If you’ve been granted a permanent resident visa, there’s 10 things you need to know about the benefits and privileges of obtaining your Australian Citizenship.
While it’s true that applying for Australian Citizenship can be a complex process, the benefits of taking this next step will absolutely be worth it. At the present, there are over a hundred thousand people in Australia, who are still waiting for their citizenship applications to be finally determined and the Department of Immigration Border and Protection is anticipating many more applications over the coming months. With this in mind it’s in your interest to apply as soon as possible.
While many people can be concerned about passing the English language test, the reality is quite easy to meet the English language requirements of Australian Citizenship, so you should absolutely start moving towards applying for citizenship at your soonest possible convenience.
Here at Summit Migration, we advise clients that their migration process is not fully completed until they’ve been conferred Australian Citizenship. The team at Summit Migration have put together a list of the top 10 benefits of being confirmed Australian Citizenship and why you apply today:
- You’ll be able to apply and hold an Australian passport. Australia is a popular destination to live and settle and consequentially this makes it one of the most favorable passports to travel internationally. As an Australian Citizen, you’re automatically granted the right to apply for and hold an Australian Passport. This give you the benefit of being able to enter 171 countries without applying for a visa or automatically having a visa you should on arrival. This means that Australian passport is 7th in the ranking of world passports for favorability (tied with New Zealand and Canada).
- Citizenship allows you to stay in Australia forever. Permanent residents are entitled to stay in Australia indefinitely, However, they also face difficulty of having to apply for resident return visa every 5 years if they intend to leave the country and re-enter again. The permanent residence status is contingent on continued residence onshore in Australia. However, once you are a conferred citizenship, you can stay in Australia permanently forever as well as leave and return at your convenience without any hassle and as often as you would like, as long as you have a valid Australian Passport or citizenship certificate.
- You’re eligible for Australian consulate assistance. Any Australian citizen who travels overseas takes this benefit for granted. However, the peace of mind that comes with being able to travel to any other country knowing that you have difficulty, your passport is lost, you have issues in the criminal jurisdiction of the country visiting, or if you have serious injury or serious illness, then you can immediately seek consular assistance from the country’s local Australian Embassy. This is a significant benefit that connects to the Australian passport.
- The right to vote and participate in Australian Democratic government. As an Australian Citizen, once you reach 18 years of age, you not have only the entitlement to vote, but in fact it’s compulsory in state, federal and local elections. Failure to turn up at the polling booth will incur a fine potentially of up to 180 AUD. However, it’s a privilege to be involved in the democratic process by voting and supporting a representative you believe matches your values and your views on how the Australian government should govern. Given that your representative will be able to make representations on behalf of you as their constituent in matters that you find significant, this is a fantastic benefit to be an Australian Citizen.
- Enter Politics. If you are a citizen and you’re 18 years and over, then you are eligible to be elected as a Federal MP, State MP and stand as a councillor on local elections. Just remember however, that you cannot have dual citizenship and you may need to renounce your birth country or the sovereign monarch as required in the Australian Constitution.
- Eligibility to work in Federal Government and Defence jobs. Many government departments including the Department of Immigration Border Protection and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will only offer employment to people who have been conferred an Australian Citizen or permanent residents may give you unlimited work rights without any restrictions becoming an Australian Citizen opens up a new visitor of employment opportunities in the federal government sector. Furthermore, you’ll be eligible to serve in the Australian Defence Force as an Australian Citizen.
- Eligible for Jury Duty. As a citizen, legally registered to vote, you may from time to time also be called up for jury duty. This is a fantastic privilege that compensates you for all the time that it takes and allows you to participate in the criminal justice system.
- Eligible for Help loans. While the Australian higher education system hasn’t quite reached the level of cost or expense as many other western nations, often times higher education can still be out of reach for many Australians. However, as an Australian Citizen, both you and your children born onshore, will have access to the HECS Financial Assistance program. This is a benefit that permanent residents do not have. HECS is the federal government’s higher education loan program that enables you to defer payment of your study fees until you are earning enough to begin paying the debt. However, unlike commercial loans, the HECS debt is indexed only to inflation effectively remain the same amount for at the life of the loan.
- Your kids can become citizens too. If you are now an Australian citizen, and even if your children are born overseas, they are eligible to become Australian citizens by descent. This grants them the same privileges rights as any child who would maybe born on Australian soil.
- Move to New Zealand. Australian Citizens don’t also gain the right to live anywhere in Australia that they may choose but they also have the right to enjoy the benefits of moving and residing permanently in New Zealand if that’s something that you wish.
If you would like to apply for an Australian Citizenship, probably your first step would be to determine when you are eligible under the current legislation. The team at Summit Migration would be happy to assist you in assessing your eligibility and assist you in making the application for Australian Citizenship valid, persuasive and thorough. If you are eligible for Australian Citizenship, you should consider applying as soon as possible as new laws that are being introduced by the parliament make it easier for the government to deport permanent residents for increasingly negligible legal issues. Contact Summit Migration today for your Australian Citizenship eligibility assessment.