Australia Citizenship: The Complete Guide for 2022
Australia has long been known as one of the most desirable countries to live in, with high-paying jobs, beautiful scenery, and clean living environments that are beyond compare. If you’re planning on moving to Australia soon, you’ll be glad to know that there are multiple paths you can take that will eventually lead to citizenship status there. In fact, if you have a bit of cash under your belt, your citizenship could be granted as early as 2022!
The Australian Government plans to make it more difficult to become an Australian citizen in 2022 with new citizenship test, stricter English requirements and longer waiting times for residency. This complete guide to the Australia Citizenship will cover all the details of becoming an Australian citizen in 2022 including what you need to do to apply and what you need to know about the process before you begin.
The Australia Citizenship Act 2007 is being reviewed and if you’re planning on becoming an Australian citizen, then now’s the time to start getting to know your way around the Act! This Australia Citizenship: The Complete Guide covers all areas of the new legislation, including residency requirements, proof of English language skills, and how much you’ll need to invest in Australia before applying for citizenship. Whether you want to become an Australian citizen or are just seeking information on the subject, this guide will help you find what you need and answer any questions you may have about the process.
What is Australian Citizenship?
Australia has two types of citizenship - Australian citizenship by birth and by descent. To become an Australian citizen you must be over 18 years old, meet residence requirements and pass a test about Australia's values, history, and system of government. You will also need to make a pledge (or oath) of commitment to Australia and its people.
If you are eligible, becoming an Australian citizen is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have as a resident of Australia. It means that wherever you go in Australia you have rights and responsibilities just like other Australians. And if you leave Australia temporarily, your departure won't affect your right to return later on if you wish to keep your Australian citizenship.
Why Should You Become An Australian Citizen?
Australia offers a quality of life that is hard to match in other parts of the world. According to HSBC's Expat Explorer survey, Australia ranks first in terms of overall quality of life. In Australia, you’ll have access to quality healthcare, an abundant amount of green space, and a strong economy.
Plus, there are fewer visa restrictions than in many other countries—including some European nations—and it’s much easier for ex-pats to settle down and integrate into their new surroundings. If you’re interested in acquiring citizenship but aren’t sure whether or not it makes sense from a financial standpoint, here are some reasons why ex-pats should seriously consider applying.
Citizenship of Australia allows you to live and work independently while staying committed to the values of the country. It entitles you to the following rights:
- Obtain an Australian passport to leave and return to Australia
- Obtain help from diplomatic representatives of Australia when abroad
- Serve in the Defense Army
- Work in the Government Service
- Stand for Parliament
- Vote to choose a member of the Parliament
What Are The Responsibilities Of An Australian Citizen?
Australian citizenship is a way of belonging to a community. When you become an Australian citizen, you also take on certain responsibilities. These are outlined in section 44 of Australia’s Constitution and include obeying Australia’s laws, serving on juries when required, and working out your tax liabilities. Read on to learn more about what it means to be an Australian citizen.
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By gaining Australian citizenship, you are legally required to:
- Adhere to the laws and regulations of Australia
- Defend Australia when deemed necessary
- Serve on the position of a jury when called to do so
- Enroll on state and territory voting registers
- Vote in Parliamentary elections
Australian Permanent Residency Vs Australian Citizenship
Understand Your Options - If you've lived in Australia for more than 4 years, you are eligible to apply for Australian permanent residency. As a permanent resident, you'll be able to live and work permanently in Australia (and get benefits like Medicare), but you won't be able to vote or become a member of parliament. Becoming an Australian citizen can offer greater security, as it offers better access to loans and jobs, as well as voting rights. Keep reading to learn about your options when it comes to Australian citizenship.
Let’s see in what ways do an Australian citizen and an Australian permanent resident differ:
- Travel: An Australian citizen has the full right of entry to Australia. A permanent resident must have a valid permanent visa with an official travel authority to travel internationally.
- Vote and Run an Election: A citizen can cast his vote and run an election in Australian government elections. However, permanent residents do not have the right to vote or run in an election in Australia.
- Work in Administration services or Australian Defense Force: Australian citizens are allowed to work in government services and the defense force. However, permanent residents do not get this right.
- Study Loan: Where Australian permanent residents aren’t eligible for government study loans, Australian citizens can apply for loans capped at low-interest rates.
- Government Support (when overseas): Australian citizens can obtain official assistance while living or working abroad. However, this support isn’t provided to permanent residents of Australia.
- Citizenship Eligibility for offspring: Children born to Australian citizens are eligible for applying for Australian citizenship. In the case of permanent residents, children born in Australia are eligible for Australian citizenship. However, if born outside the country, they can apply for permanent residency.
How To Apply For A Permanent Residency (PR) In Australia?
Permanent Residency (PR) is a great opportunity to live, work and do business in Australia. As of 2018, you can apply through SkillSelect which replaced Subclass 189 and 489 temporary visa programs on 18 March 2018. A key benefit of applying under SkillSelect is that your skills are assessed at no cost to you, as opposed to paying $1,080 for a labor market test under Subclass 189 or $3,400 for an Australian trade skilled occupation assessment under Subclass 489. If you receive an invitation to apply (ITA), it’s important to note that only 30 days are allocated in which you can lodge your application; any applications lodged after 30 days will be invalidated.
You must meet various requirements to apply for permanent residency:
- Must have been legally residing in Australia for 4 years immediately before the date of application for Australian citizenship.
- Should have stayed for 12 months in Australia as a permanent resident
- Should not have stayed away from the country for more than 1 year and more than 3 months in the last 12 months before the application date.
How To Become An Australian Citizen?
To qualify to become an Australian citizen, you must have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (1,460 days). You can apply to become a citizen after being a permanent resident of Australia for 12 months. In other words, you must have lived in Australia on a permanent basis (i.e., not temporary) and hold an Australian permanent visa or green card before you can apply to become an Australian citizen.
Also if you are 18 years old or older, meet one of the following requirements: *if you were born overseas you will need to provide evidence that at least one parent was either born in Australia or is an Australian citizen/Australian-born resident; Following are the Australian citizenship requirements:
- Should be of 18 years and above
- Should have lived in Australia for 4 years, including 1 year as a permanent resident
- Should be an Australian permanent resident at the date of application,
- Should have passed a citizenship test (if below 60 years),
- Should continue residing in Australia or maintaining a continuing association with Australia
- Should have a good social and moral conduct
- Should possess adequate knowledge of rights and responsibilities as an Australian citizen.
When Can I Apply For Australian Citizenship?
If you’re a citizen of one of 32 countries that have special agreements with Australia, you can apply for Australian citizenship immediately. Otherwise, you must have lived in Australia as a permanent resident, holding either a permanent humanitarian visa or a permanent residency visa, without leaving Australia continuously on or after 26 February 2001 and before your application is made.
For example, if you applied in January then you must have arrived in Australia by 26 February and not left Australia at any time between then and when your application was made. Additionally, if you are applying on or after 1 July 2022 then there is an additional requirement to demonstrate competent English language skills.
What Is A Citizenship Test?
A citizenship test is an exam that determines whether you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. While there are a number of different ways to qualify, most applicants must first pass a citizenship test. This is a multiple-choice assessment that evaluates your English ability and helps officials determine whether you have sufficient knowledge of Australia and its history to become a citizen.
Unlike many other countries, in Australia, successful completion of a citizenship test does not automatically grant you access to permanent residency or give you any rights beyond those of a tourist on temporary business. To become eligible for naturalization as an Australian citizen, applicants must meet all criteria set out by law and also comply with specific filing deadlines before taking an oath of allegiance at their local consulate or embassy.
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A certain set of applicants are exempted from taking the test:
- Below 18 years or above 60 years
- Suffer from a significant loss of sensory power
- Applied before October 01, 2007
- Have a mental or physical debility
- Have been born to a former Australian citizen
Applicants who have a low level of English literacy are given help to take the test.
What Is A Citizenship Ceremony?
A citizenship ceremony is an event where you officially become a citizen of Australia. Some people choose to have a private ceremony, while others prefer to have a public one. Public ceremonies are great because they allow members of your community to show their support and wish you well on your journey to becoming an Australian citizen. Plus, some schools and universities hold citizenship ceremonies as part of their graduation ceremony.
This pledge shows the following:
- Loyalty to Australia
- Share the democratic beliefs of the country
- Respect its liberties and rights
- Preserve its laws
After they take the pledge, applicants are given the “Citizenship Certificate”. It is a necessary document when applying for an Australian passport.
Steps to Become an Australian Citizen
To become an Australian citizen, you must first be eligible. There are a few different ways to do that. Once you have demonstrated your eligibility, here are five simple steps to follow:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
The first step to becoming an Australian Citizenship is to ensure that you meet the general eligibility requirements.
Step 2: Get All The Necessary Supporting Documents
You would require the following documents to support your application:
- Identity proof (with your name, photograph, and/or signature) that confirms your identity such as a driver’s license, a national identity card, or passport.
- Australian Residence proof: Provide a document that confirms that you have been staying lawfully and continuously in Australia for the last 4 years. Common acceptable documents include a rental contract, a utility bill, a bank statement, or an insurance policy, that contains your address.
- Date of birth proof: A copy of your birth certificate.
- Passport-style photograph (not older than 6 months)
- Evidence of your parent’s or spouse’s Australian Citizenship Status
- Hand-written original signature
Step 3: Get Copies Of The Supporting Documents
You must upload or attach copies of all official documents to process the application.
Therefore, you must take out copies of the documents and send them along with the form. However, you are required to provide originals when attending citizenship interviews/appointments.
Step 4: Translate Your Official Documents (if needed)
The documents you send to the DHA have to be in English. This requires you to translate your non-English documents into the English language using an accredited translator.
NAATI is a standard and professional translator that is widely used for translation and interpretation worldwide.
Step 5: Complete your Application Form
Find someone who can attest legitimacy of your documents and your identity. Nominate a representative (when necessary) and choose your preference to pledge during the Australian Ceremony.
Step 6: Submit Application
Submit your completed form with documents to DHA online or by post along with the application processing charges.
Click here to find the location to post your application.
How To Resume An Australian Citizenship?
There are two ways you can resume your Australian citizenship. One is through a non-citizen who has lost their citizenship through residence out of Australia. The other way is through a citizen who wants to resume their citizenship after it has been revoked. Resuming Australian citizenship comes with all of its rights and benefits, so we’re going to go over both processes here and detail what steps you’ll need to take in order to successfully become an Australian citizen again.
Both processes have some things in common. However, they are still very different, meaning there are some important differences between them that we will cover as well! Take note that you must reside in Australia during your application process.
For this, you must fulfill the following conditions and take the necessary steps to apply.
- Provide identify proof if 16 years or older
- Evidence of good character
- Present evidence that shows the termination of your Australian citizen
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Australia is a country of great opportunity and there are a variety of ways to become an Australian citizen. A number of people may be eligible right now, but don’t know it. In addition, if you do need to apply at some point in time, there are many important factors that need to be considered when you decide whether or not to apply for citizenship by descent.
Don’t make a decision without learning about what Australian citizenship means and how it could benefit your future. This guide is designed to help you with any questions you may have about becoming an Australian citizen by discussing your eligibility requirements, available pathways, and other topics related to Australian citizenship so that you can make an informed decision before making any decisions regarding your application.