Australian Citizenship Ceremonies
Council runs citizenship ceremonies on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) . About 1000 Sunshine Coast residents become Australian citizens every year.
Council provides a venue where you can state your Pledge, after you have successfully applied for Australian citizenship. At the ceremony, you will receive your Certificate of Australian Citizenship, dated and signed. From that date on, you are an Australian citizen.
Before you are eligible to take part in a citizenship ceremony, you must have:
- completed your application process with the DIAC
- received your letter of approval form the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship.
Council receives updated candidate lists approximately every six weeks. These lists have details of the candidates who have received approval and are eligible to attend a ceremony.
Council runs about nine citizenship ceremonies each year, with Australia Day being the most popular.
A citizenship ceremony consists of:
- Reading of the Minister’s Message
- Mayor’s Welcome
- Citizenship Preamble
- Citizenship Pledges
- Presentation of Citizenship Certificates
- Australian Citizen Affirmation
- The Australian National Anthem
Frequently asked questions
1. I have received my letter of approval. When can I attend a ceremony?
It takes around six weeks for the DIAC to notify council that they have approved your citizenship. Once notified, council will provide you with a ceremony date and send you a letter of invitation.
2. How long will I have to wait before I get an invitation to my ceremony?
You should receive an invitation to an upcoming ceremony from council within 90 days of receiving your letter of approval from DIAC (waiting periods may vary depending on recipient numbers). Invitations are sent out approximately six weeks prior to a ceremony. If an approved candidate does not receive an invitation it may indicate that the candidate just missed the cut off date for that ceremony. If this is the case, the recipient will most likely be sent an invitation to the next available ceremony.
3. Do I need to attend a ceremony to receive my certificate?
Yes. Candidates are required to attend a citizenship ceremony and make their Pledge in order to validate their citizenship and receive their certificate.
4. Do children need to attend citizenship ceremonies?
If you have a child who is under 16 years, they will be added onto your application and will automatically receive a citizenship certificate at the ceremony. Legally they do not need to attend a ceremony and parents can receive their citizenship certificates on their behalf. If your child is over 16 years of age, they will need to apply for their citizenship on a separate application through DIAC.
5. Where are the ceremonies held?
Ceremonies are held across the Sunshine Coast region.
6. What if I can’t attend the next scheduled citizenship ceremony?
You will be sent an invitation to the next available ceremony with the option of two ceremonies in future months. You will need to indicate on the RSVP form which ceremony you would like to attend.
7. Is it possible to have my ceremony bought forward to an earlier ceremony?
The DIAC is the approving authority to bring forward a recipient to an earlier ceremony. An urgent ceremony request form [DOC 101KB] is required to be filled out and sent to the DIAC. The DIAC will then determine if your case requires an earlier ceremony.
8. Is it possible to arrange a private ceremony?
Council may arrange a private ceremony when citizenship is required urgently. The DIAC is the approving authority to bring forward a recipient to private ceremony. You must provide a valid reason with evidence why a public ceremony is not appropriate. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship then assess the request. Council holds private ceremonies in its chambers at Nambour at a date and time mutually convenient to the recipient and the Mayor or Deputy Mayor. These ceremonies take only a few minutes. To discuss private citizenship ceremonies please contact council’s customer service centre.
9. How long does a citizenship ceremony take?
The citizenship ceremony generally takes about one hour and is followed by light refreshments.
10. What is the dress code?
Smart attire is requested or candidates are most welcome to wear traditional costume.
11. What do I need to bring with me to the ceremony?
You are required to bring with you photo identification – a current Australian Drivers Licence is preferable.
12. When can I apply for an Australian passport?
You must attend your ceremony and receive your citizenship certificate before you apply for an Australian passport. The original certificate will be needed when applying for the passport. For more information about Australian passports, please visit www.passports.gov.au or call the Australian Passport Office on 131 232.