Australian Citizenship

The Australian Citizenship Law 2007 has implemented new provisions and brought in significant changes in regard to the obtaining of Australian citizenship.

Australians do not lose their Australian citizenship simply because they live overseas for many years.

As from 4th April 2002, an Australian citizen can become a citizen of another country without losing his/her Australian citizenship.

Australian Citizenship can be obtained in the following manner: 

i. Fulfilling the residency requirements of being a Permanent Resident
ii. Being a spouse, de facto spouse, interdependent partner, widow or widower of an Australian Citizen
iii. Citizenship by Descent- children of an Australian citizen
iv. Resumption of Citizenship
v. Children of Former Citizens
vi Adopted Children

i. Fulfilling the residency requirements of being a Permanent Resident 

A person who became an Australian permanent resident on or after the 1st July 2007, must have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years immediately before applying for Australian citizenship including 12 months as a permanent resident and absences from Australia of no more than 12 months, including no more than 3 months in the 12 months before applying. In addition, he/she must be over the age of 18 at the time the application is made, be a permanent resident, have a basic knowledge of the English language, have an adequate knowledge of the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship, understand the nature of the application, be of good character and intend to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia.

As from 1st October 2007, a permanent resident between the ages of 18-60 applying for citizenship under this category must pass the citizenship test before he/she applies for Australian citizenship. The citizenship test is a computer based written multiple-choice test designed to assess whether the applicant has a basic knowledge of English as well as knowledge of Australia. The test includes questions about Australian history, Australian geography, the Australian people, Australian values, the Australian system of government and the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship. Information needed for the test can be found in the resource book Becoming an Australian Citizen-www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/citi/pathway.

ii. Being a spouse, de facto spouse, interdependent partner, widow or widower of an Australian Citizen

The spouse, de facto spouse, interdependent partner, and widow or widower of an Australian citizen whether legally married or in a common law relationship does NOT have an automatic right to permanent residence or citizenship. To be eligible for Australian citizenship, the spouse of the Australian citizen must be a permanent resident of Australia, must have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years immediately before applying for Australian citizenship including 12 months as a permanent resident and absences from Australia of no more than 12 months, including no more than 3 months in the 12 months before applying. In addition, he/she must be over the age of 18 at the time the application is made, have a basic knowledge of the English language, have an adequate knowledge of the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship, understand the nature of the application, be of good character and intend to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia. The Minister for Home Affairs can exercise his/her discretion in relation to the residence requirements for citizenship to include periods spent overseas as a permanent resident of Australia if one can demonstrate a close connection to Australia.
A spouse, de facto spouse, interdependent partner or widow or widower of an Australian Citizen who became a permanent resident on or after the 1st July 2007 must have 4 years of lawful residence in Australia that can include up to 3 years of temporary residence and the last 12 months as a permanent resident.

A spouse, de facto spouse, interdependent partner or widow or widower of an Australian Citizen who became a permanent resident before the 1st July 2007, should have resided in Australia as a permanent resident for a total of at least 2 years in the last 5 years including a total of at least 12 months in the last two years.

iii. Citizenship by Descent- Children of an Australian Citizen

If one was born overseas after 26th January 1949 and at the time of his/her birth at least one of his/her parents was an Australian citizen and provided that he/she is of good character, if he/she is 16 years or over, then he/she can acquire Australian citizenship by descent. It should be noted however, that for an Australian citizen who acquired his/her citizenship in this manner, he/she must spend a total of at least 2 years in Australia, in order for him/her to be able to give his/her children Australian citizenship.

iv. Resumption of Citizenship 

A former Australian citizen who ceased to be a citizen in order to retain another citizenship or to avoid significant hardship, can resume his/her Australian citizenship be proving that he/she is of good character if over the age of 16.

It should be noted that an Australian citizen who renounced his/her citizenship (as opposed to the losing of his/her citizenship under the operation of the law) is not entitled to become an Australian citizen and his/her children (if they were born after he/she renounced his/her Australian citizenship) are not entitled to Australian citizenship.

v. Children of Former Citizens

A child of a former Australian citizen born after the 26th January 1949 can apply for Australian citizenship provided that he/she has a natural parent who lost his/her Australian citizenship on acquisition of another citizenship before he/she was born and provide that he/she is of good character if over the age of 16 at the time of the application.

vi. Adopted Children

Adopted children may apply for Australian citizenship if the adoption was finalized outside Australia in accordance with the Hague Convention on Adoption, at least one of the adoptive parents is an Australian citizen, the legal relationship between the adopted child and his/her biological parents has been terminated, and there is proof of the adoption. If the adopted child is under the age of 16 at the time the application must be made on behalf of the adopted child by his/her responsible parent.

CONTACT US

You may be eligible for a number of different visa categories and each has different requirements and obligations so that it is best to seek professional advice in order to select the visa most beneficial to you and suitable to your circumstances

Kangaroo Migration Services is a company that has for many years dealt with and continues to deal with Australian immigration and Australian citizenship issues.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss with our representative the options available to you and/or to complete our questionnaire and send it to us.

Learn more
contact