There are several ways to apply for Australian citizenship. The application process varies depending on your visa and residency history.
- Either one or both of your parents were permanent residents or citizens at the time of your birth (if you were born after 1986);
- You hold a permanent residence visa, intend to live in or maintain a close and ongoing association with Australia (citizenship by conferral) and meet the character requirements;
- You are a New Zealand citizen living in Australia, you meet the residence requirement for New Zealand citizens to obtain Australian citizenship, intend to live in or maintain a close and ongoing association with Australia, and meet the character requirements;
- You were born outside the country but one of your parents was a former Australian citizen at the time of your birth;
- You were an Australian citizen but you renounced or lost it by acquiring citizenship from another country under the old Act and now you want to resume Australian citizenship;
- You were adopted by an Australian citizen as a child and the adoption process was completed outside Australia in conformity with The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or a mutual agreement between Australia and another country; or
- You are a child of 16 or 17 years of age, hold a permanent residence visa, and meet the residence requirement.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
You are eligible under the above pathways if you meet the following:
- You are at least 18 years’ old at the time of making the application for citizenship; and
- You are a permanent resident at the time you make the application and at the time the Minister for Immigration makes a decision; and
- You are of good character; and
- You understand the nature of citizenship and the importance of making an application for Australian citizenship; and
- You have a basic understanding of English, knowledge of Australia and of the responsibilities and privileges citizenship of Australia will grant you; and
- You likely live or continue to live in Australia and maintain a close relationship with Australia if you were to become an Australian citizen.
You will need to meet the general character test which may be more rigorous than the test for your visa.
The citizenship test ensures applicants have competent knowledge of Australia and the underlying rights and duties of being an Australian citizen.
Citizenship is not granted on approval but at the Citizenship ceremony. You will receive an invitation by your local council.
At the ceremony, you will take the Australian citizenship pledge as the final stage of the process.
Every qualified adult applicant must attend their citizenship ceremony.
Applications for appeal can be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within the specified timeframes indicated on your refusal letter.
HOW WE CAN HELP WITH YOUR CITIZENSHIP APPLICATION
One of the main issues that can arise with a Citizenship application is whether you have inconsistent information about your ‘life story’. This can be a particular problem for applicants with a refugee background. Additionally, there are stringent identity and character requirements which can complicate your application process.
Our Immigration Lawyers can advise you on which Citizenship Pathway is most appropriate for you. Please contact us today for further information and advice.
This page provides a summary of the Citizenship regime as at May 2019. Australian immigration law is complex and changes on a regular basis.