Australian Citizenship Residency Requirements

 

In order to become permanent resident the candidate must have been living in Australia for a continued period of time after immigrating to Australia either through work visa or by family sponsorship or others. Applying for the Australian citizenship includes the general residency requirements as one of the basic criteria and the most important necessity. The residency requirements depend on the duration of how long you have been living lawfully in Australia, the time spent outside the country and duration of permanent residency.

Old Residency Requirements:

People who have become permanent residents before 1 July 2007 are required to meet the old residency conditions such as living in Australia as a permanent resident for periods amounting to two years in the last five year period including one year of stay in the two years immediately before applying, provided they applied within three years from the day the legislation commences.

New Changes to Residency Requirements:

After July 1st 2010, all the old transitional arrangements have been ceased and the residency requirements are modified accordingly into only one general criteria which everyone aged 16 and over is required to meet. The new law states that regardless of the date of arrival in Australia all the applicants are essential to satisfy the following residency requirements at the time they apply for Australian citizenship:

  • Applicant must have been living physically in Australia lawfully on a valid Australian visa for the period of four years including one year as a permanent resident immediately before applying
  • Also the applicant must not be staying outside Australia for more than 1 year during the last four year period, with less than 90 days in the year immediately prior to applying for citizenship. The change in the new residency requirements have affected the eligibility of long term residents to apply for Australian citizenship as they have to balance the requirements of living in Australia and the time spent outside the country.

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