Migrants who have settled down in Australia for an extended period may wish to consider applying for Australian citizenship. There are numerous pathways to become an Australian citizen but in most cases Australian permanent residents who have resided in Australia for a certain amount of time will be able to apply for Australian citizenship.

Benefits of Australian Citizenship

Having Australian citizenship provides certain differences to your stay in Australia, such as:

  • no need to renew your Resident Return Visa (RRV) every 5 years
  • voting in the federal election is compulsory by law
  • you may be eligible for the HECSHELP study assistance programme
  • you may be eligible for government positions
  • Avoid the risk of having your permanent residence visa cancelled on character grounds.
  • Ability to spend unlimited time outside of Australia and be entitled to return at anytime

Australia allows its citizens to hold dual citizenships. You will need to check with your home country if dual citizenships are allowed.

 

Pathways to Becoming an Australian Citizen

The two most common pathways to becoming an Australian citizen are:

Australian Citizenship by Conferral

Citizenship by conferral is the most common pathway for permanent residents. If you migrated to Australia and meet the eligibility requirements you can apply for citizenship by conferral. Confer means to give, so citizenship by conferral means to be given citizenship.

People in this category can include:

  • Spouses of Australian citizens
  • New Zealand & British citizens who have lived here for an extended period of time
  • Children of a former Australian citizens
  • Papuans born prior to independence in 1975
  • People who arrived under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme
  • Refugees & humanitarian entrants

The major precondition for becoming an Australian citizen is your length of residence in Australia. Before you are able to apply for citizenship you must have:

  • resided in Australia for a specified number of years (currently, 4 years)
  • spent a specified period of time as an Australian permanent resident (currently, 12 months)

If you were granted a permanent resident visa before you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date is the date that you arrived in Australia on that visa. If you were granted a permanent resident visa after you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date will be the date that the visa was granted.

For more information on citizenship by conferral click here.


Australian Citizenship by Decent

The citizenship by descent pathway is applicable for:

  • Applicants born outside Australia
  • Applicants that have at least one parent that was an Australian citizen when you were born.

More Requirement for Australian Citizen Applicaitons

For more information on further requirement for these application, click here.

 

What is the application process to obtain an Australian citizenship?

  1. Submit your application together with supporting documents and fees
  2. Wait for your invitation to sit the citizenship test
  3. Once invited, take the citizenship test and wait for your results
  4. If assessed to be eligible you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony

Note: You must attend and complete the citizenship ceremony to become an Australian citizenship.


How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Work Visa Lawyers is able to help assess your eligibility for Australian citizenship according to the appropriate qualifying streams. Additionally we have assisted with applicants who were in complicated circumstances, such as:

  • not residing in Australia for extended periods because of circumstances beyond their control
  • requirement to address past criminal charges or convictions

You may be able to ask for discretion to be exercised by the Minister to allow a grant of citizenship in exceptional circumstances where you have not met the requirements such as:

  • Administrative error led to you becoming unlawful or not becoming a permanent resident.
  • You would suffer significant hardship if a period of temporary residence is not counted as a period of permanent residence.
  • You are a spouse, widow or widower of an Australian citizen, were a permanent resident, and maintained a close and continuing association with Australia during the relevant period.

There are special residence requirements for you if:

  • You have been engaged in activities of special benefit to Australia or work that required regular travel.
  • You have completed the required amount of Defence services.

Difficult Citizenship Applications

The requirements for becoming a citizen by conferral have doubled in recent years from two years residency to four.

The length of residency required can prove difficult, for persons with an Australian spouse, who can’t find work in their chosen field and therefore need to work overseas.

We can provide advice in relation to your situation and prepare submissions to the Minister on your behalf.


Testimonials

See how Work Visa Lawyers have helped others achieve their goal of Australian Citizenship

 

Speak to the Registered Migration Agents and Migration Lawyers at Work Visa Lawyers today about your eligibility to apply for an Australian citizenship.

CitzenshipWho needs to apply for a Resident Return Visa (subclass 155/157)?

The Resident Return Visa or RRV is a visa which allows Australian permanent residents to leave and return to Australia. If you travelled out of Australia without a valid RRV, you will be unable to return to Australia as a permanent resident. Applying for the RRV will allow you to maintain or regain your Australian permanent resident status.

What are the requirements to apply for the Resident Return Visa (subclass 155/157)?

You can apply for the RRV when you are in or outside Australia.

Generally there are 3 separate requirements to apply for a subclass 155 RRV:

  1. you have spent at least two out of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen
  2. you have not spent at least two out of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but can demonstrate substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia
  3. you have not spent at least two out of the last five years in Australia as a permanent resident or citizen, but are a partner or dependent family member of an applicant for the subclass 155 RRV which has been granted

To know more about substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia, speak with the Registered Migration Agents and Lawyers at Work Visa Lawyers.

The subclass 157 RRV has the following requirements:

  • you have lawfully spent at least one day in the past five years in Australia
  • you have spent less than two years in the past five years in Australia
  • you have been a permanent resident or an Australian citizen for the entire period spent in Australia
  • you can show compelling and compassionate reasons for having to leave Australia or, if you are outside Australia, for leaving when you did

To learn more about demonstrating compelling and compassionate reasons, contact Work Visa Lawyers to speak with our Registered Migration Agents and Lawyers.

How do I apply for a Resident Return Visa (subclass 155/157)?

  1. Speak with Work Visa Lawyers about your situation
  2. Prepare your documents for the application
  3. Submit your application online using ImmiAccount or by post to the DIBP office in Sydney, or the nearest immigration office in your home country

How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Maintaining or regaining your Australian permanent resident status is very important to you and us at Work Visa Lawyers. The team of Registered Migration Agents and Lawyers at Work Visa Lawyers can help you assess your situation and build the strongest case possible for your application.

Proving substantial business, cultural, employment or personal ties of benefit to Australia as well as compelling and compassionate reasons for having to leave Australia will be different for each client depending on their circumstances. Work Visa Lawyers will meet with you and determine if you are able to meet the requirements before you apply.

Contact Work Visa Lawyers and speak with our Registered Migration Agents and Lawyers today.

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Our South Australia Immigration Lawyers

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business visas, Employer-Sponsored visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review, and Ministerial Intervention. Based in Adelaide South Australia, our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents provide migration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

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