There are basically three ways to get Australian citizenship:
By birth. In Australia people automatically become an Australian citizen if they are born here and one or both of their parents is an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
By descent. If you are the child of an Australian citizen but you are born overseas you will generally be granted Australian citizenship, subject to certain rule and requirements
By grant: If you are not a citizen of Australia you can apply to become an Australian citizen if you are:
- Are an Australian permanent resident
- Are over 16 years of age
- Have lived in Australia as a lawful resident for a total of four years before you apply without being absent for more than 12 months and 3 months in the year immediately before you apply. You must also have been a permanent resident for at least 12 months.
- Are of good character
- Have a knowledge of basic English
- Are likely to reside in, or to maintain a close and continuing association with, Australia if granted citizenship
New Zealand Residents and Australian Citizenship
Most New Zealand citizens are granted a Special Category visa (SCV) upon arrival to Australia. An SCV is a temporary visa but it grants permanent resident status which provides the right to live and work in Australia indefinitely.
Your eligibility for Australian citizenship depends on your date of arrival to Australia:
- If you arrived before 26 February 2001 you may be eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship
- If you arrived after 26 February 2001 you might be required to apply for permanent resident status first to be eligible for Australian Citizenship
- If you have a Centrelink certificate issued before 26 February 2004 stating you were residing in Australia you may also be eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship
On the 19 February 2017 the Prime Minister announced an additional pathway for New Zealand citizens which will be in effect form 1 July 2017. To qualify you must have been living in Australia for the past five years prior to the application and show that:
- You have been resident in Australia for the five years immediately prior to visa application
- Contributed to Australia, demonstrated through income tax returns (Notice of Assessment) for the period of residence evidencing taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which is currently set at $53,900.00
- Mandatory health, character, and security checks.
If you would like to apply for Australian citizenship or have any questions regarding Australian citizenship, please fill in the form to speak with our accredited specialist, Glenn Ferguson AM.