy to help with the paperwork.