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Australian citizenship may be conferred upon permanent residents of Australia who have resided in Australia for the required period of time, and meet all other criteria. Those who have been conferred citizenship have the same rights and privileges as any other Australian citizen, including the right to vote, to work for the Australian Public Service or Defence Force, and to obtain and use an Australian passport. Citizens by conferral are also subject to the same responsibilities as other Australian citizens, including the responsibility to serve on a jury and to defend Australia should the need arise.
The minimum requirements for citizenship by conferral are set out below. These requirements apply to most applications; however please note that depending upon your particular circumstances, you may be subject to other criteria:
For applicants who are permanent residents of Australia, and have lawfully resided in Australia for at least four years.
EACH applicant for citizenship by conferral must:
NOTE: If you are not a permanent resident of Australia but you are a NZ citizen, you may be eligible if you were in Australia on 26 February 2001 as the holder of a Special Category Visa (SCV) OR if you spent a total of at least 12 months in Australia on a SCV during the 24 months immediately prior to 26 February 2001.
NOTE: As part of its assessment of your eligibility for citizenship, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) requires you to provide details of ALL overseas travel you have undertaken since you turned 18 years old.
If you are 60 years of age or over you are not required to sit the citizenship test.
Under some circumstances you might be eligible to apply for a variation to the residence requirement or be eligible under the special residence requirement.
Stage 1 – Lodgement of Application
The first step is to lodge your citizenship application, along with any supporting documents required to demonstrate that you satisfy the relevant requirements.
Stage 2 – Citizenship Test
Once the DOHA has determined that you are eligible for the conferral of citizenship, they will ask you to attend an appointment with a case officer. At this appointment, you will sit the citizenship test. This contains questions regarding the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship, along with questions relating to life in Australia and what it means to be an Australian citizen. Each eligible adult applicant must sit this test. The questions are based on testable information contained in the Australian citizenship test resource book, which you can study before your test.
Stage 3 – Citizenship Ceremony
After you have passed your citizenship test and the DOHA has approved your application, you need to attend a citizenship ceremony. This usually takes place within 3 months of the date that an application is approved, although waiting times vary between different local councils. At the citizenship ceremony, you must take the Australian Citizenship Pledge to complete the process of becoming an Australian citizen. All eligible adult applicants must attend a citizenship ceremony – there are very few exceptions to this requirement.