How to Become an Australian Citizen

Australian flag held by an Australian citizen

Australian citizenship offers a range of benefits including the right to vote, the ability to apply for an Australian passport and freely re-enter Australia, and to register overseas born children as Australian citizens by descent.

In general, Australian citizenship is open to permanent residents of good character who have lived in Australia for four years and who intend to reside in Australia or intend to maintain a continuing association with Australia. In addition, you must have lived in Australia for at least nine months in the 12 months prior to applying for citizenship.


Your permanent residency date is calculated from the date you arrived in Australia or the date the visa was granted if you applied for permanent residency after arriving in Australia.

There are several ways of applying to become an Australian citizen; the application process varies according to your current visa and residency status. The cost also varies according to the pathway used. For migrants with permanent residence the application fee is currently $285. Children aged under 16 can be included in citizenship application and are not required to meet the residency criteria.

Those who want to become an Australian citizen need to be aware that they will most likely be required to undertake the citizenship test. This test demonstrates a basic knowledge of the English language and an adequate knowledge of Australia as well as the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. The Australian citizenship test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions in three parts to be answered in 45 minutes.

The steps to becoming an Australian citizen include:

  1. Determining eligibility
  2. Preparing documents to be submitted with the application
  3. Submit application and pay the fee.
  4. Once the application has been processed you will be invited to an appointment to undertake the citizenship test and/ or have an interview.
  5. A decision will be made and you will be advised of the outcome. Application processing is usually achieved within three months but may be subject to delays or backlog.

The final legal requirement is for you to make the Australian Citizenship pledge of commitment at a citizenship ceremony and receive a citizenship certificate. The ceremony is usually held at your local council within six months following application approval. Australia Day is a popular time for citizenship ceremonies to be held throughout the country.

More information on how to become an Australian citizen can be obtained from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If you’re interested in living and working in Australia, we can assist you in securing a job and making the move.