From Permanent Residence to Australian Citizenship

Publish Date: Oct 05, 2011

If you are a permanent resident and wish to become an Australian citizen, you need to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements, allowing you to become a citizen.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to become an Australian citizen, it is in your best interests to seek advice on the eligibility, and the citizenship process before you can proceed.

Who is eligible to make an application for Australian citizenship?

There are a number of criteria you need to satisfy before making an application for Australian citizenship which includes the following:

  • You must be a permanent resident of Australia. You are a permanent resident if your current visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • If you are over the age of 18 years, you must be of good character.
  • You must satisfy the residence requirement, whereby you have lived in Australia for the minimum time period, prior to making the citizenship application.
  • You must wish to continue to live in Australia or maintain a close association with Australia.

Application for Australian Citizenship

If you satisfy the criteria for making an application for Australian citizenship, the next thing you need to do is obtain and complete the application form. The application form requires numerous supporting documents, and it is often helpful to obtain assistance at this stage to ensure that you have included appropriate proof of identity, evidence of good character, and other supporting documents.

The application needs to be lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the lodgment fee must be paid at the time of submitting your application.

Citizenship Interview

After you have lodged your application for Australian citizenship, you will then receive notification of a "citizenship appointment". Make sure you read the Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond publication before attending your appointment. This publication contains the resources you will need to pass the Citizenship Test.

You will take the Citizenship Test at your Citizenship Interview if you are between the ages of 18 and 60. The test consists of 20 multiple choice questions, and to pass the test, you will need to get 15 out of the 20 questions correct. The questions are in English and revolve around life in Australia, and what becoming a citizen means.

The decision

Once you have attended your Citizenship Interview, passed the citizenship exam, and provided all the documents required for your application, the only thing left to do is to wait for a decision from the Department in regards to your application.

The Citizenship Ceremony

If your application for Australian Citizenship is successful, then you will be notified by the Department to attend a Citizenship Ceremony.

At the Citizenship Ceremony, you will be asked to make the Australian Citizenship Pledge which is the last step in the citizenship process.

Getting help

Making an application for Australian citizenship is not just about filling out the application form. The eligibility requirements and the application process can be quite daunting. This is why it is in your best interests to seek advice on the eligibility and application process.

Your solicitor can advise you whether you are eligible to become an Australian citizen. They will also ensure that your application is completed correctly, and that you have provided all of the necessary materials. Your solicitor can also help you prepare for your Citizenship Interview, and explain the Citizenship Test in greater detail.

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