The Australian government encourages permanent residents of Australia to apply for Australian Citizenship when they become eligible.
If you obtain your Permanent Residence after 1 July 2007, you will need to meet the following requirements in order to become an Australian citizen:
- Have lived lawfully in Australia for at least 4 years; and
- Have lived in Australia for at least 12 months of said 4 year period, 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 months outside Australia, you will no longer meet the residence requirements for Citizenship.
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.
Australia now allows dual citizenship. That means that an Australian citizen can take up citizenship 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.
Contact us now for a discussion surrounding your specific circumstances and to see whether you are eligible to apply for Citizenship.