Obtaining Australian Citizenship

Obtaining Australian Citizenship

Pathway to Citizenship

1. Citizenship by descent

If at the time of your birth one of your parents was an Australian citizen you can acquire citizenship by descent. If the child was born outside Australia, they can acquire citizenship once the parents register their birth with the Australian embassy in the country they are born in. 

2. Citizenship by conferral 

This is the most common pathway for Australian permanent residents to acquire Australian citizenship. As a subset of citizenship by conferral, you may be eligible for citizenship if you were born in Australia and have resided in Australia throughout the period of 10 years from the time of birth. 

Please read further for general criteria and eligibility or contact Mission Migration to assist you in your citizenship application. 


Eligibility for citizenship by conferral

(a)  Must be a permanent resident

(b)  Satisfy general residence requirement 

(c) Must be of good character


General residence requirement 

(a) Present in Australia for the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person makes the application; and

(b)  Not be unlawful non-citizen at any time during that 4 year period; and

(c)  Present in Australia as a permanent resident for the period of 12 months immediately before the day the person makes the application. 

Please note: If you were born in Australia or former Australian citizen you do not require to meet the 4 years residence requirement of (a) or (b).


What happens if you were absent from Australia

(a) If you were absent from Australia for a part of the period of 4 years but the total period of the absence or absences was not more than 12 months, you still qualify to be eligible. 

(b) If you were absent from Australia for a part of the period of 12 months immediately before the day you make the application but the total period of the absence or absences was not more than 90 days and you held a permanent residence during each period of absence, you still qualify to be eligible. 

(c) If you were absent from Australia but if you are a spouse, defacto partner or surviving spouse or defacto partner of an Australian citizen at the time of the application and held a permanent residence, you might still be eligible if you can satisfy a close and continuing association with Australia during the period of absence. 

(d) If your absence is due to the work requirement that requires you to travel outside Australia and if you satisfy a few other requirements you might still be eligible. Please note; only specific work are considered in this scenario such as higher security clearance position in the Australian government agency, participation in the Australian team in Olympic Games or International Cricket Match, crews or aircraft member, a CFO or Executive Manager of ASX listed company, a government-employed Scientist, internationally renowned medical specialist, or a Distinguished Talent Visa holder as a writer or an artist. 

(e) If you have served as a defense person for at least 90 days in one or more of the Reserves, you and your family member may be eligible to apply for citizenship. 

(f) If you were present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen due to administrative error in the four year period immediately before the application, you will still be eligible. 

(g) If you were confined in a prison or psychiatric institution by order of a court made in connection with proceeding for an offense against Australian law, at any time during the 4 year period immediately before making an application you are not eligible to apply for citizenship unless the Minister is satisfied that it is unreasonable. 


Taking the Test

Applicants aged 18 years or over and under 60 must pass the citizenship test. You must complete the Standard Test within 45 minutes of starting the test, regardless of whether the applicant receives assistance with sitting the Standard Test. The computer program randomly selects a subset of 20 questions to be answered by the applicant, from one or more groups of approved questions. The applicant must answer at least 75 percent of the test questions correctly in order to pass the citizenship test. Types of test:

(a)  computer-based standard test; or

(b)  printout of the Computer-based Standard Test, available in certain circumstances.

Do you have permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity?

If you have a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity you might be exempt from sitting the test if you are aged 18 or over, is a permanent resident, satisfies general residence requirement, is likely to continue to reside in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia, and is of good character. 


For a detailed assessment please "Contact us".