To be an Australian citizen is an esteemed privilege. It unites us all as culturally diverse Australians with a common bond.
Being an Australian citizen provides you with the stability and travel freedom which many and most visas cannot. It is the best option to take if you meet the residency requirements and want full access to the benefits which come with being a citizen of this peaceful, stable and prosperous nation.
The advantages that come with an Australian citizenship are many. Some of these advantages include being able to vote and contribute towards shaping the country’s future, apply for government jobs, defer university fees for young adults, allows you to re-enter Australia at your own discretion, and be entitled to an Australian passport allowing you to travel to other countries.
There are 10 steps to becoming an Australian citizen. These are as follows:
1. Being eligible
To become eligible to apply for citizenship, you must be a migrant who is a permanent resident, satisfy the residence requirement, be likely to reside, or continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia, and be of good character if you are 18 years of age or over.
2. Meeting the residence requirement
To meet the residence requirement, you must have been living in Australia for the past four years on a valid visa before applying, with the last 12 months as a Permanent Resident and must have lived in Australia for at least nine consecutive months out of the twelve months immediately before applying. Further, you must not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in the past four years.
3. Preparing for the citizenship test (if applicable);
If you are under the age of 60, you will be required to take a citizenship test after your citizenship appointment. You will need to prepare for the citizenship test through the text resource, Australia Citizenship – Our Common Bond.
4. Gathering your relevant identity documents
You will be required to provide relevant identity and character documents before completing and lodging your application. We would be happy to provide consultation times in which we will be able to discuss these documents in detail and provide guidance upon the rest of the citizenship process going forward.
5. Relevant Good Character documents
If you are over the age of 18, you will be assessed under the good character requirements. We would gladly provide consultation meeting in which we will guide you in gathering these relevant documents and successfully reaching the requirements.
6. Complete and lodge your application;
Once we have gathered all of the required details we will complete your application form. Once prepared we will take you through your application and get you to sign the declaration.
When your application is completed and certified copies of your documents are received then your application can be lodged.
7. Attend your citizenship appointment;
After your application is received the department will ask you to attend a citizenship appointment. Please allow up to 2 hours for your appointment. Your application can be refused if you do not attend your appointment.
Please be aware of the following requirements for your citizenship appointment:
You must bring your original documents to your citizenship appointment so an authorised officer can verify your identity and confirm your eligibility to sit your citizenship test,
Please bring your original overseas penal clearance certificates,
One passport sized photograph and identity declaration signed by an Australian citizen (step 4),
Any other original documents included in your application.
8. Undertake the citizenship test;
You will be required to take the citizenship test. The citizenship test is designed to assess whether you have adequate knowledge of the responsibilities of citizenship as well as the rights that you will enjoy once you become a citizen. The test is also designed to assess whether you have a basic knowledge of the English language.
All questions in the test are based on Australian Citizenship – Our Common Bond. Please also be advised that there are four practice tests and a tutorial available. Both resources are available on the Departments of Immigration and Border Protection website.
9. Receive notification of the department’s decision; and
When a decision is made on your application you will be notified in writing. If your application is refused you may have the right to ask for the decision to be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
10. Attend your citizenship ceremony.
After you have received notification that our application has been successful you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony and make a pledge of commitment to complete the process of becoming an Australian citizen. Usually your ceremony will be held within 6 months of your application being approved. Please be aware you must attend your citizenship ceremony within 12 months of your application being approved otherwise the decision to approve your application for citizenship may be cancelled. You will be able to apply for an Australian passport once you have attended a ceremony and made the pledge.
Overall, becoming an Australian citizen is a strenuous, long and difficult process. Seeking to become an Australian citizen without support can be a long, narrow and lonely road. However, hope is never lost, seeking the assistance and guidance of Madison Marcus will help ease this difficult process and provide a desperately needed helping hand. Being experts in the field of global mobility and immigration law, contacting a lawyer at Madison Marcus will not only ensure that you are successful with gaining an Australian Citizenship but will also ensure that the process is a seamless one.
If you wish to arrange a consultation with us to discuss your matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Immigration & Global Mobility experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our offices on +61 3 9670 4033 (Victoria) or +61 2 8022 1222 (New South Wales)
George Botros, Immigration Division Manager – Melbourne MARN: 1799679
Direct line: + 61 3 9602 9006
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject material that is discussed here and does not constitute legal advice.