Australian Citizenship

There are a number of ways in which you can attain Australian citizenship, this page concentrates on eligibility for Australian citizenship following migration and the step from permanent residency to Australian citizenship, the final step in your migration journey enabling you to say 'I am an Australian'. Eligibility and residence requirements are discussed below.


Please feel welcome to Contact us to discuss how we might assist you with your application.


There are a range of criteria that must be met to be considered for Australian citizenship. You must be a permanent resident of Australia both at the time of application and when the decision is made, you must satisfy the residential requirements and be of good character. There are slightly different eligibility criteria to be met by adults aged between 18 and 60, adults over 60 and children over 16, or individuals with special circumstances. Children under 16 years of age are usually included in a responsible parents application.

Meeting the residency requirements (unless exempt) in order to apply for Australian Citizenship is related to the time you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside Australia and include that you:

  • have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying
  • must have been a permanent resident for the 12 months immediately before making an application and not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.
  • NOTE on the 18th October 2017, the government announced that they would again start processing applications that had been on hold since April 2017.
  • NOTE on the 18th October 2017, following the failure to introduce a new Bill to strengthen the Citizenship legislation the Australian Government announced that they will make amendments to this Bill and will aim to introduce new Citizenship legislation in July 2018.
  • Subject to the passage of legislation, the government have stated that the new requirements for citizenship they are aiming to bring into effect on the 1st July 2018 and include:

    • - increasing the general residence requirement, which means applicants for Australian citizenship will need to have a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship with no more than one year spent outside Australia during that period
    • - completing a separate English language test, where applicants will need to demonstrate English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at the modest level before applying for citizenship by conferral
    • - strengthening the Australian values statement to include reference to allegiance to Australia and requiring applicants to undertake to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community
    • - strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions about Australian values and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship
    • - a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community
    • - strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia, and extending the requirement to make the pledge to applicants aged 16 years and over for all streams of citizenship by application, including citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.

Taylor Made Immigration can provide a service to assist you with your Citizenship application. We can advise on the documentary evidence required as part of the application, check your documentation and submit the application on your behalf. As part of the citizenship application you will be required to provide a range of documentary evidence in support of your citizenship application. Following your citizenship application you will be invited to undertake either a citizenship test or an interview. Assuming a positive decision is made you will be invited to attend an Australian citizenship ceremony and to make an affirmation of allegiance to Australia.

Before undertaking the Australian citizenship process you might also consider the implications taking Australian citizenship will have on any current citizenships. Some countries have limitations on the ability to hold joint citizenship of another country.

It is important to remember that taking Australian citizenship comes a commitment to a range of additional responsibilities and privileges.

Australian citizenship provides the right to:

  • apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely.
  • vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
  • apply for work in the Australian Public Service or in the Australian Defence Force
  • seek election to parliament
  • register children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent
  • receive help from an Australian official while overseas

Australian citizenship also brings responsibilities, you must swear an affirmation of loyalty and commitment to Australia and its people to:

  • vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
  • obey the law.
  • defend Australia should the need arise
  • serve on a jury if called to do so

NB Prior to 4 April 2002, you could lose Australian citizenship if you became a citizen of another country. This is not dealt with here but we can assist with resumption applications.

You should also check whether any citizenships you hold in other countries may be impacted by obtaining Australian citizenship. For example some countries e.g. South Africa require you to apply for permission before obtaining citizenship in another country, some other counties may not permit dual citizenship at all.