How do I obtain my citizenship certificate if I have lost mine?

close up of a australian citizenship certificate and oath pledge
close up of a australian citizenship certificate and oath pledge

Losing your citizenship certificate can be a stressful ordeal, especially if you’re going to be in need of it in the near future. Replacing your certificate is possible, but it requires a set of factors to be addressed before it becomes a reality, and the process can be a little confusing if you don’t know what the facts are.

In a nutshell, the process is essentially proving to the authorities that you’re an Australian Citizen. The steps involved in the application process are outlined below, although it’s important to note that the steps may differ between persons.

First, it is essential that you gather some important documents that will be required as inclusions to your application. Without all of the following pieces of information, your application won’t be processed as quickly as it otherwise would be, and it may even be returned. These documents include:

  • Birth Certificate complete with birth name, birth date, and place of birth.
  • Proof of place of residency.
  • Identity declaration form with an endorsed photograph attached.

You may also provide the following if they are applicable:

  • Passport.
  • Evidence of name changes during lifetime.

You’ll then have to produce certified copies of your original documents, which is to be done by an Australia citizen who currently works within one of the designated occupations and whom is not related to you by de facto relationship, marriage, or birth.

If you are applying from outside of Australia, you can have your original documents certified by a person who fits all of the requirements outlined previously, so long as they have known you for over a year. You can also have this person complete your identity declaration for you, if you are unable to.

After your documents have been copied and certified, you may then proceed with filling out certain forms. The identity declaration section is to be completed by a person who works as one of the designated occupations.

In your application you must include the following:

  • certified documents.
  • an endorsed photograph.
  • the application fee.

If you are in Australia, the form can be sent to GPO Box 9948, and if you’re outside Australia it can be sent to the Overseas Processing Unit in Canberra.

The time to receive your certificate may differ from other persons, but the wait time is usually 10 days after the certificate request has been processed. This time will be considerably longer if you are outside of Australia.

You have the ability to ask for an urgent evidence of citizenship, but you will need to send a letter complete with the reason for the urgency within your application in order to support this desire.

Handy Hint: 

The Migration Translators offer a lost citizenship certificate replacement service. Essentially they do 99% of the work for you: reviewing your evidence, completing forms, checking that everything is correct and dealing with all government authorities so that you don’t have to spend hours on the phone. This service is $575 including the $190 application fee and is perfect if you want peace of mind.

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