AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY CONFERRAL
Australian Citizenship laws allow for persons who have migrated to Australia to apply to subsequently become an Australian Citizen. This is known as Australian Citizenship by Conferral. Becoming an Australian Citizen requires that you understand the values and laws of Australia demonstrated by completion of a Citizenship Test which confers certain rights and privileges. Once you become an Australian Citizen you are able to apply for an Australian Passport.
In the year up to 30 June 2021, there were 140,000 Applications for Australian Citizenship by conferral.
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP (BY CONFERRAL) REQUIREMENTS
Applicants must be an Australian Permanent Resident under the Migration law (and have been an Australian Permanent Resident for at least 12 months prior to the date of application) and meet the residence requirements relating to time spent in Australia in the 4 years prior to the date of application.
To meet the residence requirements, applicants must have spent no more than 1 year outside of Australia in the 4 years prior to the date of application and no more than 90 days outside of Australia in the 12 months prior to the date of application. Applicants must not have been unlawful at any time during this period and meet character requirements. Importantly, applicants for Australian Citizenship must also have a genuine intention to maintain a continued close association with Australia.
If you have migrated to Australia and been an Australian Permanent Resident for at least 12 months, you can check if you meet the residence requirements for Australian Citizenship using the Residence Calculator on the Department of Home Affairs website at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/tools/residence-calculator#
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP CONFERRAL APPLICATION PROCESS
The Australian Citizenship application process requires applicants to declare every entry and exit to Australia and any other countries visited since turning 18 years of age.
Applicants only require travel dates for the past 4 years to check eligibility for Australian Citizenship using the residence calculator but will require a complete travel history to apply for Australian Citizenship.
The process of successfully applying for Australian Citizenship by conferral is as follows:
Lodge Citizenship Application once you meet eligibility requirements
The first step is to lodge your citizenship application, along with any supporting documents required to demonstrate that you satisfy the relevant requirements
Attend Citizenship Interview and complete the Australian Citizenship Test
Once the Department of Home Affairs 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. 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.
- Assessment of your Citizenship Application.
- Approval of your Australian Citizenship Application.
Attend a Citizenship Ceremony to take the pledge of commitment to Australia and formally become an Australian Citizen.
After you have passed your citizenship test and the Department of Home Affairs 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.
- Apply for an Australian Passport for travel to and from Australia.
We can assist you in the preparation and lodgement of your Australian Citizenship Application by Conferral and guide you through the Australian Citizenship Application requirements.
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT
If you were born outside Australia, and at least one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth, you may be eligible for Australian Citizenship by descent. Australian citizens by descent have the same rights and privileges as any other Australian citizen. These include the right to vote, work for the Australian Public Service or the Defence Force, and to obtain and use an Australian passport. Citizens by descent are also subject to the same responsibilities as other Australian citizens, including the responsibility to serve on a jury and defend Australia should the need arise.
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP (BY DESCENT) REQUIREMENTS
There are two pathways to Australian citizenship by descent:
- General Eligibility
You may apply under this pathway if:
- You were born outside Australia on or after 26 January 1949
- At least ONE of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth
NOTE: If that parent was an Australian citizen by descent, they must have spent at least TWO years in Australia during their life.
- Pre-1949 Birth (Additional Eligibility)
You may apply under this pathway if:
- You were born outside Australia or New Guinea before 26 January 1949
- At least ONE of your parents became an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949
NOTE: That parent must have been born in Australia or New Guinea, or have been naturalised in Australia BEFORE your birth.
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP (BY DESCENT) APPLICATION PROCESS
We will lodge your citizenship application along with any supporting documents required to demonstrate that you satisfy the relevant requirements. Please note that you MUST have evidence of your parent’s citizenship status at the time of your birth (and on 26 January 1949, if applicable). If aged 18 years or older at the time of your application, you must also be of good character.
Should the Department of Home Affairs determine that you fulfil the relevant requirements, your application will be approved and you will become an Australian citizen by descent. You may then apply for an Australian passport.
NOTE: Applicants for Australian citizenship by descent are NOT required to sit a citizenship test or attend a citizenship ceremony.