Mon. May 13th, 2024
How to get Australian citizenship after PR

Permanent residents and Australian Citizenship are two different things. Get to know the key differences here as well as the privileges and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen. The term Australian permanent resident refers to someone who holds a permanent visa but is not a citizen. Permanent residents can work, study, and live in Australia without restriction. They have most of the rights and entitlements of citizens, but there are some differences.

TravelingA citizen has an automatic right of entry to Australia.   If a permanent resident chooses to travel internationally they need to ensure they have a permanent visa with a valid travel authority if they wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident.
VotingA citizen can vote in Australian government elections.   In most cases, permanent residents can’t vote in Australian government elections. However, if a permanent resident was enrolled to vote (as a British subject) prior to 1984, they may remain eligible to vote.
Government services and benefitsEligibility for government services and benefits depends on the rules set by the relevant government agency responsible for the service or benefit.   Eligibility for government services and benefits depends on the rules set by the relevant government agency responsible for the service or benefit.

Getting an Australian citizenship

There are various ways in which you can become an Australian citizen. In order to apply, you must meet our criteria. The methods of application are chiefly by conferral and descent.

Becoming eligible for Australian Citizenship (by conferral)

Permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens

It is intended for:

  • Australian citizens aged 18-59 who are permanently resident in Australia
  • Children between 16 and 17 years old
  • If the applicant is 15 years old or younger, applying with a parent or guardian
  • Migrants under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme
  • Citizens of New Zealand who qualify
  • Australian citizens’ partners or spouses
  • Humanitarian migrants or refugees

A person 60 years old or older

It is for the following:

  • A permanent resident who is 60 years of age or older
  • Migrants under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme
  • Citizens of New Zealand who are eligible
  • Australian citizens’ partners or spouses
  • Humanitarian migrants or refugees

Becoming eligible for Australian citizenship (by descent)

In the event that you were born overseas to an Australian parent,

You can use this for:

  • People born overseas to Australian citizens or to parents who are Australian citizens and for parents to register a child born overseas.

Australian citizenship

As an Australian citizen, you are entitled to say, ‘I am Australian.’ Making Australia your permanent home is the dream of many migrants, and it comes with many responsibilities and privileges.

By becoming an Australian citizen, you are making a commitment to everything that Australia stands for.

Eligibility criteria for Australian citizenship

An Australian citizen over the age of 18 must generally meet the following requirements:

  • Passed a citizenship test (unless over 60)
  • Applicants must be permanent residents at the time of application and at the time of decision
  • Meet the residence requirement
  • Residing or continuing to reside in Australia, or maintaining close and continuing ties with it
  • Having a good reputation is important.

Residence Requirement

The applicant for Australian citizenship must have been legally residing in Australia for four years prior to becoming a permanent resident on or after 1 July 2007. Among them are:

  • As a permanent resident for 12 months
  • Absence of no more than 12 months from Australia
  • In the year before applying, you cannot have spent more than three months outside of Australia.

Citizenship test

Prior to applying for Australian citizenship, you must pass a test if you meet the general eligibility criteria. People with other circumstances (such as those under 18 or over 60, or those with substantial impairments or loss of hearing, speech, or sight) are not required to sit a test.

During the Australian citizenship test, future Australian citizens are given an opportunity to learn about the following:

  • Values
  • Traditions
  • History
  • National symbols.

This test ensures that you will be able to fully participate in the Australian community as a citizen and maximize your opportunities here. In addition to promoting social cohesion, it facilitates community integration.

In order to sit the test, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of Australia
  • Register for the test and verify your identity with the department
  • Make sure a photograph of yourself is taken by the department or provide one on your own.

Privileges of getting Australian Citizenship

Citizens of Australia are entitled to the following rights:

  • Living in Australia
  • Get an Australian passport and leave and reenter Australia without a resident return visa
  • Consult Australian diplomatic representatives abroad if you need assistance
  • Work in the public sector
  • Be a member of the armed forces
  • Your children born overseas after you become an Australian citizen should register as Australian citizens by descent
  • Stand for election to the legislature
  • Vote to elect members of Parliament.

Responsibilities after getting Australian citizenship

Citizenship also brings responsibilities. For example, citizens must:

  • Observe Australian law
  • In case of need, defend Australia
  • Participate in a jury trial if called
  • Register on the federal and state/territorial electoral rolls
  • Participate in elections.

Requirements for Australian Citizenship

Australian citizenship can be obtained in three ways:

  • By birth: You are Australian if one or both of your parents were Australian citizens or permanent residents at the time of your birth
  • By descent: You are an Australian citizen by descent if you are born overseas to Australian citizens.
  • By conferral: If you hold a permanent visa and reside in Australia

The most common form of Australian citizenship by conferral requires that you meet certain requirements, including:

  • Having a permanent residency in Australia
  • An Australian resident for more than four years without more than twelve months of absence
  • Having lived in Australia for the last 12 months on a permanent visa with absences of less than 90 days
  • Having a good character
  • Being aware of your responsibilities and privileges as an Australian
  • Intention to reside in Australia or to maintain a close connection with the country.

Furthermore, certain discretions and special considerations may affect the general requirements for obtaining citizenship. The following may be included:

  • Spending your first 10 years of life in Australia
  • Having an Australian citizen as a spouse or partner while residing overseas
  • Possessing visas and/or skills that are beneficial for Australia
  • Working in a job that requires you to travel outside of Australia

Applying for Australian Citizenship

In order to become an Australian citizen, you must complete the application form, submit all required documentation, and pay the required fee to DOHA. Before your application can be approved, you will be required to appear for an interview and pass a test.

An Australian citizenship test assesses your knowledge of Australia’s history, society, responsibilities, and privileges.

As soon as your application is approved, you will be invited to attend an Australian citizenship ceremony and take the Australian Citizenship Pledge. After these processes, you will officially become an Australian citizen.

Australian Citizenship Privileges

You have several privileges as an Australian citizen, including:

  • Elections and referendums at the federal, state, and territory levels
  • Taking part in an application for a position in the Australian Public Service or with the Australian Defence Force
  • Candidate for the parliamentary election
  • Applying for an Australian passport
  • Overseas assistance from an Australian embassy or consulate
  • Registering children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent


A citizenship ceremony will include you making the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Taking this step means explicitly making a public commitment to Australia and accepting citizenship’s responsibilities and privileges.

Your citizenship ceremony will include the following pledges:

  • Firstly your loyalty to the Australian people and to Australia
  • Then your commitment to democracy and respect for Australia’s rights and liberties
  • Afterwards, it is upholding and obeying Australian laws

Evidently, the pledge of commitment to Australia is the first step toward becoming an Australian citizen.


Hence, your permanent residency in Australia has already given you the opportunity to live in a liberated, democratic society. When you become an Australian citizen, you commit to the values of the country and become part of its democracy.

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