If you're an expat who has grown to love Australia and is contemplating obtaining citizenship, you'll be delighted to know that there are numerous benefits that come with it. The advantages extend beyond simply being able to call yourself an Australian citizen with pride. Whether you're still considering your options or have already decided to apply for citizenship, we are here to help you with the entire application process.
It's worth noting that there are different ways to become an Australian citizen, but specific requirements must be met before submitting an application. The most commonly used methods are conferral or descent. To become an Australian citizen, you must satisfy specific eligibility criteria established by the government. As a permanent resident of Australia, you must have lived in the country for at least four years and have a comprehensive understanding of the English language. Once you meet these requirements, you can proceed to apply for citizenship by completing the necessary paperwork and submitting the required documents. Additionally, you must pass a citizenship test that assesses your knowledge of Australian history, culture, and values. When you have successfully met all the necessary requirements, you will be granted Australian citizenship and gain access to all the privileges that come with being a citizen of this wonderful country.
Our team of experts is available to assist you throughout the entire process, making it a hassle-free experience for you to achieve your goals. Please don't hesitate to contact our professional team for assistance.
There are three main ways to obtain Australian citizenship, which are briefly described below.
Become an Australian citizen (by conferral) - Permanent residents or New Zealand citizens
To apply for Australian citizenship, you must be either a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen holding a Special Category visa. You must meet the general residence requirement, which means having lived in Australia on a valid visa for four years immediately before the day of application, holding a permanent visa or SCV for the last 12 months immediately before the day of application, and not having been absent from Australia for more than 12 months in total in the past four years, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months immediately before applying. Children under 16 do not need to meet the general residence requirement but must be permanent residents. Some New Zealand citizens holding an SCV or a New Zealand stream Skilled Independent visa have changes to the general residence requirement. Additionally, you must meet the character and knowledge of Australia requirements. Certain exemptions and special circumstances apply. If you are a member of the Australian Defence Force, you or your family may be exempt from the residence requirement.
Become an Australian citizen (by conferral) - Person 60 years or over
Changes to the general residence requirement apply for certain New Zealand citizens holding an SCV or a New Zealand stream Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa. For citizenship purposes, if you were granted an SCV before 1 July 2022, you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship from 1 July 2023 as you are considered a permanent resident from 1 July 2022. If you were granted a New Zealand stream Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022, you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship from 1 January 2023 as you are considered a permanent resident from 1 January 2022.
You may be exempt from the residence requirement if you were born to a former Australian citizen who lost their citizenship before 4 April 2002 or if you were born in Papua before 16 September 1975, and one of your parents was born in Australia and was an Australian citizen when you were born. If you are a member of the Australian Defence Force, you or your family may be exempt from the general residence requirement.
You must also meet the age requirement, which is that you must be aged 60 or older to apply without sitting a citizenship test. Additionally, you must meet the character requirement and have knowledge of Australia. You may have an interview to confirm your identity and show that you understand the nature of the application you are making. If you need an interpreter, you can bring a family member or friend or book an interpreter for your appointment, but you will have to pay for the service.
Become an Australian citizen (by descent) if your parent was an Australian citizen when you were born overseas
If you were born outside of Australia on or after January 26, 1949, or born through an international surrogacy arrangement, you may be eligible for citizenship if one or both of your parents were Australian citizens at the time of your birth. Additionally, if your parent became an Australian citizen by descent or through adoption outside of Australia under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or a bilateral arrangement, they must have spent at least two years lawfully in Australia before you apply. If you are 18 years or older at the time of application, you must also meet the good character requirement. More information on international surrogacy arrangements is available.
There are less common pathways to obtain Australian citizenship:
If you are a permanent resident who is 15 years old or younger and applying on your own, you can become an Australian citizen by conferral. Children of former Australian citizens who lost their citizenship under specific circumstances can also apply for citizenship by conferral. Additionally, children born overseas who are adopted by Australian citizens through an international adoption arrangement under the Hague Adoption Convention or a bilateral agreement can become citizens by adoption. People who were born in Papua before independence in 1975 and had a parent born in Australia can also become citizens by conferral. For individuals who have an incapacity or impairment that prevents them from sitting the Australian citizenship test, they can also become citizens by conferral. If you used to be an Australian citizen, you can apply to become an Australian citizen again. Lastly, people who are born in Australia and live in Australia for 10 years after birth or are stateless can become citizens by conferral.