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Australian Citizenship Requirement

About this Visa

Becoming a citizen by conferral is a common way to become an Australian citizen. You need to be a permanent resident and meet certain criteria before you can apply.

Requirement 

Department of Home Affairs will consider the amount of time you have lived in Australia in the last 4 years. In certain cases, exemptions may be granted.

General residence requirement

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
  • For children 16 or 17 years old, if meeting this requirement would cause significant hardship or disadvantage, you will need to provide proof.
  • Children under 16 do not need to meet the general residence requirement but must be permanent residents.

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’.

When we assess good character, we consider whether you are likely to:

  • Uphold and obey the laws of Australia
  • Meet the other commitments made through the citizenship pledge

We may consider:

  • Any recorded criminal convictions
  • Obligations you may have to a court in Australia or overseas
  • Your association with people of concern
  • Incidents of reported domestic violence
  • Whether you have been honest in your dealings with the Australian community, including providing false or misleading information in relation to a visa or citizenship application

Knowledge of Australia

You must understand what it means to be an Australian citizen. To assess this, most applicants will sit the citizenship test.

At the time you have an appointment, 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

Language requirement

You need a basic knowledge of the English language to become an Australian citizen.

English is our national language. Communicating in English helps you to live a full life in Australia.

If you score 75% or more on our citizenship test and answer all 5 questions on Australian values correctly, then you meet our language requirement.

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 adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship

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Australian Citizenship Requirement