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Australian Citizenship Changes - Guide for Applicants

Written on 24 April 2017 BY

The Australian Government has announced changes to Australian citizenship requirements which are effective 20 April 2017.

The changes will require:

  • That applicants hold their Australian permanent residence for longer
  • Formal English language testing
  • A revised Citizenship test
  • Evidence that applicants show that they have integrated into Australian society

This article explains the changes and gives guidance for people affected by the changes.

Changes to General Residence Requirement

Applicants for citizenship by conferral would generally need to show that they meet the "General Residence" requirement.

This would mean showing that they have been present in Australia for at least:

  1. The last 4 years, on any temporary, permanent or bridging visa, with a maximum of 12 months overseas; and
  2. The last 12 months, on a permanent visa, with a maximum of 3 months overseas

Previously, it was possible to count time spent in Australia on a temporary visa or bridging visa towards the 4-year requirement in (1) above.

The announced changes would require that applicants hold a permanent visa for 4 years before applying. This would potentially require applicants to wait a further 3 years before applying for Australian citizenship.

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