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 competent knowledge of English
  • intend to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia
  • have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.


You may apply to become an Australian citizen if you fit into any of the prescribed options, including:

  • Migrant with permanent residence
  • Spouse or partner of an Australian citizen
  • Refugee and humanitarian entrants
  • Former Australian citizen
  • Child born outside Australia to an Australian citizen
  • Child of a former Australian citizen
  • New Zealand citizen living in Australia

For a complete list of the options visit:

Note especially that, you must at least be an Australian permanent resident. This means that, with a few exceptions (such as an abandoned child), before anything else, you must be the holder of a permanent visa.  


The law empowers the Minister to prohibit the conferral of Australian citizenship for a number of reasons.


An application must be refused, for reasons which include:

  • that the decision maker is not satisfied of the person’s identity
  • national security reasons
  • that the person is not present Australia at the time of decision if required
  • for certain offences
  • that the person is not of good character
  • that the person had ceased to be an Australian citizen at any time during the 12 months prior to application


If an application for citizenship has been approved, the approval may still be cancelled, before citizenship is granted, if the person is no longer:

  • a permanent resident
  • likely to reside, or continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain close and continuing association with Australia or
  • of good character.