Australian nationality law

Australian nationality law details the conditions in which a person holds Australian nationality. The primary law governing nationality regulations is the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, which came into force on 1 July 2007. Regulations apply to all states and territories of Australia.

Australian Citizenship Act 2007
Parliament of Australia
  • An Act relating to Australian citizenship
CitationNo. 20 of 2007
Territorial extentAustralia
Enacted byHouse of Representatives
Enacted1 March 2007 (with amendments from the Senate)
Enacted bySenate
Enacted26 February 2007
Royal assent15 March 2007
Commenced1 July 2007
Administered byDepartment of Home Affairs[1]
Legislative history
Bill introduced in the House of RepresentativesAustralian Citizenship Bill 2005
Introduced byJohn Cobb
First reading9 November 2005
Second reading31 October–28 November 2006
Third reading28 November 2006
Bill introduced in the SenateAustralian Citizenship Bill 2006
Introduced byIan Campbell
First reading30 November 2006
Second reading7–26 February 2007
Third reading26 February 2007[2]
Australian Citizenship Act 1948
Status: Amended

All persons born in Australia before 20 August 1986 were automatically citizens at birth regardless of the nationalities of their parents. Individuals born in the country after that date receive Australian citizenship at birth if at least one of their parents is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Foreign nationals may be granted citizenship after living in the country for at least four years while holding permanent residency and showing proficiency in the English language.

Australia is composed of several former British colonies founded in the 18th and 19th centuries whose residents were British subjects. After federation as a Dominion within the British Empire in 1901, Australia was granted more autonomy over time and gradually became independent from the United Kingdom. While Australian citizens are no longer British, they continue to hold favoured status when residing in the UK; as Commonwealth citizens, Australians are eligible to vote in UK elections and serve in public office there.

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