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Citizenship

Becoming an Australian citizen means you can call Australia home with all the privileges and responsibilities of a person who was born here. It is a step that will enable you to say "I am Australian". At the City of Perth we take great pride in helping our residents achieve this final step and becoming Australian citizens.

Citizenship ceremony

To be eligible to attend a citizenship ceremony at the City of Perth, you must reside within the City of Perth council boundary and have completed your application process with the Department of Home Affairs

Once your application has been approved, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs will send you a letter of approval. Details of approved candidates are sent to councils approximately every five weeks (so it is likely that we may not have your details on our records if you have only just received your approval letter).

The City of Perth conducts approximately seven citizenship ceremonies per year with one of those being the Australia Day Ceremony. 

Citizenship ceremonies consists of:

  • Welcome to Country
  • The Minister’s Message
  • Guest speech
  • Citizenship preamble
  • Pledge of Commitment
  • Presentation of citizenship certificates
  • Presiding Officer's speech
  • Affirmation by an Australian citizen
  • The Australian National Anthem.

Auspire — The Australia Day Council WA, Community Citizen of the Year Awards

These awards recognise the local heroes who make a momentous contribution in areas such as education, health, wellbeing, business, sport, arts, the environment, social inclusion and volunteering. It is an opportunity to celebrate people who are proud of Perth, who have a sense of responsibility to the community and who have brought about positive change as a result.

There are four categories for the awards: 
Community Citizen of the Year
Senior Community Citizen of the Year (over 65 years)
Young Community Citizen of the Year (under 25 years)
Active Citizenship Award (community or group event). 

The awards will be presented at the City of Perth’s Citizenship Ceremony on 26 January 2020 at the Perth Town Hall. Nominations can be made at the Citizenship Awards website. To be eligible, nominees must reside, work or volunteer principally within the City of Perth. Nominations close 31 October 2019. 

Frequently asked questions

Planning for your ceremony

  • Can I choose to attend a ceremony at the City of Perth, even if I don’t live in the council boundary?
    No. Candidates are required to attend their ceremony with their local council. Department of Home Affairs will share your details with your local council only, as it is their responsibility to provide this service to you. Attending at your local council also provides you with an opportunity to meet and speak with your locally elected members and Government representatives. 
  • I have received my letter of approval. When can I attend a ceremony?
    The City of Perth is unable to provide you with a ceremony date until we receive notification from the Department of Home Affairs that your citizenship has been approved. These notifications are received from the Department of Home Affairs approximately every five weeks. Once the City of Perth has received this notification, you will be scheduled onto the next available citizenship ceremony.
  • How long will I have to wait before I get an invitation to my ceremony?

    Waiting times vary between two to four months. Invitations are sent approximately five weeks prior to a ceremony. 

    Provided you confirm your attendance by the RSVP date specified on your invitation, you will receive your certificate at the ceremony. Department of Home Affairs order the certificates from Canberra and it can take up to four weeks for these to be printed, posted and received by the City of Perth. Therefore, the RSVP deadline is usually three to four weeks prior to the ceremony date.

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

    Urgent or private ceremonies are available through the Department of Home Affairs.

    These types of ceremonies are reserved for candidates who require conferral of their Australian citizenship due to extenuating circumstances. Any candidates requiring a private ceremony must contact the Department of Home Affairs to obtain an Urgent Ceremony Request form. Completed forms must be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs along with supporting evidence. The Department of Home Affairs is the approving authority and will assess each situation to determine whether a private/urgent ceremony is to be provided.

    These ceremonies are held at the Department of Home Affairs offices.

  • Where are the ceremonies held?

    Ceremonies are held in the evening at:  

    Council House 
    27 St Georges Terrace 
    Perth WA 6000

  • What do I need to bring with me?

    You must supply proof of identification in the form of photographic evidence (Australian driver’s licence, foreign passport or another official document which includes a photograph). If you do not have photographic identification you will need to bring at least three documents with your name, address and signature such as credit cards, bills and bank statements. If you do not have sufficient proof of identification, you will be unable to register and therefore, unable to attend your ceremony.

    A ceremony date will be offered when the correct photographic evidence is available.


Attending the ceremony

  • Do I need to attend a ceremony to receive my certificate?
    Yes. Candidates are required to attend a citizenship ceremony and make their Pledge of Commitment out loud and in English, in front of the Presiding Officer, in order to validate their citizenship and receive their certificate.
  • I have been invited to a ceremony but I can’t attend on that date. What should I do?
    Please notify us of your unavailability and we will transfer you to a more suitable scheduled ceremony date.
  • How long does the citizenship ceremony take?
    The citizenship ceremony takes up to 45 minutes and is followed by a complimentary 45 minute reception. If you have other plans or need to leave, you may do so after the citizenship ceremony has concluded (before the reception). 
  • May I bring guests along?
    Yes. Candidates are informed of the number of guests allowed in their letter of invitation.
  • What is the dress code?
    Smart attire is requested. No jeans or thongs. National or Cultural Dress is Welcomed.
  • Can I take photographs?

    An official photograph will be taken of each candidate as they receive their certificate from the Presiding Officer. These are complimentary and will be sent to you within a few weeks of the ceremony. You are welcome to bring your own camera, however we ask that photographs are taken from where you and your guests are seated.

    Further photographs with the Presiding Officer can be requested after the formalities have concluded. If you wish to share your photos on social media, you may do so by using the hashtag #Auspledge


Additional Information

  • As enrolment and voting is compulsory for all Australians, how do I enrol so that I am eligible to vote?
    There will be Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) representatives present at your ceremony. They will have enrolment forms with them and you will be required to complete one of these forms on the night.
  • What pledge am I taking? What is the difference between pledge 1 (oath) and pledge 2 (affirmation)?

    There are two pledges, one that mentions God (pledge 1 – oath) and one that does not (pledge 2 – affirmation). You would have nominated which pledge you are making when you filled out your application form at the Department of Home Affairs. The Department of Home Affairs 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 asked to make your pledge in two groups, not individually. If you are making pledge 1, the oath, you are welcome to bring a holy book of your choice to make it 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." 
  • I have lost my citizenship certificate, what should I do?
    The City of Perth cannot re-issue or replace citizenship certificates. You will need to contact the Department of Home Affairs on 131 880 to arrange a replacement certificate. Further information is available via the Department of Home Affairs website.