Australian permanent residents, eligible New Zealand citizens, and people born overseas to a parent who is an Australian citizen are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. 


Australia lets eligible permanent residents and New Zealand citizens become Australian citizens. This process is known as ‘becoming a citizen by naturalisation’, and it’s a common way to become an Australian citizen.

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People who were born overseas to a parent or parents who were Australian citizens at the time of the birth are eligible for Australian citizenship by descent. 

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Let’s take a closer look at the Australian citizenship routes:


The citizenship requirements depend on the route the applicant is eligible for: 

  • Citizenship by naturalisation: The applicant must be an Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and intend to live in Australia or maintain a lasting link with the country while overseas.
  • Citizenship by descent: The applicant must have been born outside Australia to a parent or parents who were Australian citizens at the time of their birth and be of good character if they’re 18 or older.


The citizenship application process has three steps:

  • Eligibility assessment to determine if the candidate is eligible for citizenship
  • Preparing the documents for the application, for example, police certificates and identity documents
  • Submitting the application


The most common ways of getting Australian citizenship are through naturalisation and descent. Please see the website of the Department of Home Affairs for a complete list of Australian citizenship routes.

Australia does allow dual citizenship, so someone who becomes an Australian citizen can remain a citizen of another country.

Citizenship applicants must have held permanent residence for the 12 months preceding the application.

In addition, applicants must have lived in Australia on a valid visa for the four years preceding the application and must not have been away from Australia for more than 12 months in total in the four years preceding the citizenship application.

The latter requirement includes no more than 90 days in total in the 12 months preceding the application.

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