You can apply to become an Australian citizen if you meet the following criteria:
You have held a substantive visa (temporary or permanent) allowing you to be legally in Australia for at least four years;
You have physically lived in Australia for at least three out of the last four years (cumulative);
You have held a permanent residency visa for at least the last 12 months before applying; and
You have not been out of Australia for more than 3 months in last 12 months before applying.
You must be of good character, understand your obligations as an Australian citizen, and may be required to complete a Citizenship Test.
Children of permanent residents
Children of Australian Permanent residents born in Australia are Australian citizens. Children of Australian permanent residents born outside Australia do not have a visa. If this situation applies to you or you are applying to adopt a child from overseas, your child needs to apply for a Child visa.
Children of Australian citizens born outside Australia can register to become Australian citizens by descent.
Pathways to Citizenship
The chart below sets out a possible pathway to an Australian citizenship:
1. Student Work visa
You can enrol in a course from your country and apply for a Student Work visa whenever you want. A Student Work visa allows you to study in Australia and work 20 hours a week during semester and full time during vacations. You can support yourself through your studies by working.
If you have a partner and enrol in a Masters level course your partner can work full time and earn a full time Australian salary. On completing two years study in Australia you can apply for a graduate, provisional or permanent visa depending on your eligibility.
2. Graduate Visa
You and your family can apply for a Graduate visa after completing 2 years study in Australia. A Graduate visa allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia for 18 months without restriction.
This visa gives you the opportunity to work in your occupation for 12 months and apply for a provisional or permanent Skilled Migration visa.
3. Provisional Visa
You and your family can apply for a provisional State Nominated or Family Sponsored visa directly from your country or while holding a Graduate visa.
A provisional visa allows you to live, work and study in Australia for four years. After two years in Australia you can apply for a permanent visa and two years after that you can apply for Australian citizenship.
4. Permanent visa
You and your family can apply for a permanent Skilled Migration visa directly from your country or within Australia while holding a Student Work visa, a Graduate visa or provisional visa.
A permanent visa allows you to live and work in Australia, study at Australian schools and universities on the same cost basis as Australian citizens, access public hospitals and free health services, buy a house, travel between Australia and your country, sponsor family members to Australia, access parts of the social security system including the child support bonus and the new home buyers scheme, and apply for Australian citizenship after four years in Australia.
If you have any questions about Citizenship VisAustralia invites you to book a formal Legal Consultation with a VisAustralia lawyer.