Australia is one of the top ten countries with the highest income and the highest minimum wages in the world. It also a country that gives a safe environment, studying opportunities, and pension benefits for each and every citizen living there. So, it is fair to say that it is a privilege to be an Australian citizen. This is the guide for you if you are planning to earn that privilege. Here are all you need to know about Australian citizenship.
Why do you need to get Australian citizenship? (benefits)
Australia is in the upper section of the UN Human Development Index. Good education, higher life expectancy, and growing socio-economic progress are key elements of Australia. These are what helps Australia to come to that rank. You yourself could also enjoy these benefits if you are an Australian citizen.
With Australian citizenship, you can apply for an Australian passport. A citizen can also leave and enter the country any time they like. They also can ask for assistance from an Australian consulate if fall into trouble overseas. With citizenship, you can also vote in Australian elections even sit for the election if you are above 18.
Permanent residency to Australian citizenship requirements
We can look into the permanent residency to Australian citizenship requirements through few subcategories. But, keep in mind that these are the most commonly requested requirements. They could change according to your unique situations and specific visa subclasses.
You and everyone included in the application you forward for the citizenship Australia must be a permanent resident of Australia. You should have lived in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years. But, you shouldn’t have traveled away from Australia for not more than 12 months in total. And, not more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months. However, the children below 16 do not need to meet the general residence requirement. But, they must be permanent residents of Australia.
A person is a permanent resident (for citizenship purposes) at a particular time if and only if:
- the person is present in Australia at that time and holds a permanent visa at that time
- the person is not present in Australia at that time and holds a permanent visa at that time; and the person has come to Australia with permanent visa before last leaving Australia.
- the person holds a special category visa or a special purpose visa and they satisfy specified requirements.
- the Minister has determined by the legislative instrument that the definition of permanent resident applies to them.
The government will ask you to prove that you are with a good character if you are above 18. They define being with a good character as ‘enduring moral qualities of a person’.
When the Australian government measures your good character, they mostly consider whether you are likely to:
- uphold and obey the laws of Australia
- meet the other commitments made through the citizenship pledge
The Australian government measures your good character through:
- any recorded criminal convictions
- obligations you may have to a court in Australia or overseas
- your association with people of concern
- incidents of reported domestic violence
- whether you have been dishonest in your dealings with the Australian community. This may also include providing false or misleading information in relation to a visa or citizenship application.
Knowledge of Australia
You must know about Australia and understand what it means to be an Australian to get citizenship. You will have to sit for the citizenship test to show these aspects.
The main criteria checked trough this test are:
- Australia and its people
- Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights, and liberties
- Government and the law in Australia
You have to get a score of 75% or more on the citizenship test to pass it.
However, some applicants do not have to sit the test due to certain circumstances. Please refer to https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/ for more information.
English is the national language of Australia. So, having a basic knowledge of the English language is a must to become an Australian citizen.
If you score 75% on the citizenship test, then they will consider that you have fulfilled the language requirement.
But as said before, some applicants do not have to sit for the test. However, even they must take part in an interview. This is to show they understand what it means to become an Australian citizen. They assess their English knowledge in this interview.
The Australian government will mainly consider you for citizenship in Australia if you intend to live in Australia. If not, you at least need to keep a close and continuing association with Australia while being overseas.
The Australian government needs to know that you are ready and has means for a long-term commitment to Australia. So, they will give a priority to your application if you have:
- a child who is an Australian citizen
- a partner who is an Australian citizen and your time together
- extended family in Australia
- spent time in Australia
- a bank account in Australia
- a job in Australia
- paid income tax in Australia
- property in Australia
Contact us at immigration agent Sydney for more information about the requested requirements. These could have changed according to your unique situations and specific visa subclasses.
Meaning of Australian citizenship by conferral
Citizenship by conferral is what you earn by meeting the specified eligibility requirements above and passing a citizenship test. You will get the same rights and privileges as any other Australian citizen with a conferred citizenship. So, it is much more than getting an Australian passport. With this, you will have the right to vote in the Australian elections. You will be able to join the Australian Public Service or even the Defense Force.
However, with the benefits, you will also get the same responsibilities of Australian citizens. These responsibilities move from being a law binding citizen to defending Australia should the need arise.
Meaning of Australian citizenship by marriage
Having a positive connection to Australia is always a plus point. So, having an Australian partner will be in your favor when you need to show you have ties to Australia. However, there’s no special path to become an Australian citizen just through marriage. Even if you have a spouse in Australian, you still have to fulfill all the above requirements to apply.
Yet, a partner visa is a way to get a permanent residency in Australia. And, with permanent residency, you are a step closer to the goal of citizenship.
Cost and processing time for Australian citizenship application
The cost of application stars from AUD285. No need to pay for children who are 15 years or younger when applying with a parent.
Things to consider if you want to hold a dual citizenship
You can be an Australian citizen while holding citizenship of another, or even multiple countries. But this is as long as you can fulfill the given eligibility requirements. However, you should also consider whether other countries have barred dual citizenship or not.
You would have to use your Australian passport when exiting or entering Australia if you have dual citizenship. However, you can travel with any other passport when you are outside Australia. You will get the benefits of being an Australian citizen only if you used your Australian passport to enter other countries outside Australia.
Please refer to https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/ for information.