Citizenship

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Permanent Residents – After 1 July 2007

If you obtain your permanent residence after 1 July 2007, you will need to meet the following requirements to become an Australian citizen:

  • You have lived lawfully in Australia for at least 4 years; and
  • You have lived in Australia for at least 12 months as a permanent resident

Note that if you have spent more than 12 months in the last 4 years outside Australia or 3 months in the last 12 outside Australia, you will no longer meet the residence requirements for citizenship.

It’s also important to realise that only 12 months of residence as a permannent resident is required. As a result, you can count up to 3 years of residence in Australia as a temporary residence towards the citizenship requriements. For example, if you have spent several years in Australia on a student or 457 visa, this can be counted towards the 4 year residence requirement.
Note that you do not automatically qualify for Australian citizenship in this way, you must make an application for citizenship.

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Birth in Australia

If you were born in Australia, then you would automatically be an Australian citizen if:

  • You were born in Australia prior to 20 August 1986; OR
  • You were born in Australia after 20 August 1986, and one of your parents held Australian citizenship or an Australian permanent residence visa at the time of birth; OR
  • You were born in Australia after 20 August 1986, and one of your parents held Australian citizenship or an Australian permanent residence visa at the time of birth; ORYou were born in Australia after 20 August 1986, and one of your parents held Australian citizenship or an Australian permanent residence visa at the time of birth; OR
  • Born Overseas to an Australian Citizen Parent

Residence in Australia prior to 26 January 1949

If you were a British subject resident in Australia or New Guinea for the 5 years prior to the 26th of January 1949, you would have become an Australian citizen automatically on this date.

Dual Citizenship

Australia now allows dual citizenship. That means that an Australian citizen can take up citzenship of another country without losing their Australian citizenship.If, on the other hand, you become an Australian citizen, it is up to the law of your country of citizenship whether you can keep your existing citizenship.

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