Australian Citizenship:


The Department of Immigration Border Protection (BIBP) is the federal department that manages Australian citizenship, both for those applying for citizenship and for current Australian citizens. Since 2007, Australia has welcomed an average of more than 200,000 permanent residents each year. Many of these newcomers have already become citizens of Australia or are in the process of becoming Australian citizens, and many more will apply for Australian citizenship in the future. When that process is complete, they take loyalty oaths pledging their commitment to the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.


Responsibilities and privileges


Responsibilities – what you will give Australia.

As an Australian citizen you must:

• obey the law

• defend Australia should the need arise

• serve on a jury if called to do so

• vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum


Privileges – what Australia will give you.

As an Australian citizen you have the right to:

• vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum

• apply for work in the Australian Public Service or in the Australian Defence Force

• seek election to parliament

• apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely

• receive help from an Australian official while overseas

• register children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent.


Eligibility- Citizenship by Conferral  

In general, to apply for citizenship you will need to:

• be a migrant who is a permanent resident

• satisfy the residence requirement

• be likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia

• be of good character if you are 18 years of age or over.


Residency requirements 

The residence requirement is based on the time you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside Australia.

You must:

  • have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident, and

  • not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year before applying.


Citizenship Test:

You are usually required to take a citizenship test if you are aged 18 years and over and under 60 years of age. The citizenship test is designed to encourage you to find out more about life in Australia and what it means to be an Australian citizen. It will test your understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship as well as the rights that you will enjoy once you become a citizen. All the questions in the test are based on the testable information in Australian Citizenship - Our Common Bond.


If you are not required to sit the test you may have a citizenship interview. At the interview, we will confirm that you understand the nature of your citizenship application, have a basic knowledge of the English language and understand the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.


Eligibility - Citizenship by Decent

You may be eligible to apply to become an Australian citizen by descent if:

  • you were born outside Australia

  • one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth.

If your Australian citizen parent was a citizen by descent then that parent must have spent at least two years in Australia.