Australian Citizenship

Australian Citizenship

Citizenship by Conferral

In order to be eligible for Australian Citizenship by conferral, applicants must meet a number of residence requirements, including:

  • 12 months as a permanent resident; and
  • Being lawfully resident in Australia for 4 years immediately prior to lodgement; and
  • Absences from Australia of no more than 1 year in the last 4 years and no more than 90 days in the 12 months immediately before applying.

Lawful residence does include time spent on temporary visas (i.e. Student, Working Holiday, Tourist, Bridging Visa) prior to grant of permanent residency.

Home Affairs will firstly confirm that you meet the residence requirement, and then conduct security checks and review your Immigration history. Once these are met, you will be invited to undergo a Citizenship test or - for applicants 60 years of age and over - attend a Citizenship appointment.

Following the test, if all requirements are satisfied then Home Affairs can approve your application.

The final step in the process is to attend a Citizenship Ceremony. This is when you become an Australian Citizen and are then able to apply for an Australian passport. Ceremonies are organised by Councils and other local groups throughout the year.

Citizenship by Birth

If you were born in Australia, then you would automatically be an Australian citizen if at least one of your parents was an Australian Citizen or a permanent resident at the time of your birth.

Citizenship by Descent

If you were born overseas and one of your parents held Australian citizenship at your date of birth, then you may be eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship by Descent. Applications are lodged online and processed through the responsible Australian Embassy or High Commission for your country of residence.

Dual Citizenship

Australia allows dual citizenship. That means that an Australian citizen can take up citizenship of another country without losing their Australian citizenship.

However, it is up to the law of your country of citizenship whether you can keep your existing citizenship upon becoming an Australian.

Complicated Matters

Applicants for Australian Citizenship who have criminal convictions or other character issues including traffic offences should first consult a Migration Agent before lodging an application. The threshold for Citizenship is much higher than for a permanent visa, and requires much more supporting evidence.

Other Scenarios

There may be options for former Australian Citizens, children born in Australia who have lived here until their 10th birthday, and children adopted by Australians overseas. Please contact one of our Consultants for an assessment on your eligibility.

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