Citizenship

To obtain Australian citizenship you must have lived in Australia for four years, including the last 12 months as a Permanent Resident.

To be eligible for Australian citizenship you need to meet legal requirements, which include that you:

  • hold a permanent visa, or are a ‘protected SCV’ holder under the Social Security Act 1991
  • meet the residence requirement
  • are of good character if you are 18 years of age or older.

Eligible protected SCV holders include those who:

  • were in Australia on 26 February 2001 on a Special Category Visa (SCV); or
  • were in Australia for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before this date; or
  • have been assessed as protected SCV holders (have a Centrelink certificate stating that they were living in Australia on a particular date).

Usually, unless you have been granted another type of visa, on your arrival in Australia and when you present your New Zealand passport, you will automatically be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444). It is a temporary visa that lets you stay and work in Australia. It is not a permanent residence visa.

Fee $285 unless you are eligible for concession.

To become an Australian citizen you need to meet certain requirements. For most applicants these include that you:

  • are a permanent resident at time of application and time of decision
  • meet the residence requirements
  • are of good character
  • have a basic knowledge of the English language
  • intend to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia
  • have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.

If you are 60 years of age or over you are not required to sit the citizenship test.

General residence requirement

The general residence requirement is based on the amount of time you have lived in Australia.

You must meet all of the following:

  • have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying
  • must have been a permanent resident for the 12 months immediately before making an application and not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.
  • If you were granted a permanent resident visa before you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date is the date that you arrived in Australia on that visa.
  • If you were granted a permanent resident visa after you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date will be the date that the visa was granted.

Children

You can include children under 16 years of age in your citizenship application if they are permanent residents.

Children under 16 years of age do not need to meet the residence requirements but must be permanent residents. More information is available for children under 16 years of age or unaccompanied minors applying on their own.

This information is for you if you were, or if your child was, adopted outside Australia by an Australian citizen and the adoption was completed outside Australia in accordance with:

  • the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, or
  • a bilateral arrangement between Australia and another country.

The fee for this application is AUD 230. Applications for the second and each subsequent sibling applying at the same time are AUD 95.

You might be eligible for Australian citizenship if one of your parents used to be an Australian citizen and you were born outside Australia

Fees

The fee for this application is AUD 180 unless you are eligible for a concession.

For Australian citizenship by descent:

  •  you must have been born outside Australia
  • at least one of your parents must have been an Australian citizen when you were born.

Fees

The fee for this application is AUD 230. Applications for second and subsequent siblings applying at the same time are AUD 95.

More Services

If you used to be an Australian citizen, you might be eligible to resume Australian citizenship if you lost your Australian citizenship when you acquired the citizenship of another country, or renounced (gave up) your Australian citizenship.

You become an Australian citizen again on the day your application is approved. You do not need to sit the citizenship test or attend a citizenship ceremony.

The fee for this application is AUD 210.

If your spouse partner is an Australian citizen, or you are the surviving spouse or partner of an Australian citizen, you must still meet the eligibility requirements yourself to become an Australian citizen.

The fee for this application is AUD 285 unless you are eligible for a concession.

For Australian citizenship you need to:

be a permanent resident

  • meet the residence requirements
  • be of good character
  • intend to live or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia.

The fee for this application is AUD 285, unless you are eligible for a concession.