Citizenship by Conferral – an important form of Australian citizenship

Acquiring Australian citizenship is dream of almost every person residing in Australia on temporary visa. However, there are many different pathways to Australian citizenship for these people. Citizenship by Conferral is the most common form of Australian citizenship for those that have married an Australian man or woman or for skilled migrants. One can also get Australian citizenship by birth, adoption or descent. 

1. Eligibility Criteria

Citizenship by Conferral is the general eligibility pathway to obtain Australian citizenship, however, there are certain eligibility criteria that applicant must need to meet for getting Australian citizenship. These include:

  • Applicant needs to be aged over 18 years
  • Applicant must hold permanent residency status at the time of application
  • Applicant needs to satisfy the residence requirement
  • Applicant should pass the Australian citizenship test
  • Applicant must possess a basic knowledge of the English language
  • Applicant need to have satisfactory knowledge of Australian culture, systems and social responsibilities
  • Applicant should tends to reside or continue to reside in Australia or maintain a close and continuing relationship with this country
  • Applicant needs to be of good character at the time of decision 

The application for Citizenship by Conferral is generally prepared and lodged online. After lodging the application, the applicant is generally invited to attend an appointment with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for the Australian Citizenship Test. If applicant completes these steps successfully (usually about 3 months); he will be granted with Australian citizenship. However, it is necessary to attend the citizenship ceremony.

2. Ways to meet the criteria 

  • To evidence that applicant possess a basic knowledge of the English language and have a sufficient knowledge of Australia and its culture; applicant needs to pass the Australian Citizenship test. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection generally offers various practice tests and study guides to assist people with this.
  • Applicant’s age and permanent visa status are established by provision of their current visa or a VEVO check together with a certified copy of their current passport. However, there are some other identity documents that will also be required to confirm applicant’s residential address.
  • The good character of applicant is verified by a Police clearance from each country applicant’s has lived in for more than 90 days since getting Australian permanent residency. However, these checks are only needed if he has spent 12 months or more outside Australia after becoming a permanent resident.     

3. Various residence requirements

Applicant needs to satisfy the residence requirement at the time of application for Australian citizenship. These mainly include:

  • Applicant must have lived in Australia for a period of a minimum 4 years right before the lodgement.
  • Of those 4 years applicant must have not spent more than 12 months outside of Australia.
  • Applicant must have held permanent residency during the 12 months immediately before applying. Moreover, he/she should not have spent more than 90 days outside of Australia.
  • During the 4 year residence period, applicant must not have been present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen, in other words, without a valid visa.