PR to Citizenship
January 30, 2017
So, you’re a permanent resident in Australia and you’ve decided you want to settle here for good? Citizenship is the next step for you, but it can be confusing knowing where to start in order to become an Australian citizen.
I’m a Permanent Resident, But How do I become an Australian Citizen?
Here’s the lowdown on becoming an Australian citizen for permanent residents.
To be eligible, you must meet a number of requirements. You:
- Are a permanent resident
- Meet the residence requirement
- Are of good character
- Have basic English skills
- Intend to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia
- Have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.
You will also have to sit a citizenship test. If you are 60 years of age or over, you do not have to sit the test.
The residence requirement can be complicated. It means that:
- You must have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying (with the last 12 months as a permanent resident) and
- You must not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total in a four year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.
Your application must be accompanied by identity, character and supporting documents.
- Identity documents must show your photograph and signature, current residential address and birth name, date of birth and gender.
- Good character documents involve providing a penal clearance certificate if you have lived or travelled outside of Australia, or if the total amount of time spent overseas is 12 months or more. You will also have to provide a certificate from every country you have spent 90 days of more in.
- Supporting documents change based on your circumstances. They could include evidence for exemptions, discretions and concessions, or evidence that you meet the special residence requirement. If you are including children in your application, you will also need to include documents related to those children.
If any of your documents are not in English, you will need to have them translated.
The application fee is $285 (unless you are eligible for concession rates). You can apply online, however you will need to apply via a paper version if you:
- Apply for a fee concession or exemption
- Are part of the Australian Defence Force
- Are a stateless person
- Do not have a passport
- Have not travelled in or out of Australia since July 1990
Once you submit your application, you will have an appointment where you sit the citizenship test or have an interview. It is here that you’ll be told of the outcome of your application.
Once your application is approved, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony and make the Australian Citizenship Pledge. This must happen within 12 months of your application being approved. Once you make the pledge, you will officially be an Australian citizen!
Becoming a citizen is an exciting time for you. Don’t get stressed about the paperwork or requirements – we can handle the tricky stuff for you. Let’s chat today about the process of becoming a citizen!