Citizenship Australia

Citizenship by Conferral 

Australian citizenship may be conferred upon permanent residents of Australia who have resided in Australia for the required period of time, and meet all other criteria. Those who have been conferred citizenship have the same rights and privileges as any other Australian citizen, including the right to vote, to work for the Australian Public Service or Defence Force, and to obtain and use an Australian passport. Citizens by conferral are also subject to the same responsibilities as other Australian citizens, including the responsibility to serve on a jury and to defend Australia should the need arise.

The minimum requirements for citizenship by conferral are set out below. These requirements apply to most applications; however please note that depending upon your particular circumstances, you may be subject to other criteria:

CITIZENSHIP BY CONFERRAL

For applicants who are permanent residents of Australia, and have lawfully resided in Australia for at least four years.

EACH applicant for citizenship by conferral must:

  • be a permanent resident of Australia (and have been a permanent resident for at least the last 12 months)

NOTE: If you are not a permanent resident of Australia but you are a NZ citizen, you may be eligible if you were in Australia on 26 February 2001 as the holder of a Special Category Visa (SCV) OR if you spent a total of at least 12 months in Australia on a SCV during the 24 months immediately prior to 26 February 2001.

  • have lawfully resided in Australia for at least the last 4 years
  • not have been outside Australia for more than a total of 1 year in the last 4 years (and no more than 90 days during the last 12 months)
  • be likely to reside in, or maintain a close and continuing connection with, Australia
  • if aged 18 years or older, be of good character

NOTE: As part of its assessment of your eligibility for citizenship, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) requires you to provide details of ALL overseas travel you have undertaken since you turned 18 years old.

If you are 60 years of age or over you are not required to sit the citizenship test.

Under some circumstances you might be eligible to apply for a variation to the residence requirement  or be eligible under the special residence requirement.

Calculate your permanent residency

If you were granted a permanent resident visa before you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date is the date that you arrived in Australia on that visa.

If you were granted a permanent resident visa after you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date will be the date that the visa was granted.

Fees

The fee for this application is AUD 285, unless you are eligible for a concession.

Are you eligible for Australian Citizenship? If yes, contact us to learn how to apply.

Usually, unless you have been granted another type of visa, on your arrival in Australia and when you present your New Zealand passport, you will automatically be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444). It is a temporary visa that lets you stay and work in Australia. It is not a permanent residence visa.

Information about the additional pathway to permanent residence introduced and general information for New Zealanders in Australia is available.

Are you eligible for Australian Citizenship? If yes, click here to book a consultation.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Stage 1 – Lodgement of Application

The first step is to lodge your citizenship application, along with any supporting documents required to demonstrate that you satisfy the relevant requirements.

Stage 2 – Citizenship Test

Once the DOHA has determined that you are eligible for the conferral of citizenship, they will ask you to attend an appointment with a case officer. At this appointment, you will sit the citizenship test. This contains questions regarding the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship, along with questions relating to life in Australia and what it means to be an Australian citizen. Each eligible adult applicant must sit this test. The questions are based on testable information contained in the Australian citizenship test resource book, which you can study before your test.

Stage 3 – Citizenship Ceremony

After you have passed your citizenship test and the DOHA has approved your application, you need to attend a citizenship ceremony. This usually takes place within 3 months of the date that an application is approved, although waiting times vary between different local councils. At the citizenship ceremony, you must take the Australian Citizenship Pledge to complete the process of becoming an Australian citizen. All eligible adult applicants must attend a citizenship ceremony – there are very few exceptions to this requirement.