How Immigrants Can Get Australian Citizenship
Are you looking for Australian CItizenship as an immigrant living in Australia? If you have a valid visa then it's time for you to switch your status to ‘’Aussie’’. A lot of people dream to live here permanently due to various reasons including quality medical services, education and less income and marginal tax. Other than that, if you are able to get nationality here, you also get freedom to vote.
There are various steps that you need to complete before you can get Australian Citizenship and we will discuss that in detail.
Become a Permanent Resident
No matter what country you wish to be a part of, you have to be eligible for a permanent resident card. The same goes for the Land Down Under. To get citizenship here, you need to be a permanent resident for at least one year. It also means that if you have a temporary visa, you somehow need to get a permanent residency visa.
There are some common pathways through which you can get a permanent residency visa
If you are a skilled worker and have shown your worth to your employers, then based on your qualifications, English language proficiency, age or work experience, you can easily get a skilled migration visa.
If you have an immediate family member like a sibling who either has Australian citizenship or holds permanent residency can sponsor you. This can grant you a family reunion visa. This allows families to reunite in Australia.
Entrepreneurs and investors who want to invest in Australia to start a successful business can apply for business visas in Australia.
Refugee or Asylum Seeker
Individuals who took asylum in Australia or were able to get refugee status in Australia can obtain a permanent resident card based on humanitarian grounds and international obligations to protect refugees.
No matter what path you select, keep in mind that all of these visas have requirements and eligibility criteria.
Australian Citizenship Residency Requirements
To become eligible for Australian citizenship, there are specific residency requirements that we will discuss in detail here
4 Years Rule
It is mandatory to live in Australia for 4 years and hold a permanent residency status for at least one year before applying for citizenship.
12 Month Rule
Out of these 4 years in Australia, you must not have been absent from Australia for more than 12 months in total.
9 Month Rule
To be eligible for Australian citizenship, 12 months right before you apply for citizenship, you should have lived in Australia for almost 9 months. It means that you can travel outside of Australia for 3 months or 90 days.
It is important to note that due to unique circumstances or exceptional reasons, an individual can’t meet such requirements. In such cases, the Home Affairs minister can exempt you. For example, if you spend more than 90 days outside Australia with your spouse who holds Australian citizenship, it can be considered as part of your residency.
Good Moral Character
You need to demonstrate good character to the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Australian immigration will look into your criminal record, if you have been charged or convicted. Keep in mind that a criminal record won’t disqualify your citizenship application since every case is analyzed based on its merit.
If you have any court obligation or penalty in Australia or overseas, it is better to resolve all that before applying for citizenship. For example, if you didn’t financially support your child after divorce and you have a case on that, your application can easily get rejected
Australian Citizenship Test
The last step is to clear the Australian Citizenship Test. It is mandatory to take and pass the exam with a score of 75% which is equivalent to answering 15 questions. Individuals who are less than 18 or more than 65 are exempted from taking the test.
The test is computer-based and is divided into two parts. The first section includes 5 questions that are based on Australian values. The last section has 15 questions that cover Australia's history, important dates, geography and people.
The most reliable preparation source is the Common Bond booklet. The guide has many chapters and covers all the syllabus that can help you to pass the exam. It is also recommended to take the Australian citizenship practice test which can help you to prepare for an actual exam.
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