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Australian Citizenship Act 2007 and the Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007

1 July 2007 - Legislation change

Client summary

Australian Citizenship Act 2007

The Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (the new Act) replaces the Australian Citizenship Act 1948 (the old Act).

The purpose of the new Act is to set out how a person may become an Australian citizen, how citizenship may be evidenced and how a person may cease to be a citizen.

In particular, the new Act:

  • includes simplified outlines to assist readers to understand the new Act
  • sets out the circumstances in which people automatically become Australian citizens
  • sets out the eligibility requirements for the acquisition of Australian citizenship by descent, adoption, conferral or resumption
  • changes the residence requirement for most citizenship applicants to four years lawful residence immediately before making an application
  • allows the permanent resident spouse or interdependent partner of Australian citizens to have their residence outside Australia taken to be residence in Australia in certain circumstances
  • provides for the acquisition of citizenship by people born in Papua prior to 1975 to an Australian citizen parent born in Australia as currently defined
  • allows children who were born after a parent ceased being an Australian citizen upon acquiring the citizenship of another country to become Australian citizens
  • prohibits the approval of citizenship for people, other than certain stateless people, who are assessed as being a risk to Australia's security
  • prohibits the approval of citizenship for certain stateless people who have been convicted of national security offences or other offences for which a sentence of imprisonment of at least five years has been imposed
  • prohibits approval of citizenship by conferral during any period in which there is pending action that could be taken in respect of the person under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or Territory, any periods in prison and certain periods following imprisonment
  • removes the age limit for former Australian citizens, who renounced their citizenship to become citizens of another country to avoid suffering significant hardship or disadvantage, to resume Australian citizenship
  • provides for the collection, use, storage and destruction of personal identifiers
  • extends the provisions for revocation of Australian citizenship to include serious criminal offences committed at any time prior to acquisition of citizenship, and third party fraud
    and
  • provides the discretion to revoke a child's citizenship if the child's only Australian citizen responsible parent ceases to be an Australian citizen.

Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007

The Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007 was passed by Parliament along with the new Act and makes transitional arrangements and consequential amendments to various Acts which are necessary for the implementation of the new Act.

Consequential amendments made by the Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007 include:

  • substituting references to the old Act with new references to the short title of the new Act, that is ‘the Australian Citizenship Act 2007
  • removing references to ‘Australian protected persons’, an expression which is not used in the new Act or any other Act or delegated legislation
  • amending the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and Higher Education Funding Act 1988 to update references to the manner in which citizenship acquisition is amended by the new Act
    and
  • amending the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 in relation to exempt citizenship documents.

The Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007 provides various application and transitional provisions relating to the new Act including:

  • deeming that persons who were Australian citizens under the old Act are Australian citizens under the new Act
  • expanding the meaning of certain terms used in the new Act
  • making clear the application of the new Act to the acquisition of citizenship by birth, descent or conferral, and the revocation of citizenship by conferral
  • deeming old applications and declarations made under the old Act and which are undecided immediately before the commencement of the new Act be applications under the new Act
  • arrangements for persons who were granted a certificate of citizenship under the old Act but have not become Australian citizens immediately before the commencement of the new Act
  • providing that persons granted permanent residence before the date of commencement of the new Act need only meet the residential requirements in the old Act if they apply before 1 July 2010
  • providing that provisions in the new Act allowing for registration of people adopted by an Australian citizen in accordance with the Hague Convention, applies to people adopted before or after the commencement of the new Act
  • transitional and application provisions relating to the consequential amendments specified above.

Technical details

The structure of the new Act is as follows:

Part 1 – Preliminary

Part 2 – Australian citizenship

  • Division 1 – Automatic acquisition of Australian citizenship
  • Division 2 – Acquisition of Australian citizenship by application
    • Subdivision A – Citizenship by descent
    • Subdivision AA – Citizenship for persons adopted in accordance with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption
    • Subdivision B – Citizenship by conferral
    • Subdivision C – Resuming citizenship
  • Division 3 – Cessation of Australian citizenship
  • Division 4 – Evidence of Australian citizenship
  • Division 5 – Personal identifiers
    • Subdivision A – Obtaining personal identifiers
    • Subdivision B – Obligations relating to identifying information

Part 3 – Other matters

Schedule 1 – Pledge of commitment as a citizen of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Additional information: Detailed information can be found on the Citizenship website.
See: www.citizenship.gov.au

Related amendments:

The Australian Citizenship Regulations 2007 will commence on 1 July 2007 and prescribe various matters under the new Act. Please see the Notice of Legislative Change relating to the Australian Citizenship Regulations 2007 for further information.
See: Australian Citizenship Regulations 2007

Application of the new provisions:

Please refer to the notes relating to the Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007 above.

Forms: The following application forms have been updated in accordance with the new Act:

Form 118 Application for Australian citizenship by descent
Form 119 Application for evidence of Australian citizenship
Form 124 Application for conferral of Australian citizenship
Form 128 Application for renunciation of Australian citizenship
Form 132 Application to resume Australian citizenship
Form 1195 Proof of Identity for applications made online for conferral of Australian citizenship

A new Form 1272 Application for Australian citizenship for children adopted under full and permanent Hague Convention arrangements has been developed to support the new provisions in the Act.

The information Form 1027i How to apply for conferral of Australian citizenship has also been updated.

The following Forms have been withdrawn:

Form 975i Australian citizenship – citizenship by birth in Australia
Form 1037 Declaration of a New Zealand citizen parent of an Australian born child
Form 1014i Australian citizenship – British and Maltese former child migrants
Form 1063i Becoming a citizen – what you should know
Form 1113i Deprivation of Australian citizenship
Form 1114i Australian citizens who acquired another citizenship prior to 4 April 2002
Form 1184 Application for an evidentiary certificate
Form 1185 Evidentiary certificate

Instructions:

The Australian Citizenship Instructions (ACIs) have been rewritten to support the new Act. The ACIs will also continue to be available on Legendcom. Parts of the ACIs will be publicly available on the Citizenship website.
See: www.citizenship.gov.au.

Effect on delegations:

All the existing delegations and authorisations under the old Act and old regulations have been repealed. New delegations and authorisations, that are consistent with those under the old Act, have been made.

Effect on systems: Departmental systems have been updated to support the new Act.

 

Last modified Wednesday 27 August 2014