Eligibility Requirements 2022
Eligibility and requirements, application process, fee and processing time.
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.
AUSTRALIAN 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:
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.
Meet the general residence requirement
Use the Department’s Residence Calculator to see if you meet these requirements.
You will need to provide documents that support your claim when you apply.
Knowledge of Australia & Language Requirement
Close & Continuing Link to Australia
You must intend to live in Australia or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia while overseas.
Citizenship is a privilege that requires a long-term commitment to Australia.
We may consider if you have:
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:
Lodge the application online, unless you are required to lodge a paper application:
If this does not apply to you, apply online.
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 present your original documents, uploaded as attachments to your citizenship application, and sit the citizenship test.
The citizenship test 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.
The test assesses your English language skills and what you know about Australia and Australian citizenship.
Who doesn’t sit the test
If you are applying for Australian citizenship by conferral, you do not need to sit the test if you:
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.
The Department’s fee for a citizenship application is AUD285.
No cost for a child under 16 years applying with a parent. Other exemptions and concessions apply.
The Department of Home Affairs updates their information on current Australian Citizenship application processing times on their website.
A ‘decision’ includes applications that have been approved, refused, withdrawn and those that cannot be considered (invalid).
|Application type||Period counted||75% of applications are processed in:||90% of applications are processed in:|
|Australian citizenship by conferral|
(general eligibility and other situations)1
|From date of application to decision2||9 months||15 months|
|From date of approval to ceremony||8 months||9 months|
|From date of application to ceremony||17 months||20 months|
|Australian citizenship by descent||From date of application to decision2||3 months||5 months|
|Evidence of Australian citizenship||From date of application to decision2||13 days||22 days|
* Allow an extra 10 days after approval of your application for printing and postage of your citizenship document. If you applied from outside Australia, postage will take longer.
Q: What identity documents do I need?
The Department needs evidence of your identity from birth to present.
With your application provide 3 documents that together will show your:
Also provide official evidence of any change of name.
Photograph and signature
Examples of documents include:
Evidence of date of birth and any changes of name
Provide a full birth certificate that shows your parents’ names. If you cannot provide a birth certificate, provide a family or household registration document or any other collection of documents issued to you prior to your arrival in Australia that collectively confirm your identity from birth
Documents showing evidence of a change of name include:
Evidence of residential address
Examples of home address documents include:
Q: What character documents do I need?
Penal clearance certificates
If you have spent a total of 12 months or more outside Australia since granted a permanent visa, you need to provide overseas police certificates from every country, including your home country, where you have spent a total of more than 90 days since you turned 18.
Ask the country’s government or law enforcement authority for a certificate.
The Department might ask you to provide a penal clearance certificate in other circumstances.
Australian National Police Check
If you are 16 years of age or over, the Department will request a check on your behalf from the National Police Checking Service.
Q: What if I need to travel outside Australia after applying?
Let the Department know if you need to travel outside Australia while your application is being processed or while you are waiting for your ceremony.
In most cases, they cannot approve your application while you are outside Australia. You must also make the Australian Citizenship pledge within 12 months of your application being approved, or the approval may be cancelled.
If you need to travel, you must travel on your current passport. Make sure you have a valid visa that allows you to re-enter Australia. Apply for a Resident Return visa if the travel conditions on your visa have expired or are about to expire.
Q: How do I prepare for the citizenship test?
Q: What if my Australian Citizenship application is refused?
The Department will notify you in writing. You will receive a letter when they have made a decision on your application.
If they refuse your application, they will send you a letter explaining the reason. You can ask for a review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Your notification letter will advise you:
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