There are many benefits in becoming an Australian citizen. Some of these benefits include being able to vote in Australian elections, obtain an Australian passport, apply for student loans and work for the Australian government. This article discusses the process of becoming an Australian citizen.
There are many different streams under which individuals can apply for Australian citizenship. It is important that applicants choose the correct stream to avoid delays and invalid applications. This article discusses two of the main streams that allow permanent residents to become Australian citizens by conferral.
Applicants Permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens aged 59 years or younger can apply for Australian citizenship under this stream if they meet the requirements. These eligibility requirements include the applicant:
Applicants who are 60 years or older would apply for citizenship under this stream, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. Like the stream for applicants younger than 60, these requirements include the applicant:
However, under this stream applicants do not need to sit the citizenship test (unlike younger applicants in the permanent residents or New Zealand citizens stream). Some applicants, in lieu of the citizenship test, may need to attend an interview to satisfy and prove to the Department of Home Affairs that they understand the nature of their application for Australian citizenship.
As mentioned above, both streams require applicants to meet the general residence requirements or one of the exemptions to be eligible for Australian citizenship.
To satisfy the general residence requirements, applicants need to have been (at the time they apply):
Applicants who are unable to meet the general residence requirements may still be eligible for citizenship if they meet the criteria for one of the following exemptions:
The most common exemption applicable to applicants is the one pertaining to special residence requirements.
Applicants may be eligible for the special residence requirements if they:
Applicants may be eligible for the special residence requirements if the applicant:
Dependent children that are 15 or younger can be included in an application for Australian citizenship with a parent for no extra cost. Dependent children of 16 and 17 years of age must apply for Australian citizenship on their own. To be eligible, all dependent children must be permanent residents. However, children under 16 years do not need to meet the residence requirements and children that are 17 years or younger do no need to sit the citizenship test (though they may be required to attend an interview).
There are several requirements that must be met before an individual can apply for citizenship. Comasters Law Firm can help clients with their application for Australian citizenship.
Comasters is able to prepare a comprehensive application to the Department of Home Affairs on behalf of clients.
3 Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) s 22(1).
4 Ibid s 22A.
5 Ibid s 22B.
© Comasters January 2021.
Important: This is not advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this paper. Our formal advice should be sought before acting on any aspect of the above information.
Comasters Law Firm and Notary Public is a commercial legal practice in Sydney. We conduct matters in a range of legal areas. Whilst based in Sydney, Comasters maintains close links with business people across the Asia Pacific region.