Australian Citizenship

Australian flagBecoming a citizen represents a commitment to Australia and its people. It gives a sense of belonging because you can fully participate in all aspects of Australian life.  It is an important step in your migration story and is also the beginning of your formal membership of the Australian community. It is the step that will enable you to say 'I am Australian'.

The process of applying for Australian citizenship varies depending on your eligibility. There are a number of different application options with different eligibility requirements.  Applications are made through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Generally, to apply for Australian citizenship you will need to:

  • Determine that you are eligible
  • Gather your original documents
  • Copy and certify your documents
  • Complete and lodge your application

A decision on your application for citizenship will only be made after you have lodged a completed application form together with the required documents and fee.

Citizenship ceremony

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River's role in the citizenship process is to conduct citizenship ceremonies and to present attending candidates with their citizenship certificates.

Prior to being eligible to take part in a citizenship ceremony, you must have completed your application process with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and have received your letter of approval from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. The Shire of Augusta Margaret River receives candidate lists detailing those candidates who have received citizenship approval and are eligible to attend a ceremony.

The Shire conducts approximately six citizenship ceremonies per year with one of those being the Australia Day Ceremony. Candidates are notified of their ceremony date by letter approximately six weeks prior to the ceremony.  A candidate is welcome to invite family and friends to their ceremony.

Frequently asked questions

I have received my letter of approval. When can I attend a ceremony?

The Shire is unable to provide you with a ceremony date until we receive notification from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that your citizenship has been approved. These notifications are received approximately every two to three weeks. Once the Shire has received this notification, you will be scheduled in to the next available citizenship ceremony and a letter of invitation will be sent out to you.

How long will I have to wait before I get an invitation to my ceremony?

Invitations are sent out approximately six weeks prior to a ceremony.  Provided you confirm your attendance by the RSVP date specified on your invitation letter, you will receive your certificate at the ceremony. It takes up to four weeks for the certificates to be ordered from Canberra and received by the Shire, therefore the RSVP deadline is usually four to five weeks prior to the ceremony date.

Do I need to attend a ceremony to receive my certificate?

Yes. Candidates are required to attend a citizenship ceremony and to make their Pledge in order to validate their citizenship and receive their certificate.

What if I can’t attend the next scheduled citizenship ceremony?

Notify us of your unavailability and we will transfer your name and details to the next scheduled ceremony.

Is it possible to arrange a ceremony earlier than the next scheduled citizenship ceremony?

Special ceremonies can be arranged in very limited circumstances. You will need to provide evidence that your need is urgent.  The Shire President is the approving authority and will assess each situation to determine whether a special ceremony may be approved.

How long does the citizenship ceremony take?

The citizenship ceremony generally takes thirty to forty minutes.

Where are the ceremonies held?

Ceremonies are held at:
Shire of Augusta Margaret River
Civic Administration Centre
41 Wallcliffe Road
Margaret River WA 6285

What do I need to bring with me to the ceremony?

You are required to bring current Australian identification with you. Your current Australian driver’s licence is sufficient. If you do not hold a drivers licence, additional forms of identification may include: credit cards, medicare card or bills showing your name and current address. These documents are required as proof of identification by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

What Pledge am I taking? What is the difference between an oath and an affirmation?

There are two Pledges, one that mentions God (oath) and one that does not (affirmation). You would have nominated which Pledge you are making when you filled out your application form at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. The Department advise us of your nominated Pledge when they send us the candidate names. You will receive your nominated Pledge on a Pledge card when you attend your ceremony. You will be called forward in two groups to make your pledge, not individually. If you are making an oath, you are welcome to bring a holy book of your choice to make your Pledge on.

Pledge 1 - oath: "From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey".

Pledge 2 - affirmation: "From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey".

May I bring guests along?

Yes.

What is the dress code?

Smart attire is requested.

Can I take photographs?

You are welcome to bring your own cameras, however, we ask that photographs are taken from where you and your guests are seated. Further photographs with the Shire President can be requested after the formalities are concluded.

I have lost my citizenship certificate, what should I do?

The Shire cannot re-issue or replace citizenship certificates. You will need to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 131 880 to arrange a replacement certificate.

Do children need to attend citizenship ceremonies?

Children aged 16 years and over are legally required to attend a ceremony and take the citizenship pledge to become on Australian citizen. Children under the age of 16 are not legally required to take the citizenship pledge; however, they are welcome to attend the ceremony and are encouraged to take the citizenship pledge with their parents or guardian where possible.

When can I apply for an Australian passport?

You must attend your ceremony and receive your citizenship certificate before you can apply for an Australian passport. The original certificate will be needed when applying for the passport. For more information about Australian passports, please visit or call the Australian Passport Office on 131 232.

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Contact the Shire

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
9am-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512

Augusta

66 Allnut Terrace
Monday to Friday
9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm
Ph 08 9780 5255

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