Fighting for or being in the service ISIS can lead to a loss of Australian Citizenship


The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Act 2015 came into force on 12 December 2015.  What it did was to revoke the Australian citizenship of dual nationals who ‘fight for, or is in the service of a declared terrorist organisation” while outside Australia, as set out in s 35(1) of the Australian Citizenship Act. The only such organisation declared is the ‘Islamic State’ which declared in a Legislative Instrument dated 4 May 2016 coming into effect on 6 May 2016.


The Minister is to give a notice to a person in that category when the Minister becomes aware a person is fighting for or is in the service of ISIS and then that person can apply to have the notice rescinded.


The Australian newspaper reported in January 2017 that Australian Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf has become the country’s first dual nationality individual to be stripped of Australian citizenship under anti-terrorism laws.


The Sydney Morning Herald reported at the time :  “Sharrouf, the son of Lebanese immigrants, shot to infamy in 2014 after photographs emerged of him and his 7-year-old son holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers, causing a global outcry.

A spokesman for Australia’s Immigration Department told Reuters an individual had been stripped of citizenship, but declined to provide further details.”