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Australian Citizenship

What You Can/Can’t Do | Overview | Acquisition | Acquisition by New Zealanders | Application Steps | Appeals

Becoming a citizen of Australia is the final legal step in your migration story. It is a process in which a non-Australian citizen voluntarily becomes an Australian citizen. Australian citizens pledge their loyalty to Australia and its people and are then entitled to its protection and to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

1 July 2023 Update

Great news from the Australian Department of Home Affair’s citizenship program is that they’ve managed to decrease their citizenship processing times by 42% since July 2022. Pending applications are at their lowest point in six years. If you are ready to take the next step and discover the unique benefits of Australian citizenship, there’s never been a better time.

Interesting Fact

Australian passports have just become more powerful!

Every year, the world’s passports are ranked according to how much power they wield.

Australia has climbed up the rankings from 8th to 6th. Its passport holders can travel to 186 destinations without a visa or where they can obtain a visa, visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority upon arrival.

As a permanent resident of Australia, you generally can:

You may also qualify for other government benefits and services. If you hold a permanent resident visa, but you are not residing in Australia, your eligibility for the above may be impacted. Contact the relevant authorities to confirm your rights and obligations.

Unlike Australian citizens, you generally can’t:

You can find all information about Australian Pension on

Australian Citizenship

When you become an Australian citizen, you will have new responsibilities in your new country. You will also be eligible for a range of new benefits expressly for Australian Citizens.

Your Responsibilities – what you will give to Australia

As an Australian citizen, you must:

Your Privileges – what Australia will give to you

As an Australian citizen, you have the right to:

Acquisition of Australian Citizenship

      1. Automatic Acquisition of Australian Citizenship

        • Citizenship by Birth

          Generally, you become an Australian citizen automatically if you are born in Australia AND one or both of your parents are Australian citizens or permanent residents when you are born.

      2. Acquisition of Australian Citizenship by Application

        • Citizenship by Descent

          • You may be eligible to become an Australian citizen under this Subdivision in 2 situations:
          • you were born outside Australia on or after 26 January 1949 and a parent of yours was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth: see subsection 16(2); or
          • you were born outside Australia or New Guinea before 26 January 1949 and a parent of yours was an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949: see subsection 16(3).
        • Citizenship by Conferral

          • You may be eligible for Australian citizenship by conferral if you are a permanent resident in one of the following seven situations:
          • Satisfy general, special or defence residence requirements and have successfully completed a citizenship test
          • Satisfy general, special or defence residence requirements and have a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity
          • Satisfy general, special or defence residence requirements and are aged 60 or over or have a hearing, speech or sight impairment
          • Are aged under 18
          • Are born outside Australia to a former Australian citizen
          • Were born in Papua before Papua New Guinea gained independence,16 September 1975, to a parent born in Australia and an Australian citizen at the time of birth
          • Are a stateless person
        • Resuming Citizenship

          There are situations where a former Australian citizen wishes to apply again for citizenship, they may be eligible to become an Australian citizen if they ceased to be a Citizen either under the current Act or the old Citizenship Act 1948. The individual must make a new application to become a citizen again.

Acquisition of Australian Citizenship by New Zealanders

For New Zealand citizens living in Australia to become an Australian citizen, as of 1 July 2023, there is no longer a requirement to have to become an Australian permanent resident first.

Children born to SCV holders from 1 July 2022 are now deemed to be Australian citizens by birth.

Family members of New Zealand citizens, who are holding a Subclass 461 visa, can explore options for a permanent partner visa once the New Zealand partner becomes an Australian citizen.

Australian Citizenship Application Steps

  1.  Completing and lodging an application form
  2.  Citizenship appointment or test
    Once you have lodged an application and it has been received, you will be invited to attend a citizenship appointment.
    The result of the test is generally provided on the day. The processing times for citizenship applications vary.
  3. Attend a citizenship ceremony
    Once your application has been approved, you will be able to attend a citizenship ceremony.

Appeals of Australian Citizenship Applications

If your citizenship application is refused, you have the right to ask for the decision to be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Your letter of notification will advise you where you can lodge your application for review and the time limits for applying. Should you need advice for an Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing (Highly Advised) Migration Downunder can help you to prepare a submission for review.

Citizenship Success Story


I was referred to Migration Downunder by a friend who had used their services. I used MD for both my PR application as well as my Australian citizenship. I found the experience to be very professional, structured, affordable and the communication was seamless.

It feels good to go through the process and eventually become a citizen and be a part of Australia. I also look forward to enjoying the privileges and responsibilities of being a citizen.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

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