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August 3, 2021

Census 2021 Australia. All you need to know: who needs to do it, due date, fines.

The night of the eighteenth Australian census is getting closer as Tuesday 10 August 2021 is officially indicated by the ministerial website as the due date. The purpose of the census is to collect as much statistical data in relation to the current population. In fact, Australia adopts this form of data collection in order to make economic decisions for the entire country and to better grasp the complexity of its population which, as we know, is heavily impacted by continuous migration flaws. Consequently, the census makes it possible to identify new needs and efficiently plan and manage those services that are or will be made available: examples are public health budgets, transport extensions, or infrastructures.

The instructions to participate will be sent by mail between the end of July and the beginning of August 2021: it is already possible to complete your census questionnaire as long as the instructions are received (it is therefore already possible for many). This represents a novelty compared to previous censuses when it was mandatory to fill in the questionnaire on the evening of the census. Now it is possible to do it in advance as long as it is possible to predict who will be physically inside the residential property under scrutiny at midnight on August 10, 2021. The questionnaire can be completed online, but those who prefer the paper-based form can request it by calling the toll-free number 1800 130 250. Anyone who decides to fill in the form using a paper form is required to return it to the Department in the provided pre-stamped envelope. The deadline for completing and returning the questionnaire is midnight on Tuesday 10 August 2021. To complete the census, it is necessary to obtain a specific number for the login and a password. It is possible to find that information in the letter of instructions received by post.

You don’t need to be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident to be required to complete the census questionnaire. Holders of a temporary visa such as Working Holiday Visa, international students, sponsors, but also any relatives visiting from overseas and tourists must complete it. Yes, we know that tourists are rare beings at the moment, as are visiting relatives.

For those less familiar with the English language, it is also possible to request a translator/interpreter for assistance by calling the toll-free number 131 450. Let’s come to the bad news: if you do not complete the census you can risk a fine of up to AUD $ 180 per day until the day of completion. People residing in a regional or remote area can request a visit from a census agent who will provide assistance and also provide public technological devices.

As for the more attentive to the subject of privacy, remember that your details and personal data are not shared with any other government department. The privacy policies are available in full on the government website: census.abs.gov.au.


Atlas Migration is a free info-point based in Sydney but operating all across Australia. If you wish to receive an answer in relation to a question concerning your Visa, migration matter, educational pathways and general information, feel free to contact our dedicated Facebook chat (click here) and one of our consultants will be at your disposal for free. We also deal with migration matters (Migration Agent consultation, Australian visas application, Citizenship request, skills assessment) and educational pathways for international students (English courses, vocational courses, University and higher education pathways). 

We’d like to remind you that at this moment to people in certain parts of Australia it is requested to respect social distancing, which means keeping a 1,5 meters distance from other individuals. On the official website of your Australian state, you will be able to find additional information. To retrieve information valid on a national scale, you can visit the Department of Health official website. If you recognize in yourself symptoms similar to fever or flu, our advice is to stay home and get tested immediately. You can do so by contacting your General Practitioner or by calling the free toll number 1800 020 080.   

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