The traditional custodians of Australia and its continuing connection to sea and land are acknowledged by its Department of Home affairs. And for becoming an Australian citizen one needs to fulfil the general eligibility requirements.
Difference Between Permanent Residency Visa and Citizenship
An Australian citizen has an automatic right of entering and exit Australia, and people with permanent residency can choose to travel internationally but need to have a valid visa with the travel authority.
An Australian citizen can vote in Australian Government elections whereas, in most cases, permanent residents cannot unless they get enrolled to vote.
An Australian citizen is eligible for government services whereas, a permanent resident’s eligibility and benefits depend upon the rules set by the relevant agency responsible for that benefit.
If you want to apply for permanent residency you need to meet the requirements. You can fill out an application form as a migrant or as a part of a family unit. For citizenship, you need to pass the citizenship test unless you are over the age of 60 and also satisfy the requirements.
Things to Consider Before You Know How to Become an Australian Citizen
Before you know how to become an Australian citizen, there are certain beliefs, responsibilities, factors, values, and privileges that you should know. Once your application is approved you will have to appear for the citizenship test.
1. Democratic Beliefs
As an Australian citizen, you will be a part of the government’s parliamentary democracy system, in which citizens elect representatives who must answer to them.
Living in Peace:
Australians think that change should occur through dialogue, peaceful persuasion, and the democratic process because they have a stable governance structure.
An Australian citizen must treat others with respect and decency regardless of their gender, age, culture, marital status, religion, or wealth, according to Australian law.
There are a set of responsibilities that you need to know before you know how to become an Australian citizen;
- Vote in federal and state elections.
- Defend Australia in need.
- Serve on jury duty when required.
- Obey the laws of Australia.
An Australian citizen can:
- Apply for an Australian passport.
- Give a vote in federal, state, or territory elections.
- Register for a job in the Australian Public Service or the Australian Defence Force.
- Seek election to parliament.
- Can apply for his children’s passports born overseas to get Australian citizenship by descent
4. Australian Citizenship Pledge
By pledging, you will be committing to Australia. You will pledge:
- Your Loyalty to Australia and its citizens.
- To obey and preserve the laws of the nation.
- That you will share the nation’s beliefs and respect all the rights and liberties.
- Freedom of speech: Freedom of speech allows citizens to express their ideas decently.
- Freedom of association: It is the right to form and join any Australian community to pursue common agendas. You can join a political party, religious group, cultural group, or social group.
- Freedom of religion: The government of Australia is secular, and one is free to follow any religion.
How to Become an Australian Citizen?
Before finding an answer to how to become an Australian citizen, you should check whether you are eligible for citizenship or not. Australian migrants are the residents of the country holding migrant or permanent resident visas. The difference is, migrants are not the country’s permanent citizens but can apply for citizenship after meeting the requirements.
You can apply for Australian Citizenship by just following a few simple steps, but to know how to become an Australian citizen, read the following conditions:
1. Born in Australia
A child with at least one Australian (permanent) citizen parent can easily become an Australian citizen. And, children who live the first 10 years of their life in Australia, regardless of their parent’s immigration status are also Australian citizens.
2. Citizenship Through Descent
- If one of your parents is an Australian citizen of descent and has lived in the country for at least two years before your birth, you know how to become an Australian citizen.
- If you had at least one parent who was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth but did not meet the other requirements for citizenship by birth, you can claim citizenship through descent.
- If you seek to claim Australian citizenship by descent, your parents cannot be citizens or nationals of another country.
- If you are beyond the age of 18, you will also need to show that you have “good character.” This decision is made based on your criminal history and if the government considers you a threat.
3. Spouse/Partner or Lose Relative of an Australian
If you are the spouse of an Australian permanent resident who is currently residing in another country, you can also apply for a two-year temporary visa. You can only apply for an Australian visa after completing two years of probation on Australian soil.
4. New Zealand Citizens
If you are a New Zealand citizen but moved to Australia before 27th February 2001, you can directly apply for Australian citizenship without getting permanent residency. But if you moved after the above-mentioned date, you are not an Australian citizen.
5. Acquired Permanent Residence
If you have a permanent residency visa, have lived in Australia for four years, have not been absent for more than a year in those four years, and have not been absent in the last 90 days, you know how to become an Australian citizen.
You can also apply for Australian citizenship if you have supporting documentation demonstrating your exit and re-entry of Australia. You can apply for citizenship with permanent residency documentation once you understand how to become an Australian citizen.
After you have met the citizenship eligibility requirements, you will need to gather the necessary documents and find a sufficiently qualified individual to begin the process by filling out the application form and paying the required cost to DOHA.
Once you submit your application successfully, you will be contacted by the department. You can also lodge your application online with scanned documents and photos.
List of Documents Needed to Become an Australian Citizen
If you qualify for citizenship by birth, all you have to do is apply for evidence of citizenship. You will need to fill out an official application form after you have studied how to become an Australian citizen. Before you start filling out the form, go over this document checklist.
Gather all of the documentation you will need to apply for citizenship. If you were born in Australia, you will need to show documentation of your parents’ legal status in the country, as well as where and when you were born.
Make sure the documents you are uploading are in their original format. The following is a list of the documents required to become an Australian citizen:
- Gender, natal name, and date of birth.
- A signature, current residential address, and proof of permanent residency in Australia.
- A marriage or divorce certificate is a legal document that proves the couple’s relationship.
- Documents proving a change of name from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages or an authenticated outside authority.
- Other official documentation indicates a connection between your previous names.
- Good character documentation, such as a criminal clearance certificate or an overseas police certificate, is required to determine if you have spent a total of 12 months or more outside of Australia from each nation where you have spent more than 90 days since turning 18.
- An Australian National Police Check from a government agency is required for persons who are 16 years of age or older.
- If you are a New Zealand citizen, you will have a complete record of convictions.
- Documents demonstrating your eligibility for any position, eligibility for any special residential exemptions, discretions, or concessions.
- A driver’s license from Australia.
- Your existing passport pages.
- An identification card was issued by the government.
- Document from the UNHCR.
- Document proving the identity of an airline crew member.
- Document proving the identification of a seafarer.
- Identity card for military personnel.
- A card proving your age.
- I have a student card.
- Current or previous passports are acceptable.
- With a visa, you will need a travel document such as a Document for Travel to Australia, PLO56 (M56), or Title de Voyage.
- Between September 22, 1947, and December 31, 1967, the National Archives of Australia collected proof of entry and passenger lists.
- You must show proof that you are a Commonwealth child migration scheme participant.
- The photograph of the person must not be older than six months.
- The image must be of high quality.
- From head to shoulders, the photograph must be of good quality and should show your entire face.
- A plain, light-colored background should be used for the shot.
- Evidence of eligibility, such as medical evidence of physical or mental impairment from Australian medical personnel.
- Also, provide a copy of your complete birth certificate.
Identifying Documents for a Child
If you were born in Australia between 1949 and 1986, you most likely already know how to apply for citizenship and know how to become an Australian citizen. During that time, the legal theory meant that Australia automatically granted it to you when you were born. It becomes more complicated if you were born in Australia after 1986.
Everything hinges on whether you were born to a previous resident in that situation. If you are applying for your child’s citizenship, here is the list of documents you will need:
- Full birth certificate showing parents’ details.
- Passport or travel documents of the child from the arrival country.
- Evidence of a change of name is mandatory.
- A passport-sized photograph.
- Identification declaration was given by an Australian (suitable) citizen.
- Parenting orders and adoption documents of the child if applicable
Which Visa Is Appropriate for Your Citizenship Application?
In Australia, there are over 40 visas (permanent, family, work, student, travel, by nation) that allow you to work and live permanently in the country and assist you in learning how to become an Australian citizen.
The Most Popular Visa Types
1. Family-Based permanent visa:
If you have a permanent Australian resident family member, you may be eligible for the permanent visa. The visas for family members include Partner’s visa, Fiance’s visa, children’s visa, or dependent relative’s visa.
2. Work-Based Permanent visa:
If you belong to the following worker categories, you can get a permanent residency- Employer-sponsored workers, General skilled Migration, skill selection, and doctors and Nurses.
Fee Concessions and Exemptions
- If you have a Pensioner Concession Card, you can apply for citizenship through conferral at a reduced charge. The Australian government (Services Australia or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs) must issue this.
- You can also get a reduced charge if you are 17 years old or younger and are listed on someone else’s qualifying Pensioner Concession Card.
- Children under the age of 15 who apply on the same form as their parents do not have to pay a fee.
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, there are several instances in which a fee exemption may be granted.
No Fee Is Payable If You Are:
- A letter from the Child Migrants Trust confirming details of your arrival and sponsorship will be required if you were a British or Maltese former child migrant who arrived in Australia without his parents between 22 September 1947 and 31 December 1967 under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme. Attach a copy of this letter with your application.
- A person who has served in the Commonwealth of Australia’s permanent military for at least 90 days.
- A letter or discharge papers from the Australian Defence Force specifying your service days are required.
- A person who is applying under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007’s Statelessness provision (section 21(8)).
How to Become an Australian Citizen Again If You Are a Former Australian Citizen?
If you were an Australian citizen you can know how to become an Australian citizen under certain circumstances:
- If you have given up your citizenship to obtain citizenship in another country.
- If you have lived outside of Australia and New Guinea for more than 7 years or were born in Papua between January 26, 1948, and October 8, 1958, your citizenship lapsed.
- If you have a good reputation and no criminal convictions on your record, you have no duties to an Australian or international court. If you do not have a relationship with people that are of concern to you.
- If a person is not eligible for resumption of citizenship, he or she may be eligible for conferral of Australian citizenship.
- If your application is approved, you will be invited to a citizenship ceremony, which will include the Citizenship Pledge.
What is Citizenship Test?
The citizenship test is the final step in the process of becoming an Australian citizen, and it is administered to applicants who have met the fundamental prerequisites. To take the test, you must be an Australian permanent resident who has sought citizenship.
The test is used to determine whether the applicant has a sufficient understanding of Australia, the obligations and advantages of citizenship in Australia, and the needed knowledge of the English language.
The examination is a 45-minute computer-based exam with 20 multiple-choice questions. The content for the test comes from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s official guide to Australia, the Common Bond.
What is Citizenship Certificate?
The citizenship certificate is an official document that verifies your citizenship in Australia. It is also possible only if your application is approved and you become a new citizen will you obtain a certificate.
If your child was born outside of Australia, you can apply for a citizenship certificate for him or her in Australia by descent using the birth certificate and the relevant documentation. And, if you have lost destroyed, or damaged it, you can get a certificate or replace the original.
What Happens on the Day of the Citizenship Ceremony?
The invitation letter for the Citizenship Ceremony is only given after you have completed the application process and met all of the qualifying conditions to receive your citizenship certificate.
Citizens must take the citizenship promise of commitment during the citizenship ceremony, which takes place within three to six months following approval.
Steps Required to Apply for an Australian Passport
If you have an Australian passport, look into how to become an Australian citizen. The application method is as follows:
- Find out what kind of passport you will require.
- You need to download the application form and submit it online or they can also be picked up at the nearest High Commission.
- Fill out the application form completely.
- Submit your application to the Passport Office closest to you.
- Pay the passport application fee. It includes all additional fees and varies depending on the age category and kind of passport ( replacement and emergency).
- If you are not an Australian permanent resident and don’t fit into any of the citizenship categories or circumstances listed above, don’t give up hope. You can apply for a visa and then apply to stay in the country permanently. You can apply for a job after four years.
Follow these simple steps, know how to become an Australian citizen, apply for your citizenship, and become an Australian citizen.