Permanent Residents - After 1 July 2007
If you obtain your permanent residence after 1 July 2007, you will need to meet the following requirements to become an Australian citizen:
- You have lived lawfully in Australia for at least 4 years; and
- You have lived in Australia for at least 12 months as a permanent resident
Note that if you have spent more than 12 months in the last 4 years outside Australia or 3 months in the last 12 outside Australia, you will no longer meet the residence requirements for citizenship.
It's also important to realise that only 12 months of residence as a permanent resident is required. As a result, you can count up to 3 years of residence in Australia as a temporary residence towards the citizenship requirements. For example, if you have spent several years in Australia on a student or 457 visa, this can be counted towards the 4 year residence requirement.
Note that you do not automatically qualify for Australian citizenship in this way, you must make an application for citizenship.
You can calculate your residency here Residence Calculator
Birth in Australia
If you were born in Australia, then you would automatically be an Australian citizen if:
- You were born in Australia prior to 20 August 1986; OR
- You were born in Australia after 20 August 1986, and one of your parents held Australian citizenship or an Australian permanent residence visa at the time of birth; OR
- You were born in Australia after 20 August 1986, neither of your parents held Australian citizenship or an Australian permanent residence visa, but you have spent the majority of your life in Australia prior to your 10th birthday. In this case, you automatically become an Australian citizen on your 10th birthday.
- Born Overseas to an Australian Citizen Parent
If you were born overseas and one of your parents held Australian citizenship at your date of birth, then you are eligible to be registered as an Australian citizen. The registration must be done at an Australian consulate or embassy overseas. Note that previously, this registration had to occur before you reached a certain age - however, this restriction has been removed as of the 1st of July 2007
Residence in Australia prior to 26 January 1949
If you were a British subject resident in Australia or New Guinea for the 5 years prior to the 26th of January 1949, you would have become an Australian citizen automatically on this date.
Australia now allows dual citizenship. That means that an Australian citizen can take up citizenship of another country without losing their Australian citizenship.
If, on the other hand, you become an Australian citizen, it is up to the law of your country of citizenship whether you can keep your existing citizenship.