Citizenship (by Conferral) Eligibility

Becoming an Australian Citizen by Conferral is a common way to become an Australian Citizen. However, there are certain criteria you would need to meet before you apply.

Some Common Criteria include:

  • You must be a Permanent Resident or eligible New Zealand citizen at time of application
  • You must be in Australia when a decision is made on your application (in most cases)
  • You must have spent time in Australia and know about the country
  • You must intend to live in Australia or maintain a lasting link with Australia whilst overseas

You must also meet the General Residence Requirements, the Character Requirements and sit the Citizenship Test.

Residence Requirement

The Department of Home Affairs considers the amount of time you have lived in Australia in the last 4 years.

At the time you apply you must have been:

  • living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years
  • a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months
  • away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months

Your residency starts on the date:

  • we granted the permanent visa when you were in Australia, or
  • you first entered Australia on a permanent visa

In certain cases, you may not need to meet the Residence Requirement, depending on your circumstances.

Citizenship Test & Language Requirement

Most applicants will need to sit the Citizenship Test.

At the time you have an appointment with the Department of Home Affairs, you must show that you have:

  • a basic knowledge of the English language
  • an understanding of what it means to become an Australian citizen
  • an adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship
  • an understanding and commitment to Australian values based on freedom, respect and equality

If you score 75% or more on the Citizenship Test and answer all 5 questions on Australian values correctly, then you meet the knowledge and language requirements.

Some applicants do not have to sit the test but must have an interview to show they:

  • understand what it means to become an Australian citizen
  • have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship

Character Requirement

You must be of “good character” if you are 18 years or over. Good character is the ‘enduring moral qualities of a person’.

Ongoing court cases, previous convictions, your associations and other matters may affect your Citizenship application.

If you’re eligible for Citizenship, it is imperative that you apply as soon as possible, as there may be changes to the criteria, without prior warning. Previously, the Permanent Residency requirement was lifted to 4 years, however, it has gone back to 1 year. This may change again in the future.

If you wish to book an appointment with one of our Registered Migration Agents, please call Gold Migration Lawyers on 1300 320 300 today.

This article does not constitute legal advice or create a Migration Agent-Client relationship. Please consult a Registered Migration Agent for up-to-date information.

Relevant Links

  • For more details on Citizenship by Descent, please click here.
  • For the most Common Reasons on why Citizenship applications are Refused, please click here.