For many aspiring immigrants, Australia is an attractive country to relocate to. The process they have to follow is to apply for a permanent residency in Australia, after which they can obtain the country’s citizenship.
Although the procedure of applying for citizenship in Australia is lengthy, if you follow each step assiduously and fulfill all the eligibility criteria, you should not have problems obtaining citizenship in this country in the Southern Hemisphere.
Once you obtain the citizenship of Australia, you would be entitled to many privileges and rights, including the right to cast a vote in the country’s election and access services of the Australian government.
Before you go about beginning the process of applying for citizenship in the ‘Land Down Under,’ it is better if you check whether you would be eligible or not.
*Check your eligibility score for Australia for free through Y-Axis Australia Immigration Points Calculator.
For Australian citizenship, eligibility requirements would need you to have a PR visa, be aged 18 or more, meet the residence requirements, should provide assurance that you would reside In Australia for the rest of your life, and must necessarily possess a good character.
Requirements to qualify for residence
This depends on the duration you have stayed in Australia and your time outside the country. Among the requirements necessary for Australian residence, you must have lived in Australia on an effective visa four years before the date of application, must be the county’s permanent resident for 12 months, must not have lived out of Australia in these four years for over one year, and should not have been away from the country in Oceania for a period exceeding 90 days in the year when you apply for the PR visa.
Test and interview for citizenship
Individuals must appear for an interview before applying for the citizenship test. In some instances, a consultation will suffice, and the applicants need not take the test. Those who need to take the citizenship interview will receive an appointment letter before the assigned date with the details.
In the test, you would be asked questions on Australia’s history, traditions, national symbols, and values. They will also evaluate English language skills. This test ensures that applicants can partake in the community and, therefore, seamlessly integrate into Australian society.
Only those who are Australia’s permanent residents can sit for the test and should be able to prove their identity when they register for the test. They will verify your original documents and confirm your eligibility before taking the test.
Finally, applicants below the age of 18 years or above the age of 60 need not take the test. People are impairments related to hearing, vision, or speech also need not take the test.
Modifications to the citizenship test
Post-September 2020, changes were introduced to the country’s citizenship test by including more questions on the values of Australia.
All individuals need to submit their original documents when they apply for Australia’s citizenship. Through these documents, you need to prove your identity, submit proof that you have no criminal record, and that the various names you have used have no links.
Completion of application form
You should ensure that you provide answers to all the questions that are posed in the application form.
Submission of application form
You have the option to apply either online or by mailing a paper application from your nearest department office. Documents should accompany the application form verifying your identity. Do ensure that you don’t submit with your application any original documents. You must carry the original documents only when you are attending the appointment for citizenship. Other documents you need to have on you are an identity declaration and photos endorsed by you and any children of yours in the application.
Pay your application fees only after understanding the instructions and then submit your application form.
Appearance for citizenship appointment
After the submission of your application, the immigration department will send a receipt of the appointment notification. A designated officer will verify all your original documents to ascertain your identity during your appointment. Late on, it would be decided if you need to take a citizenship test or interview.
Application notification on department’s decision
A decision would be taken on your citizen application after submitting the complete application form, paying the required fees, and submitting your original documents. By referring to the Client Service Charter, you can check on the service standard of your application process. If you do not receive a notification within the specified time, contact the department. Your presence is required in Australia when a decision is taken on your status.
Attend the citizenship ceremony
After you receive a notification that your application has been approved, you will need to appear at the citizenship ceremony. You will be required to take the Australian Citizenship Pledge. Such a ceremony would usually occur within six months of your application’s approval. If children below the age of 15 are included in your application form, they will also be granted citizenship when you take the pledge.
Online ceremony for citizenship
Online citizenship ceremonies were held for the first time in April 2020 because of COVID-19, making it impossible to have physical citizenship ceremonies.
Australian citizenship’s processing time
The time they take to process citizenship applications usually ranges between 19 and 25 months. Under the general category, it takes about 19 months to two years to process. Included in this period is the time between the date of application to decision and the citizenship ceremony’s date of approval.
The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) had specified that the waiting period for Australian citizenship has increased owing to a longer processing time. This had happened due to the postponement of face-to-face citizenship tests and interviews, increasing the processing time in the process.
Suppose your application does not take place within the stipulated time. In that case, it could be because of various reasons such as the inability to submit the completed application or failure to provide all the supporting documents, the time taken by the department to verify the information provided by the candidate, and the time taken by other agencies to provide appropriate information related to the individual’s character and security of Australia.
If you want to migrate to Australia, reach out to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Overseas Career Consultant.
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Posted on April 4, 2022