Citizenship Ceremonies

Please do not contact Council about your specific application. The Hills Shire Council does not process applications and our staff are not involved in any decision-making.

All decisions regarding Citizenship are made by the Department of Home Affairs. If you have any questions about your application, contact the Department of Home Affairs or phone the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880.

How to become a Citizen

In addition to the benefits that come with permanent residence, the legal status of Australian Citizenship carries with it the right to:

  • Vote and elect Australia's Government
  • Stand for public office or nominate for election to Parliament
  • Apply for an Australian passport and leave and enter the country without an entry visa
  • Seek consular assistance from Australia's diplomatic representatives while overseas
  • Apply to enlist in the armed forces and for government jobs
  • Register children as Australian Citizens by descent

 

Step 1.Apply

To become an Australian Citizen you need to apply through the Department of Home Affairs. 

Apply to become an Australian Citizen

 

Step 2.What happens next?

Once your Australian Citizenship application is processed by the Department of Home Affairs you will receive a letter advising you that your application has been successful.

The next step is to attend a ceremony.

 

For further information on attending a ceremony and future dates click on the 'My Citizenship Ceremony' tab above.

 

Step 3.More Information

If you would like more information on becoming an Australian Citizen visit the Department of Home Affairs website or call their information line on 131 880

 

Your Citizenship Ceremony

Attendance at a ceremony to become a Australian Citizen is a privilege and is by invitation only.

 

Step 1.You will receive a letter

Once your Australian Citizenship application is processed by the Department of Home Affairs you will receive a letter advising you that your application has been successful. The next step is to attend a ceremony.

 

Step 2.You will receive a second letter

It takes around 6 months before you will be sent a second letter from the Department of Immigration inviting you to attend your Citizenship ceremony.

If you have applied for Citizenship, and haven’t received your invitation please call the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880.

 

Step 3.When and where will your citizenship ceremony be held?

This second letter from the Department of Immigration is sent directly to candidates approximately four - six weeks prior to their ceremony date and will provide this information.

 

Step 4.About citizenship ceremonies

Australian Citizenship Ceremonies are hosted by The Hills Shire Council for Shire residents who have applied to become Australian citizens through the Department of Home Affairs.

Ceremonies are held throughout the year with one major ceremony on Australia Day.

 

Step 5.CITIZENSHIP CEREMONIES

2024 Citizenship Ceremonies:

  • Friday 26 January – Australia Day
  • Monday 19 February 2024
  • Monday 18 March 2024
  • Monday 20 May 2024
  • Monday 17 June 2024
  • Monday 22 July 2024
  • Monday 19 August 2024
  • Tuesday 17 September 2024
  • Wednesday 23 October 2024 (Subject to change)
  • Monday 18 November 2024

 

Please do not contact Council about your specific application. The Hills Shire Council does not process applications and our staff are not involved in any decision making.

All decisions regarding Citizenship are made by the Department of Home Affairs. If you have any questions about your application, contact the Department of Home Affairs or phone the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880.

 

Step 6.Do you need to contact us about your ceremony?

If you would like more information about the ceremony that you have been invited to attend, phone The Hills Shire Council on +61 2 9843 0425 or email citizenship@thehills.nsw.gov.au

Frequently Asked Questions

When is my citizenship ceremony?

Generally, ceremonies are scheduled within six months of approval, although waiting periods can vary.

The Department appreciates your patience and asks that you wait to receive an invitation to your ceremony. Please do not to contact the Department or your local council about your ceremony, as the Department will write to you with details of your ceremony when one has been arranged for you.  

You can see the average ceremony wait times of each council here: Ceremony wait times (homeaffairs.gov.au)

 


I've been invited to a ceremony but cannot attend

Only exceptional circumstances should prevent you from attending your scheduled ceremony.  

In most cases, you will receive a non-attendance letter from the Department, and you will then be invited to a subsequent ceremony. Please note that as some of our processes are automated, this may result in you receiving an invitation when you have previously advised that you will be unavailable for a ceremony. It is a requirement that you attend a ceremony to take the pledge of commitment to Australia within 12 months from the notice of approval. If you do not, your approval may be cancelled.

Travel

If you need to travel overseas before you acquire Australian citizenship, you must ensure you maintain your permanent resident status in Australia and confirm if any travel bans are currently in place.

Please obtain or renew your passport from your current country of citizenship AND ensure you have a valid Resident Return Visa if the travel facility in your previous visa has ceased or will cease before you return to Australia. This requirement also applies to children.  Information on the eligibility criteria for a Resident Return Visa is available here.

 


I need my citizenship urgently

In order to maintain the integrity and fairness of the ceremony allocation process, ceremony allocations are performed by order of approval date only. Please note there is no option to ‘fast-track’ or ‘expedite’ your ceremony. Urgent ceremonies are only approved in exceptional and very limited circumstances. In order to qualify for an urgent ceremony you are required to provide full details along with supporting evidence to demonstrate your exceptional circumstances. 

If you do not provide evidence, your request will not be assessed and you will not receive a reply. Please ensure all documentation is translated into English.

If you do not meet the criteria for an urgent ceremony you will not receive a reply.

One or more of the below criteria would need to be met before any consideration can be made:

  • Visiting a close family member who is terminally ill (with evidence).
  • Attend a funeral of a close family member.
  • Receive urgent medical treatment that cannot be received in Australia.
  • Attend legal proceedings in person.
  • Accompany a sick/elderly relative for one of the reasons above.
  • Defence force personnel.
  • Clients who will work for the Australian Government who need to be an Australian citizen to be employed.
  • Clients who need to be an Australian citizen to be employed for a job they have been offered who have been waiting more than six months for a ceremony. This does not apply to applicants who are currently employed with a company and require citizenship for additional duties.
  • Eligibility for HECS-Help study loans when it has been more than six months since date of approval.

 

Note, the following types of circumstances are not considered genuinely urgent or compelling:

  • Overseas travel for employment, holidays, visiting family, or weddings.
  • Pre-purchased airline tickets, cruise tickets or overseas accommodation.
  • General entry-level employment requiring Australian citizenship.
  • Expired travel documents or do not want to pay for a Resident Return Visa.
  • Eligibility for building grants.
  • Eligibility for HECS-Help study loans when it has been less than six months since date of approval.

 


I wish to be unlinked from someone who has not received their approval

If you are linked with an individual who has not received their citizenship approval, you will not be invited to a ceremony. You may request to be unlinked from this individual however this is irreversible and you may not in future request to attend a ceremony together. If you wish to do this, please provide the Department of Home Affairs with their full name, date of birth and Client ID or Application number. Please note that doing this will not guarantee you an earlier ceremony - as always, allocation for ceremonies is based on your approval date.

 


Can I do my ceremony with another person?

No. In order to maintain the integrity and fairness of the ceremony allocation process, individuals can only be linked at time of application.

 


Can I do my ceremony in another council or have an online ceremony?

No. The Department has ceased offering online ceremonies. Applicants for Australian citizenship must attend a citizenship ceremony in their local council area. Please do not to contact the Department or your local council about your ceremony, as the Department will write to you with details of your ceremony when one has been arranged for you.  

For further assistance, please contact If you have any questions about your application, contact the Department of Home Affairs or phone the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880.

 


Source: Ceremonies NSW, the Department of Home Affairs

Translation Services

The Hills Shire Council can assist with the translation of information. Anyone requiring a translation or an interpreter can either visit Council's Administration Centre for assistance or contact the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 and ask an interpreter to call Council on +61 2 9843 0555 and enquire on their behalf.