Yes, you must attend the ceremony. You will not become an Australian citizen until you have read the Australian citizenship pledge in the presence of a presiding officer (Minister for Home Affairs, Mayor, Deputy Mayor or CEO of Sutherland Shire Council). Please advise immediately if you are unable to make your scheduled ceremony date. The  Department of Home Affairs will reschedule to a future ceremony.

In general, the waiting time to be invited for a ceremony is 6 - 8 months, if you are on the list for invitation to the next ceremony you can expect to receive this around four weeks prior to your assigned ceremony date. Email invitations are sent directly from the Department of Home Affairs. For more information on ceremony waiting times please visit Ceremony wait times (

The pledge contains the words you will read out in the presence of the Presiding Officer in order to complete your Citizenship requirements.

Two versions of the pledge are available at the Department of Home Affairs website.

Children 16 and under DO NOT have to attend this ceremony in order to receive their certificate. Their certificate can be given to their attending parent.

Please bring a form of photographic identification for registration (drivers’ licence, passport OR three documents with your name, address and signature e.g. bank statements, credit cards, bills).

  • Arrive one hour before the start of the ceremony.  Registration closes 30 minutes before the ceremony. Guests may arrive 20 minutes prior.
  • Check in at the registration desk.
  • Allocated seating for Conferee only, guests will be directed to take a seat in the guest section of the venue.
  • You must stay at the venue until the ceremony begins.
  • The ceremony will start with speeches followed by the pledge.
  • You will be asked to stand as a group to read out the pledge.
  • You will be presented with your certificate.

You should allow approximately 90 minutes from when the ceremony commences.

Smart business or smart casual clothing. You can also wear national/traditional costume.

Yes, you can take photos.

If your children are attending and you require them to be seated with you and not your guest you will need to advise us.  (prams can only be taken into the venue under special circumstances).

<Contact us> before the ceremony and we will assist you.

Conferees must remain in their allocated seat for the duration of the ceremony.

Yes, you can invite  two guests to the ceremony. Guests, family and friends will be invited to sit in the guest area. Unfortunately they cannot sit with you during the ceremony.

<Contact us> before the ceremony and we will assist you.

Council has no authority to arrange urgent or fast-tracked ceremonies please contact the Department Home Affairs Telephone ( to discuss your circumstance.

Furthermore the Department of Home Affairs advises:

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.

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

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