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How to Apply for Australian Citizenship

With its high quality of life, unrivalled beaches and strong economy it’s no surprise so many want to move across the pond and luckily for us, Australia welcomes migrants with open arms if they tick all the checkboxes on their list of requirements.

If you’re thinking about or in the process of moving to Australia here’s a guide on how to apply for citizenship to help you on your way.

 

Privileges and responsibilities

First things first, citizenship and permanent residence are two different things and you have different rights and responsibilities depending on what you hold.

If you’re an Australian Citizen, you get the privilege of:

  • living in Australia
  • voting to elect members of parliament
  • applying for an Australian passport so that you can re-enter the country visa-free
  • working in the public service
  • standing for parliament
  • voting to elect members of parliament

However, whilst enjoying these benefits of being an Australian citizen, it, like most things, comes with responsibilities:

  • you must abide by and respect Australian laws
  • be prepared to defend Australia should you be summoned
  • complete jury service if called upon
  • vote in all elections (voting is mandatory in Australia)
  • be prepared to defend Australia should you be summoned
  • enrol on electoral registers

 

Eligibility requirements

Adults applying for Australian Citizenship must meet all the subsequent criteria:

  • have been lawfully residing in Australia for four years
  • have been a permanent resident of the country for at least 12 months
  • not have been absent from the country for more than 12 months
  • not have left the country for more than 3 months in the 12 months leading up to applying
  • plan on living in Australia for the foreseeable future or at least likely to maintain a close relationship with the country
  • prove you’re of good character
  • speak and understand English

Children can also apply for citizenship, but the requirements are slightly different.

 

How to apply

If you match the above criteria, you’re ready to apply for your citizenship which you can now easily do online or using a paper from whether you’re in Australia or overseas. The best way to begin is to head to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.

Firstly, you’ll need to submit your application and pay the relevant fees, which is usually between 40 – 285 AUD depending on how you file your application.

Once you’ve submitted and paid, you’ll need to arrange to take the Citizenship test. This test will assess your understanding of the values and traditions of Australia as well as the rights and responsibilities you will gain once a citizen. Under 18’s and over 60’s and those that suffer from any impairments are exempt from this test.

Finally, if everything in the process has gone smoothly and your application has been processed, you’ll be invited to a citizenship ceremony where you’ll make a promise to stay loyal to Australian and its people.

Now you know how to apply for your citizenship you might want to read our guide on buying property in Australia so you’re ready for the next step.

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