Congratulations on making it to this stage in your journey!
Australian citizenship is the process of becoming an Australian national (citizen), and is necessary in order to obtain an Australian passport for travel.
Being an Australian citizen is amazing. You receive all the benefits of being an Australian permanent resident, and also:
- No more need to renew your permanent residency travel rights every 5 years.
- The ability to vote in Australian elections.
- The ability to hold dual citizenship.
- Your children are automatically born as Australian citizens, regardless.
- An Australian passport, which gives you visa-free/on-arrival to ~181 countries, unlimited travel/working/living rights to New Zealand, easy visa applications to the USA and Europe and of course the ability to stay in Australia – forever!
- Access to Australian consular services when you travel.
Criteria for Australian Citizenship
There is a lot of misinformation in the media about what you need to do in order to obtain Australian citizenship – like being able to play AFL, or speaking with an Australian accent, or knowing Don Bradman’s test scores…
Here’s what you actually need (at time of writing):
- Be age 18-59 (children can apply with parents).
- Hold Australian permanent residency.
- Meet the residency requirements, namely:
- Reside in Australia legally for 4 years (can be on temporary visas).
- Hold permanent residency for 1 year immediately prior to the application.
- Not have been overseas for more than 12 months in the last 4 years, and 90 days in the last year.
- Note there are exemptions for these requirements – we can help you out with those (link).
- Basic English requirements (there is no formal test).
- Pass the Australian Citizenship test.
- Show that you are likely to maintain ties with Australia.
- Sign an Australian Values Statement.
- Demonstrate integration into Australian society (there is no formal test).
How to Apply for Australian Citizenship
Applying for Australian Citizenship is not overly complex, but there are a lot of moving pieces and documents that you need to me aware of (for example, listing all your past and present family members), and sometimes people do get confused.
Generally speaking, you will need to:
- Prepare and translate your documents.
- Have someone sign your identity declaration.
- Note that children under 18 can apply with their parents.
- Wait for a decision to be made.
- Attend a citizenship ceremony is Australia.
Applying for Australian citizenship may very well be one of the most important things that you ever do in your life, and it is not a process that you want to make a mistake on – we recommend seeking professional help from an Australian Registered Migration Agent to make sure you get it right the first time.
We have helped a lot of Australian permanent residents make the transition to Australian citizen – we are very happy to do it as it is often the final step on their long migration journey from their home country.
Bonus: we also offer a special discount for current CP International clients who have engaged us for a service in the past – just get in touch with us to find out more.