With its famous quality of life, strong economy, and some of the best beaches in the world, it is no wonder that many people are considering emigrating to Australia. Fortunately, Australia welcomes migrants who are well qualified and come to the country to live, work and enrich their society. It is also possible to live and work in Australia without having to work there if you complete the necessary paperwork, but there are several advantages to being an Australian citizen, such as the right to vote in the country and to be able to travel without a visa.
Whether you are only applying for a work visa in Australia or if you are an expat who is already living in the country, it is always a good idea to know what options you have to change the visa or permit for permanent Australian citizenship.
Here is a brief guide to why you might be interested in Australian citizenship, and what to do to get it.
Australian citizens have different rights and responsibilities compared to those with only permanent residence. For example, one of the advantages of being a citizen is that you can work as an Australian state official. You can also be elected a parliamentary member and obtain an Australian passport to avoid your visa every time you enter the country. Unlike in many other countries, voting in Australia is mandatory, and as a citizen you have a legal duty to vote in referendums and state and federal elections. You also agree to represent Australian values of fairness and justice.
If you are thinking about jumping into the pool, you can see how and why they did it.
Regardless of the path you are going to follow, you will have to meet certain basic requirements to be eligible. An online test is available to check if you are eligible for Australian citizenship , which is a good place to start.
Most applicants must pass a residency test, showing that they have been living in Australia for the past 4 years, including the last 12 months as a permanent resident. Making the exact calculation is a little more complicated, so the customs authorities provide very useful online residence calculators to check if your situation meets the requirements.
In general, your moral qualities, an acceptable level of English, that you understand the principles of Australian citizenship and that you currently have ties to the country, will be valued. For those under 17 or over 60, some of the requirements are not necessary.
The Australian Customs and Immigration Department manages applications for Canadian citizenship , and its website is a good place to look for details on the application process and forms.
It is possible to be an Australian citizen and at the same time be from another country, it is what is known as dual citizenship .
Until 2002 it was not possible, but now the laws allow you to have Australian citizenship along with the citizenship of another country, or even several, as long as you meet the necessary requirements, and the other countries also allow dual nationalities.
Depending on your personal circumstances there will be different ways to apply for Australian citizenship. Aside from those described below, there is also a path to citizenship for refugees, or for those qualified as human itarian motives .
The rules for citizenship vary slightly for children and people over the age of 60. If you have questions about which of the paths to follow in your specific situation, it is worth consulting an immigration lawyer who can help you with the process.
There is no specific way to become an Australian citizen by investment. You will have to follow another route, whether you are in the country as an investor or entrepreneur, or through permanent residence .
You can become an Australian citizen by descent if at least one of your parents was one at the time you were born. This applies even if your father or mother has subsequently changed his nationality, as long as you were born outside of Australia. You will still have to meet the requirements to present good moral values, and prove your identity and the nationality of your Australian father / mother.
If you follow this path and submit all the necessary documents, you can expect your application to be accepted in a period of 2 to 4 months.
There is no specific way to become an Australian citizen by marriage . Even if your partner is Australian, you must follow the regular procedure and meet the necessary requirements, including years of residence and moral values. Having an Australian partner or being married to a citizen of the country will be valued positively when you have to demonstrate your ties to the country as part of the application requirements.
Regardless of the reason for your request, the basic process to follow will be the same. You must check if you are eligible to apply for citizenship on the website of the customs authorities, so you will know what documents you will need for the application. The application can be made online or via paper forms, and can be done from Australia or abroad.
You must submit your application and pay the fees. Once you have the approval, you can reserve an hour to take the citizenship exam, or for an interview if necessary.
Fees will apply regardless of the process you follow towards citizenship, although there may be some advantages depending on the circumstances. The exact amounts range from A $ 40 to $ 285 . If you are doing the procedures from abroad and need to make an international transfer, your bank will surely charge you more than the account, and it will also use an unfavorable exchange rate along with the occasional additional management fee. A better option, if you have a Canadian bank account (or know someone who has one), is to use TransferWise , so you make sure you get the real exchange rate on the market paying only a small, fully transparent commission.
Once you have paid the fees, you can take the citizenship test , which will assess your knowledge of the rights and responsibilities that you would have as an Australian citizen, and also your level of English. There are tests and online resources for you to practice.
Assuming everything goes as planned, the last step is to hold the citizenship ceremony and take the oath. You will be invited to attend this celebration after your application has been processed.
The processing time of your citizenship application will depend on your personal circumstances. Generally, obtaining citizenship through descent is the fastest route. Australian customs authorities publish service standards, which help you get an idea of how long it takes to obtain Australian citizenship . The process can take up to 12 months in certain circumstances.
Once you have been granted citizenship, you can apply for the Australian passport . The Australian Passport Office, which is chaired by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has a very useful guide on its website to guide you through the application process. Since applying for a passport is a separate process from applying for citizenship, it will incur additional costs.
If you are just getting started with the process of becoming an Australian citizen, you will be reassured to know that the process to follow is well documented and explained online. Dealing with bureaucracy can be daunting, but you will be assisted in every step of the process, which will make it sewing and singing.