Australian Permanent Residency and Citizenship

An Australian permanent resident refers to an individual who possesses a permanent visa but has not obtained citizenship status.

Australian permanent residents and Australian citizens are distinct statuses, each carrying its own set of unique characteristics. Explore the significant disparities between them, and gain insight into the benefits and obligations associated with Australian citizenship.

Permanent residency visa

An Australian permanent resident refers to an individual who possesses a permanent visa but has not obtained citizenship status.

As a permanent resident, one enjoys the freedom to reside, pursue employment, and engage in educational pursuits within Australia without any limitations.

Applying for a permanent residency visa

To become a permanent resident, you must satisfy specific eligibility criteria, which vary based on your circumstances. You can apply for permanent residency on humanitarian grounds, as a migrant, or as part of a family unit.

For detailed guidance on the permanent residency application process, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website through this external link.

Australian citizenship

Being an Australian citizen allows you to proudly proclaim, 'I am Australian.' For numerous immigrants in Melbourne, making Australia their permanent home is a cherished aspiration, accompanied by a host of privileges and obligations.

Acquiring Australian citizenship signifies a lasting
dedication to Australia and its core values.

General eligibility criteria for citizenship

Typically, individuals aged 18 and above seeking Australian citizenship must meet the following criteria:

  1. Successfully complete a citizenship test (unless aged 60 or older).
  2. Hold permanent residency status at both the time of application and decision.
  3. Fulfill the residence requirement.
  4. Demonstrate a likelihood to reside in Australia or maintain a close and ongoing association with the country.
  5. Maintain good character.

Children interested in Australian citizenship should be aware that distinct requirements apply. For comprehensive information, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website via the provided external link.

Residence requirement

Adults who obtained permanent residency on or after 1 July 2007 must have maintained lawful residence in Australia for a continuous period of four years immediately before seeking Australian citizenship. This period encompasses:

  1. 12 months as a permanent resident.
  2. Absences from Australia not exceeding 12 months.
  3. Absences from Australia not exceeding three months within the 12 months before applying.

You can use the Citizenship Wizard, accessible through the Department of Home Affairs website via the provided external link, to assess whether you satisfy the residence requirement.

Citizenship test

If you meet the standard eligibility requirements, you'll need to successfully complete a test as part of the Australian citizenship application process. However, individuals falling into specific categories, such as those under 18 or over 60 years old, or those with significant hearing, speech, or sight impairments, are exempt from taking the test.

The Australian citizenship test is specifically crafted to assist prospective Australian citizens in acquiring knowledge about:

  1. Australia's values
  2. Traditions
  3. History
  4. National symbols

Successfully completing this test is a vital step in ensuring that you possess the necessary understanding to actively engage in the Australian community as a citizen, enabling you to fully embrace the opportunities available in the country. It plays a role in fostering social cohesion and facilitating seamless integration into the community.

Responsibilities of Australian citizens

Citizenship carries certain duties and obligations. These include:

  1. Adhering to Australian laws.
  2. Being prepared to defend Australia in times of necessity.
  3. Serving on a jury if called upon.
  4. Enrolling on both federal and state/territory electoral registers.
  5. Participating in the electoral process by voting in elections.

For further details on the privileges and responsibilities associated with Australian citizenship, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website through the provided external link.