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3 ways to Australian citizenship

Posted on February 29, 2020
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Australian citizenship

Australia is a popular choice for citizenship, the reasons include a better quality of life, numerous work opportunities, growing economy, good healthcare and education facilities. There are three ways to become an Australian citizen:

Citizenship through residency

Citizenship by birth

Citizenship through descent

 In 2019 more than 0.1 million people became Australian citizens through permanent residency, also called as conferral by the Australian government. This is the most popular way to become an Australian citizen.

Before we look at the different ways to become Australian citizens, let us look at the eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be above 18 years
  • They must satisfy the residence requirement
  • They are most likely to reside or continue to live in Australia
  • They should have a good character

Residence requirement:

This is based on the period you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside the country. The residence requirements include:

Must have been living in Australia on a valid visa for four years before the date of application

Must have lived the last 12 months as a permanent resident

Must not have been away from Australia for more than one year in this four-year period

Must not have been away from the country for more than 90 days in the year you are applying for the PR visa

 Citizenship through residency:

Citizenship through residency is possible if the individual stays continuously in Australia for four years on a qualifying visa that includes living in the country for one year as a permanent resident.

Qualifying visas that will help you stay continuously in the country for four years are:

  • Skilled migration– There are various visa categories under skilled migration. Eligibility for these visas is based on a points-based system. Points are given based on age, educational qualification, English language skills. You must score a minimum of 65 points to be eligible for this visa. If your occupation is in demand and appears in the Skilled Occupation List, then you will have more visa options.
  • Employer-sponsored visa- You can move to Australia on this visa if you can find an Australian employee who is ready to sponsor you.
  • Business visas- You can apply for these visas if you are willing to start a business or invest in Australia. The visa can give you permanent residency and subsequently Australian citizenship.

 Citizenship by birth:

Individuals born in Australia between 26th January 1949 and 20th August 1986 can apply for Australian citizenship. Those born here after 20th August 1986 cannot automatically claim citizenship. Their application will not be considered if they are born to foreign diplomats living in the country. Similarly, children born to individuals on a temporary visa are not qualified for citizenship. They will need to get a separate visa if they wish to reside in the country.

Citizenship by descent:

If either parent of an individual is an Australian citizen at the time of his birth, then he is entitled to citizenship. This is irrespective of country of birth or if the parents have lost citizenship.

 Processing time for Australian citizenship:

Citizenship applications are usually processed between 19 to 25 months. The processing time includes the period from the date of application to decision and approval to the citizenship ceremony.

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