fbpx

Australian Citizenship

Australian Citizenship Cna Immigration Migration Agents In Sydney, Australia

Australian citizenship is an important step in a migrant’s journey to becoming a full member of the Australian community. The privilege comes with responsibilities such as the requirement to uphold Australian laws, the right to vote and seek parliamentary election.

Australian citizenship can be acquired automatically or by application.

Australian Citizenship by Birth

The Australian Citizenship Act provides for the automatic acquisition of citizenship for certain persons at the time of birth and on their 10th birthday.

In order to acquire citizenship through this provision, the person must have had a parent who was an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the time of their birth.

Person’s place of birth

Certain external territories are encompassed by the term ‘Australia’ for the purposes of the Act, and certain territories either are or were previously, considered to be part of geographic Australia for citizenship purposes.

A person who was not born on mainland Australia may therefore still be eligible to acquire citizenship automatically if they were born in a place that was at the time of their birth considered to be part of geographic Australia for citizenship purposes.

Australian Citizenship by Birth on 10th Birthday 

Children born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986, who did not acquire Australian citizenship at birth, automatically acquire it if they have been ordinarily resident in Australia throughout the 10 year period beginning on the day of their birth.

In this scenario, the child will become an Australian citizen on their 10th birthday.

This provision operates regardless of the migration or citizenship status of the parent(s).

Australian Citizenship by Adoption

Australian citizenship is automatically acquired when a child is adopted in Australia, or an overseas adoption is finalised under Australian law. The child must be present in Australia as a permanent resident with at least one adoptive parent who is an Australian citizen.

Australian Citizenship for Abandoned Children

A child abandoned in Australia is deemed to have been born in Australia unless proven otherwise.

Australian Citizenship by Incorporation of Territory 

If any foreign territory becomes part of Australia, the Immigration Minister may determine the classes of persons who become Australian citizens on a specified date. A person of the specified class becomes an Australian citizen on the date specified by the Minister.

Australian citizenship by Conferral

The majority of permanent residents obtain Australian citizenship through one of the conferral pathways.

There are seven conferral pathways and each has its own set of eligibility criteria which must be satisfied –

General Eligibility

Permanent residents wishing to acquire citizenship through the general eligibility pathway must satisfy the following requirements –

  • being aged 18 years or over at time of application.
  • being a permanent resident at the time of application and decision.
  • satisfying a residence requirement.
  • understanding the nature of the application.
  • possessing a basic knowledge of the English language.
  • having an adequate knowledge of Australia and of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.
  • being likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia if the application were to be approved
  • being of good character at the time of the decision

Permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity

Citizenship applicants under this provision must produce evidence of a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity that means the person is not capable of:

  • understanding the nature of their application
  • demonstrating a basic knowledge of the English language or
  • demonstrating an adequate knowledge of Australia and of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship at that time.

Incapacity must be either permanent, or sufficiently long-term as to be considered enduring.

An enduring incapacity is one for where there is no predicted recovery. If there is a predicted recovery, it is long term and the applicant is unlikely to recover before becoming eligible for Australian citizenship.

A temporary physical or mental condition does not meet the requirement.

The Department of Home Affairs may seek its own independent advice regarding the claimed permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity.

Person aged 60 or over

A permanent resident aged 60 or over seeking to acquire citizenship is required to –

  • understand the nature of the application at the time the application is made
  • satisfy the residence requirements
  • be likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia if the application were to be approved, and
  • be of good character.

Person with hearing, speech or sight impairment

Applicant’s aged 18 and over with a permanent loss or substantial impairment to their hearing, speech or sight are required to –

  • be a permanent resident at time of application and decision.
  • understand the nature of the application at the time they make the application
  • 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 if the Citizenship application is approved.
  • be of good character at the time of the Minister’s decision on the application for Australian citizenship.

Applicant’s with a hearing, speech or sight impairment are not required to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the English language or an adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.

Person aged under 18 years

Citizenship applicants under 18 years of age must be a permanent resident at the time of application and at the time of the decision to be eligible for Australian citizenship. The failure to meet the policy guidelines for applicants under the age of 18 will enliven the Minister’s discretion to refuse the application in accordance with the considerations set out below.

  • Best interests of the child – This consideration applies if the child is or would be under 18 at the time of decision on the application, and the child is living in Australia.
  • Applicants under the age of 16 – A child aged under 16 can make an individual application in their own right or at the same time as a responsible parent. In the case of an applicant who does not meet the policy guidelines for Citizenship approval, decision makers must consider the full circumstances of the case, including the best interests of the child, to determine whether the application nevertheless warrants approval because of the unusual nature of those circumstances.
  • Children under 16 applying individually in their own right – would not usually be approved Citizenship unless they are permanent residents at the time of application and decision and also are:
    • Under 16 when applying and living with a responsible parent who is an Australian citizen and who consents to the application or
    • Usually resident in Australia with a permanent resident responsible parent who consents to the application, and that responsible parent would meet the residence requirement but has decided not to apply for Australian citizenship because they would lose the citizenship of another country or
    • Under 16 when applying, living with a responsible parent who is not an Australian citizen and consents to the application, and the child would otherwise suffer significant hardship or disadvantage or
    • An unaccompanied humanitarian minor who falls under the Minister’s guardianship and a delegated guardian has consented to the application or
    • An unaccompanied humanitarian minor who does not fall under the Minister’s guardianship and their responsible carer has consented to the application.
  • Children under 16 applying on the same form and at the same time as a responsible parent would not be approved Citizenship unless –
    • They are permanent residents at the time of application and decision and also are living in Australia with the relevant responsible parent and
    • The relevant responsible parent consented to the inclusion of the child in their application.
  • Applicants aged 16 or 17 would not usually be approved under s24 unless they are permanent residents at the time of application and decision and also:
    • Satisfy the residence requirement.
    • Understand the nature of the application.
    • Possess a basic knowledge of the English language.
    • Demonstrate and adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship at the time of decision, and
    • Is likely to reside or continue to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia.

IGOG Minors 

Under the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 (IGOC Act), the Minister is the legal guardian of a non-citizen child who:

  • under 18 years old and
  • at the time of their arrival in Australia intended to become a permanent resident of Australia and
  • did not enter Australia in the charge of, or for the purpose of living in Australia under the care of a parent, a relative who has turned 21 years of age or an intending adoptive parent of the child.

Person born to former Australian citizen

A person born to a former Australian citizen who seeks to acquire Citizenship by conferral must –

  • Have been born outside Australia.
  • Have had a parent who was not an Australian citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth because the parent ceased to be a citizen under s17 of the old Act before the time of the applicant’s birth.
  • Be of good character at the time of the Minister’s decision on the application if the person was aged 18 or over at the time they made their application.

Person born in Papua New Guinea (PNG)

A person born in Papua between 26 January 1949 and 16 September 1975 may be eligible to acquire Australian citizenship by conferral if:

  • They had a parent who was born in Australia as geographically defined at the time the person makes their application, and
  • That parent was an Australian citizen at the time of the person’s birth, and
  • They are of good character at the time of the decision.