How do I Get a Birth Certificate Issued in Australia if I Was Born Overseas?

Birth Certificate

By virtue of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, Australian citizenship may be acquired by birth, by descent, by conferral, or through adoption. There are many cases where an individual has Australian citizenship but was born overseas. In such cases, no birth certificate from Australia would be issued. What you will have therefore is a foreign birth certificate. However, birth certificates are normally required when applying for various documents in Australia: e.g., passports, licences, etc. This requirement is mainly for purposes of identifying yourself, and to show your Australian citizenship.

Basically, what you will need in the absence of a birth certificate issued in Australia is an Australian citizenship certificate. This is what would be asked of you to prove your identity and citizenship, as well as other documents, depending on what you are applying for. Therefore, what Australian citizens born overseas should know is how to acquire an Australian citizenship certificate in place of a birth certificate issued in Australia.

A citizenship certificate is a strong identification document that affirms that you are an Australian citizen. Those who were born overseas but who have gained Australian citizenship via other means – e.g., immigration, adoption or descent – would need this to obtain other documents. Those who gained citizenship by immigration would automatically be awarded their certificates after their Citizenship Ceremony. Those who gained citizenship by descent and adoption can get an Australian citizenship certificate by completing Form 119. This can be downloaded from the website of Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection for a fee of $60. You may call the citizenship hotline number, 131880, for further information.

To be eligible to apply for a citizenship certificate using form 119 if you were born overseas, you should have acquired your citizenship by descent, and your birth date should fall after January 26, 1949; or you should have been born and acquired your Australian citizenship before January 26, 1949.

Form 119 in itself contains all the information you need to accomplish and lodge your application. It also contains the list of requirements you need to submit with the form depending on the circumstances of your citizenship. If you are in Australia, you can send your application, including all documentation requirements (certified true copies and in recognisable English or translated – check out The Migration Translators if you need an official NAATI Translation), and fee to the Evidence Processing Unit, Parramata Dept. of Immigration and Border Protection, GPO Box 9984, Sydney NSW 2001. Whether your application is approved or not, you will be notified in writing.

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