This article details the steps and requirements to apply for Australian citizenship. Specifically focusing on citizenship by conferral. This means by obtaining citizenship through Permanent Residency, not through birth.
Applying for citizenship is done in a 3 main parts:
- Application online
- Attend interview/citizenship test
- Ceremony (receiving Certificate)
Part 1 – Applying Online
To be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, the main requirements are that you must have:
- Been an Australian permanent resident for at least 1 year and lived in Australia for at least 9 out of 12 months before you apply. (Before applying for Citizenship you must have held a PR visa. Some common PR visas include – Partner, General Skilled Migration or Employer Sponsored Visas).
- Been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years before you apply. (1 Year PR and 3 Years on a temporary visa is fine).
- Not been absent from Australia for more than 12 months in the last 4 years before you apply.
There is also a character and health requirement for this visa. For a full list of requirements is available here
You will then lodge the application online through your immi portal. The visa application charge is $285.
Part 2 – INTERVIEW AND CITIZENSHIP TEST
As part of the citizenship process, after lodging your online citizenship application, you are required to undertake a citizenship test and interview. This should be a fairly simple process (especially if you speak English and more information can be found here.)
The time and location of your test:
Generally speaking immigration will create and write to you with the date, time and place of your appointment. The time you have to wait from when you apply to your appointment date will vary.
Citizenship appointments are held at:
- department offices in most Australian capital cities
- some Department of Human Services offices in regional areas
Please note if you apply for the citizenship whilst you are inside Australia, you will need to be in Aus to attend the interview.
Part 3 – CEREMONY
The final step of the citizenship process the citizenship ceremony. Generally speaking you will be required to attend a ceremony and celebrate becoming an Australian citizenship with your family and friends. 4 weeks before the ceremony you will receive an email/letter from immi informing you of the dates.
Below you can see the approximate processing times listed by immi. As you can see 75% of applications are processed from lodgment to ceremony is 20 months.
|Australian Citizenship application type||75% of applications processed in||90% of applications processed in|
|Conferral – lodgement to decision*||17 months||21 months|
|Conferral – approval to ceremony**||5 months||7 months|
|Conferral – lodgement to ceremony**||20 months||22 months|