Citizenship Program

Permanent residents of Australia, who have lived in the country for the necessary duration and meet the established criteria, can attain Australian citizenship. Those who successfully acquire citizenship enjoy equal rights and privileges as native-born Australian citizens. This includes the right to vote, work in the Australian Public Service or Defense Force, and the ability to obtain and use an Australian passport. Additionally, citizens by conferral share the same civic duties as other Australians, such as serving on a jury and defending the nation if required.

In the program for 2023-24 the Federal Government introduced the New Zealand Direct Pathway:

The process to become an Australian citizen is the same for all New Zealand citizens holding an Special Category Visa (SCV) 444, and does not depend on when you first arrived in Australia.

  • New Zealand citizens must meet the general residence requirement of being lawfully present in Australia for four years, including 12 months as a permanent resident, immediately before the date of citizenship application.
  • You do not need to first apply for and be granted a permanent visa to meet the 12 months as a permanent resident requirement. Time on your SCV will be considered permanent residence for citizenship purposes with effect from 1 July 2023.

Key statistics: about citizenship applications

192,947 people acquired Australian citizenship by conferral in 2023-23 (1167,232 in 2021-22 and 140,748 in 2020-21)

  • 53 per cent decrease in average application decision period (from 354 to 168 days)

  • Less than 6 months wait for ceremony for 97 per cent of approved applicants

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

13 Oct, 2023

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