How to Apply for Australian Citizenship in 2017 – A Comprehensive Post

Australia is an enchanting country. Most of the people, who come here to work, study or tour for a certain period wish to settle down and make Australia, their new home. There is a process pathway for becoming an Australian Citizen and making Australia, your permanent home.

You must obtain provisional visa as the first step to stay, work or study in Australia. Moving forward, you can apply for permanent visa and later apply for Australian citizenship. The requirements for each of these visa types and citizenship change from time to time.

Consult us to know current Australian Citizenship requirements and how to apply for the same.

Recently, some changes have been made to the Australian citizenship requirements and suggestions have been asked for strengthening the test for Australian Citizenship. You can submit your views here.

Eligibility Requirements for Australian Citizenship:

As per the DIBP site, these requirements are effective from 20th April 2017. Formal legislation is yet to be passed by the Australian Parliament. Applications for Australian Citizenship lodged before 20th April 2017 are exempt from meeting the new requirements.

  1. General Residence Requirement:

The latest requirement change is one of the general residence criterion. The citizenship applicant must hold Australia permanent residence visa for at least 4 years immediately before applying for Australian Citizenship.

International students applying for General Skilled Migration, partners/ spouses applying for temporary partner visa and get eligible for permanent visa after 2 years, and applicants nominated by their employers for PR are the biggest class to be affected by the change in general residence requirement.

Under some circumstances you may be eligible to apply for a variation to the residence requirement or be eligible under the special residence requirement.

You will need to provide relevant supporting documents related to your claims at the time you lodge your application.

  • There are cases where you or your family may be exempt from the residence requirement if you are a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
  • If you are seeking to engage in activities that are supported by particular organisations, such as the Australian Olympic and Paralympics committees, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia or a federal government agency, the following special residence requirement may apply to you.
    Requirement: To meet the special resident requirement, you must have been living in Australia on a valid visa which allows permanent residency for two years immediately before you apply. During those two years you must have been lawfully present in Australia for at least 180 days, including at least 90 days of that time in the 12 months immediately before lodging your application.
  • If you have been engaged in particular kinds of work and can provide evidence from an employer that shows you have worked in that occupation for at least a total of two out of the past four years and you were required to travel outside Australia for that work, the following special residence requirement may apply to you.
    Requirement: You must have held a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying, including one year as a permanent resident immediately before applying.
  1. English Language Test:

All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Generally, passport holders from English speaking countries, such as Canada, New Zealand, UK, Ireland and US are exempted from taking English language test.

  1. Strengthening Australian Values Statement and Integration:

You must agree to adhere to Australian values and prove your integration into Australian community by way of working, contributing to community services, paying taxes on time etc.

  1. Australian Citizenship Test:

New questions about, Australian values, rights and responsibilities of being an Australian Citizen have been added to Australian Citizenship Test. You can attempt the citizenship test thrice. Any kind of cheating in the test, automatically invalidates the test.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection site has listed some commonly asked questions in Citizenship test, tutorials and practice tests to help you pass the test.

You need to provide your identity proof and a photograph to the Immigration department before taking the test.

Depending on your situation, you can attend Standard Test, Assisted Test, or Course-based Test (if referred by immigration department).  Get in touch with us if you or any of your family member need assistance in taking citizenship test.

Australian Citizenship Application Options

You need to select an application option that suits your situation, while applying for Australian Citizenship. Some of them are mentioned below, for more application options, ask our migration experts.

  • Spouse or de facto partner of Australian citizen
  • Migrant with Permanent Residence
  • Child who is over 16 years of age
  • Child born to an Australian citizen outside Australia
  • Child adopted by an Australian citizen outside Australia
  • New Zealand citizen living in Australia
  • Resume Australian citizenship

Australian Citizenship Application Process

The Immigration Department of Australia has simplified the Australian citizenship application process from 9th November 2009. Earlier, the permanent residents needed to visit the Australian Immigration Department twice, one to attend the test and second time to lodge their citizenship application.

However, this has changed now.

  • You need to lodge an application for Australian Citizenship first, either by post or electronically.
  • The DIBP issues you with a citizenship appointment. During the appointment, you are either required to take citizenship test or interview, whichever applies to you.

Here are the 6 new requirements to acquire Australian citizenship:

  1. All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
  2. Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
  3. Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
  4. Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
  5. An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  6. An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.

At DMS Migration Services, we have aided many PR holders to transit through citizenship application and test.

By |2017-06-12T17:54:18+00:00May 15th, 2017|

About the Author:

Amitava Deb
Amitava Deb is an Australian citizen. His tryst with Australia started more than 25 years ago. A long-lasting relationship with Australia made him realise how so many people across the world are keen to migrate and settle in Australia! Driven by his innate understanding of Australia and passion to help people settle in Australia, he started DMS (Debika Migration Services) in 2004. Since then, he has successfully helped more than 2000 migrants settle in Australia.A MARA (Migrations Agents Registration Authority) Registered Migration Agent, Amitava Deb confidently wears his decade plus (and continuing!) experience in assisting aspiring migrants to comfortably settle in Australia.


  1. Avatar
    JJ Gregory July 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Does the requirement still stand of ‘not being outside Australia for 90 days or more in the 12 months before citizenship application’? I can’t seem to find if that is still a requirement on the gov website or paperwork. I’d love to know.

    • DMS Migration
      DMS Migration July 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      Hi Mr. Gregory,

      The Australian Government has proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship program on 20 Apr 2017 and is planning to introduce these new changes into the Parliament by the end of 2017. However, all proposed changes that pass in the Parliament will apply to all Citizenship applications received on or after 20 April 2017. Which means all applications after this date are on hold. Currently 81000 applications are awaiting processing.

      We cannot pre-assess how these new proposed changes might affect Citizenship applications or eligibility to apply for Australian Citizenship other than vary high level guidelines. This link has further details

      Please let us know if you need more information.


  2. Avatar
    Neville Mutua Kennedy November 24, 2017 at 4:40 am - Reply

    Hello there my Name is:Neville Mutua Kennedy
    I would love to join the Olympic team I am a long distance runner from Kenya
    Thank you.

  3. Avatar
    Yaser November 28, 2017 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Is it possible to lodge the application before my 4 years residency?
    I have been here 3 and an half years now and I would like to know is it possible to apply
    now and do the test and wait for other 6 months?


  4. Avatar
    Corinna Lenzen March 27, 2018 at 5:08 pm - Reply


  5. Avatar
    Corinna Lenzen March 27, 2018 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hey, thanks for the amazing post..

  6. Avatar
    Arlie Shindorf March 27, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply


  7. Avatar
    Tammy Perretta March 27, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the share of the list with us. I hope this will help me. Keep sharing and have a nice day.

  8. Avatar
    Deshawn Stamper March 27, 2018 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Great One.

  9. Avatar
    Katherina Suddath March 27, 2018 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Very useful post..Kind Regards

  10. Avatar
    Dayna Cecilio March 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the wonderful article

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