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Becoming an Australian Citizen

When moving to and living in Australia, citizenship is often the ultimate goal. It can be confusing as to what the process is to obtain Australian citizenship or how you may be eligible. Although there are multiple ways to obtain Australian citizenship, the most common way is obtaining Australian permanent residency then applying for citizenship (by conferral). For more information regarding all citizenship options including, options available if you are an eligible “New Zealand Citizen”, or, if your parent was an Australian citizen when you were born, please click here.

In considering predominantly citizenship by conferral, in order to first become a permanent resident of Australia you must apply for and be granted a permanent visa that allows you to remain indefinitely in Australia. The eligibility requirements will be dependent on the specific permanent visa you elect to apply for/ is suitable to your circumstances.

Residency Requirement for Australian Citizenship

“One of the criteria to be met for a successful application for Citizenship by Conferral is that you must meet the “residency requirement” i.e. that you have been living in Australia on a valid visa for the past four years, and as a permanent resident for the most recent 12 months. In most cases (unless an exemption applies), you must not have been away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.

The Department of Home Affairs (‘Department’) provides an online calculator to assist in calculating whether you meet this particular requirement:

Please note that this is not the only eligibility requirement. Other requirements include the character and language requirements and knowledge of Australia. If you would like to discuss further eligibility requirements and your personal circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.

After your application for Australian citizenship has been made, you will be required to undertake an interview and sit the Australian citizenship test.

Citizenship Interview and Test

The citizenship interview is primarily designed to confirm your identity, review the evidence of your identity and confirm that you are eligible to sit the citizenship test.

For the interview, it is important to bring the original version of all documents requested in your application and any other documents that the Department requests. If all required original documents are not brought to the interview, it will be re-scheduled to a later date.

If you are aged between 18 and 59 when an application for citizenship by conferral is lodged, you will generally be required to sit the citizenship test, although there are exceptions to this for certain individuals.

The test comprises of 20 randomly selected multiple-choice questions, 5 of which relate to the Australian values. To pass this test, all 5 of the questions relating to the Australian values must be answered correctly, however overall, only 75% of questions are required to be answered correctly.

To prepare for this test, please see the below linked resources:

After you have undertaken the citizenship interview and passed the test, the Department may ask for additional documents or information. Apart from this, it is a matter of waiting for the outcome Citizenship Ceremony

Once you have received approval of your Australian citizenship application from the Department, it is likely that you will be required to attend a citizenship ceremony and make the Australian Citizenship Pledge. The Department will issue you with a letter about four weeks prior to the ceremony outlining all relevant information including the date and time, location, and information regarding guests.

It is important to note that in most circumstances it is a requirement to attend this ceremony. If you do not attend a ceremony within 12 months of approval of your application, the Department can review and cancel the approval. You are not an Australian Citizen until you have completed the ceremony.

After you have made the pledge during your ceremony, you will receive your citizenship certificate.

If you would like to discuss your visa options to obtain permanent residency and Australian Citizenship, or if you require assistance with your citizenship application, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 245 756 to speak with one of our team members today.

Brisbane Office

1300 245 756

50 McDougall Street,
Milton, Brisbane, QLD, 4064

Gold Coast Office

1300 245 756

Levels 5 & 9, Corporate Centre One,
2 Corporate Court,
Bundall, QLD, 4217

Sydney Office

1300 245 756

Level 3,
1 Castlereagh Street,
Sydney, NSW, 2000


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