Do you want to be an Australian Citizen? That’s awesome, we’d be glad to have you! When you start thinking about what it takes to become a citizen, make sure you remember to check your residence requirement.

Citizenship ceremony in Brisbane. Image courtesy The Courier Mail.
Citizenship ceremony in Brisbane. Image courtesy The Courier Mail.

What is the General Residence Requirement?

Section 22 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 specifies a general residence requirement. You have to meet this requirement before you are eligible to apply for citizenship of Australia.

What do I have to do?

Generally speaking, to satisfy this particular requirement, you must:

  1. have been present in Australia for the four (4) years immediately before you lodge your citizenship application;
  2. must not have been present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen during those four (4) years; and
  3. must have been present in Australia as a permanent resident for the twelve (12) months immediately prior to the date on which you make your citizenship application.

Note that the requirement may vary in different circumstances. Call us to check.

I have had short absences from Australia. Does that matter?

Short absences may not affect your ability to meet residence requirements. Make sure that you check it, though! If you are considering applying for Australian citizenship in the near future, make sure that any travel plans won’t affect your application.

Make sure you’ve done it right

If you have been absent from Australia recently, you can use the DIBP Calculator to check eligibility.

Then, get in contact with us to validate the outcome: Make sure you’ve done it right. We can give you more information, and more options.