Australian Citizenship

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Australian citizenship became a reality in 1949, and since that year, over three million immigrants have become citizens. Each year, over 70,000 settlers become Australian citizens. The most frequent means of becoming a citizen is by being born in the country, with one parent being a citizen or permanent resident of Australia. The second most common is by taking the steps to acquire citizenship.

Steps to Becoming an Australian Citizen

There are three easy ways to apply for citizenship: online; by sending an email to or phoning the Citizenship Information Line of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA); or by downloading an immigration kit and sending it in. Before using any of these methods, you should find out if you are eligible for citizenship. By asking yourself a series of questions, you can at least assure yourself that you should proceed with the steps involved.

If you answer yes to all these questions, you are eligible for citizenship. Are you a permanent resident? Have you been in Australia as a permanent resident for two of the previous five years, and for 12 months in the past two years? Are you of good character? Do you have a basic knowledge of English? Do you intend to live in or maintain a close and continuing relationship with Australia?

Once you have established your eligibility, you can complete the steps by getting an application kit, filling it out and filing it, along with a fee. You must attend a short interview in which a DIMIA representative looks over your application and documents to make sure they are complete. The representative will also ask you about the rights and responsibilities of Australian citizenship and evaluate your ability to speak and understand basic English. The last, most moving, step is to attend your swearing-in ceremony in which you pledge your loyalty to Australia and its people.

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