Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian High Commission in London currently has limited capacity to assist with questions relating to immigration or citizenship.
The best way to find out information about immigration and citizenship is by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, you can contact the Department of Home Affairs Global Service Centre on 0061 2 6196 0196 or via https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/contact-us. The Global Service Centre is available Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (GMT +1, UK time).
Welcome to the website of the Migration Branch of the Australian High Commission in London. We are an overseas office of the Department of Home Affairs. We service clients who are usually resident in the United Kingdom, Andorra, Ascension Island, Belgium, Canary Islands, Falkland Islands, France, Gibraltar, Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Saint Helena, Spain and Ukraine.
You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The Department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or was unsuccessful.
COVID-19: Travel Restrictions
For questions on the Novel coronavirus and Australian travel restrictions, please refer to the Departmental website at https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus. This website is regularly updated and will give you the latest official information.
Please help the Australian Government improve its new Digital Assistant online chat for Visa and citizenship enquiries
We are currently trialling a new Digital Assistant online chat that will make it easier and faster to find answers to Australian visa and citizenship questions.
The Digital Assistant trial will be available on the Australian Government’s Immigration and Citizenship website pages (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au) for approximately three months. You can open the Australian Visa and Citizenship Digital Assistant by clicking on the ‘Digital Assistant’ orange tab located at the bottom right hand side of the screen on our Immigration and Citizenship webpages.
We are asking for your help to improve the Digital Assistant by using it as much as possible throughout the trial for your Australian visa and citizenship questions, and sending any feedback you have on the Digital Assistant. Feedback can be provided by clicking on the blue feedback tab at the bottom of the screen.
For more information on our trial Digital Assistant go to www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Applying for Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship by Descent
A person can obtain Australian citizenship by descent if one of their parents was an Australian citizen at the time of their birth. Citizenship by descent applicants must be registered as such before they apply for an Australian passport.
If the applicant’s parent also acquired their Australian citizenship by descent or through adoption, the parent must have been present in Australia for periods totalling two years at some time in their life in order for the applicant to now be registered as an Australian citizen by descent.
How to apply
Applying online is our preferred way for you to apply and helps us to process your application faster. This can be done via the Department of Home Affairs website.
It is possible to apply by paper and information on how to send your application can be found here. Please ensure that if applying by paper that you do not send any original documents and all documents must be certified and translated if not in English, please refer to the section below on 'submitting supporting information' for more information. You may need to submit an original for any police clearances and more information can be found below under 'good character documents'.
Please note that we do not return any certified copies or translations.
Who can apply to the London office?
The London office processes citizenship by descent applications for clients residing in the UK, Ireland and the following countries:
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Ascension Island, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Falkland Islands, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Helena, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vatican City.
Information about the application fee and how to pay can be found here.
Submitting supporting information
Applications can be lodged online and all supporting documents should be clear scanned copies uploaded to your application via your ImmiAccount.
All documents that are not written in English must be translated into English by an accredited translator (this includes all identity documents and proof of address). Multilingual documents that include English do not need to be translated.
Please read the below tips on submitting supporting documents prior to lodging your application:
- All copies of supporting documents, whether lodging online or by paper, must be clear and legible.
- Do not send any original documents unless you are requested to do so by your case officer.
- If the Australian parent holds or has held citizenship of any other country, they must provide evidence of how and on what date they acquired that citizenship. A foreign passport is not acceptable as it does not state on what date they acquired that citizenship. Examples of acceptable documents include a naturalisation certificate or a full birth certificate that states the names of both parents.
- Please ensure that any proof of address is dated within the last 6 months.
- When providing birth certificates, please ensure that details of both parents are included on the certificate.
- Please ensure that form 1195 is completed in full if applying online. If applying by paper, please sure the identity declaration is included in the citizenship form. More information on identity documents can be found here
Original documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by an English translation. The English translations must be appropriately endorsed translations. In Australia, translators must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. Their accreditation details must be recorded on the translation. Translations provided by non-accredited translators outside Australia should be endorsed by the translator with their full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated.
If you lodge a paper application by mail to the Australian High Commission in London, copies of your supporting documents should be certified.
Before you make an application you must ensure you have all of the required documents. If all the documents are not provided with the application form, the application may be deemed invalid and returned to the applicant with no further processing.
Good character documents
Citizenship by descent applicants aged 18 years or older are required to provide good character documents, including submitting penal clearance certificates.
Please note that if you are aged 18 years or older and have spent any amount of time in Australia since turning 18, you will need to provide an Australian police clearance.
If you are applying by paper, please ensure you either send the original(s) with your application. Alternatively, your case officer can also request you to provide a scanned colour copy after you have applied.
For further information on good character documents and penal clearance certificates visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
Processing times & receiving the certificate in the mail
The Department of Home Affairs publishes monthly global processing times online.
Actual processing times are dependent on a number of factors, such as:
- whether you have provided all necessary supporting documents when you lodge your application
- how well and how promptly you respond to any requests for additional information
- how long it takes to complete any required checks on information you have provided to support your application
- volumes of applications received at any one time.
If your application is finalised and citizenship by descent is acquired, our office will print a certificate and mail it to the postal address provided. Postal times may take 10 business days depending on your country of residence. If your address changes, please update your details through your ImmiAccount.
Please note that you should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have an Australian visa or Australian passport to travel to Australia. The department will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa or citizenship by descent application was finalised later than expected or where an application is unsuccessful.
Applying for a Passport
Once citizenship has been granted you may wish to apply for an Australian passport. Passports are issued by the Australian passport office (not the Department of Home Affairs). Australian Passport offices are also located in Australian Embassies and Consulates. You should contact your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate for further information about passport applications.
Clients in the UK see: Consular and Passport Office in London
Please note that the Passport Office in London does not accept applications for client’s resident outside the UK. If you are outside the UK, please click here.
Once an application for citizenship by descent has been finalised, we send the certificate by registered mail to the postal address provid. We do not send the citizenship certificate directly to the Passport Office to facilitate the issuing of an Australian passport.
Information on Australian visas and citizenship, as well as ways to make an enquiry, can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. Please note that the Australian High Commission in London is unable to answer visa and citizenship enquiries.
Work and Holiday visa program: Mandatory online lodgement of visa applications
We are pleased to announce that the Department of Home Affairs is moving to mandatory online lodgement for Work and Holiday visa applications on 17 November 2018. This will make it faster and easier for you to lodge a Work and Holiday visa application for Australia.
The change means that from 17 November 2018 all nationals of Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, and Slovenia, as well as Spain and the Slovak Republic, must lodge their Work and Holiday application online. This can be done through the Department of Home Affairs’ website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au using ImmiAccount.
Paper applications will no longer accepted from 17 November 2018. This change only relates to the method of lodging the visa application, so all visa requirements and eligibility criteria remain unchanged.
Please note that this change does not affect the number of places available in the 2018-19 Work and Holiday program. Therefore, due to the high number of applications already received, applicants from Spain and Israel will not be able to lodge applications until further notice.
It is important to note that the requirement of Functional English also remains unchanged. For a list of acceptable evidence to demonstrate that you have at least functional English, please refer to the Department’s website at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462#tab-content-1, then go to the tab “visa applicants” and refer to the information listed in the drop-down text for “Functional English”. Please ensure that you include this evidence when you lodge your application.
For further information, please see https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462#tab-content-1
Biometric collection arrangements in France
Clients resident in France, regardless of nationality, applying for a visa on a paper form are required to provide a digital facial image and fingerprint scan, this is known as biometrics. Some persons are exempt from providing biometrics, for example Heads of State and accredited diplomats. For more information on biometric collection please refer to the Australian Embassy, Paris website below:
Post Specific Information
Where an application for Citizenship by Descent involves a person born through commercial surrogacy, a DNA test will be requested after the application has been lodged.
You should NOT commence making arrangements for DNA testing until you receive a formal request to do so.
When you have received a request, the steps are as follow:
• You should engage a NATA accredited lab - See: Form 1259i - Information about DNA testing for visa and citizenship applicants;
• Once you have engaged the lab, a DNA collection kit will be sent to our accredited panel clinic in Kyiv;
• You should notify the processing office of the name of the lab sending the collection kit, and where possible, which courier company and consignment number;
• The processing office will notify the accredited panel clinic of impending courier delivery and will confirm with them receipt of the kit;
• The processing office will notify you when kit has been received by IOM;
• You should then make an appointment direct with accredited panel clinic in Kyiv, notifying the Department of Home Affairs office in London of the time/date;
• The processing office will advise the Australian Embassy in Kyiv of your appointment;
• Following the appointment, you will take the sealed DNA sample collection kit to the Australian Embassy in Kyiv;
• The Australian Embassy in Kyiv will return the DNA sample collection kit by approved methods to Australia confirming with the processing office that the kit was delivered untampered.
You can view current global visa and citizenship processing times for most visa subclasses and citizenship types. Please see the product page for the specific visa subclass or citizenship type you are applying for. You can navigate to any product from Individuals and Travellers or Visa Support. On the product page, two processing times will be displayed, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75 and 90 per cent of all applications submitted globally.
Processing times apply from the date your complete application is lodged.
You can also use the Visa Finder to compare processing times for up to three different products.
Please note that applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may vary due to individual circumstances including:
- whether the applicant has lodged a complete application including all necessary supporting documents
- how promptly the applicant responds to any requests for additional information
- how long it takes to perform required checks
- how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health, character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements
- the number of places available in the migration programme (for permanent migration visas)
- surges in demand and peak periods
To ensure your application falls within the published processing times, we strongly encourage you to submit complete applications. The checklists provided on ImmiAccount will assist in making sure you have included all required documents during the application process.
Immigration and Citizenship
Our Department is committed to building more efficient and effective ways of delivering accessible services through the use of digital channels as our default form of delivery.
As such, you can complete a number of services online without needing to contact the department directly. This includes:
Please note that we are unable to provide any updates on the progress of your application if it is within average global processing times.
Please ensure that any supporting documents required with your application are attached during, or by the next business day, following the lodgement of your application. A decision may be made solely on the information that you provide with your application.
Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English Translation.
The Australian Department of Home Affairs is moving towards a global visa processing model. This means that any application may be processed in an office other than where it is lodged. As such it is important that all supporting documents attached to the application which are not in English, be accompanied by an English translation.
The English translations must be appropriately endorsed translations. In Australia, translators must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. Their accreditation details must be recorded on the translation.
Translations provided by non-accredited translators outside Australia should be endorsed by the translator with their full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated.
Please ensure that when providing an English translation, that a copy of the original document is also provided. Failure to provide an English translation of supporting documentation may delay processing and result in the document not being considered as part of the visa application.
Departmental policy relating to supporting documentation can be found on the Department’s website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/who-can-help-with-your-application