Becoming an Australian citizen is a true honour.
It is the final step in a long journey. The citizenship ceremony marks a very important moment in your life.
Some people become a citizen for the symbolic significance – they want to officially call themselves Australian. Others choose to undertake the process because they feel strongly about adopting Australia’s democratic beliefs and values.
Whatever the reason, it’s a substantial undertaking. The process can be confusing: Where do I start? Do I meet the criteria? How long will it take?
So let’s review the different steps in the citizenship process, so you can get a better idea of the commitment you’re making and the timeline you’re looking at.
1. Assess your eligibility for citizenship
First and foremost, you need to check that you meet all criteria including residence, identification and character.
We have created a guidebook, Pledging your loyalty to Australia, that breaks down the criteria so you can assess your current situation and whether you are eligible
If you don’t appear to meet the requirements, a migration agent can advise you on ways you can change your circumstances in order to fulfill the criteria – for example, spending some more time in Australia, or advise you whether any waivers might apply to you.
2. Gather relevant documents and data
You must provide the Department of Home Affairs with a range of documents to prove your identity, your residence, your intentions and your character.
As you will need to provide original documents at your citizenship appointment, ensure you have them organised in advance, as getting documents from overseas can take time.
It’s also important to verify that your data and documents are correct and consistent. Is the spelling of your name the same on all documents? Is there any information that differs from what you stated in any previous visa applications? If so, this will need to be addressed.
3. Lodge the application and pay a fee
The best way to apply is to lodge your application online through an ImmiAccount. You will upload your documents and pay the lodgement fee of $285. Ensure your application is complete so that it can be processed efficiently.
4. Prepare to sit the Australian Citizenship test
Most applicants for citizenship by conferral aged between 18 and 59 years will need to have a personal interview at the Department of Home Affairs and sit the citizenship test.
The questions in the test are based on these topics:
- Australia and its people
- Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties
- government and the law in Australia.
The Department has a booklet you can read called Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond. This booklet contains all the information you need to know to pass the test. You can also sit a practice test here.
5. Attend interview and sit the Australian Citizenship Test
At the interview, you will take the original documents of those you lodged with your application. These documents will be checked and verified and if there is any information or document missing or incorrect, the interview will not proceed and you will be asked to return at a later date.
Remember, brush up on the information for your test. It will be an online test with multiple choice questions. Take your time to read the questions and all possible answers before selecting the appropriate one. Good luck!
You will now wait for notification that your application for Citizenship has been approved!
Next step, the Ceremony!
6. Attend the Australian Citizenship Ceremony – to finally become a Citizen!
The final milestone on your journey to becoming an Australian citizen is the ceremony.
It will be conducted by your local council in a ceremony that is very significant and moving.
At the ceremony, you will make the Australian citizenship pledge, a public commitment to Australia, accepting the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship. You can read more about the pledge here.
The ceremony usually takes between 1 – 2 hours. Arrive early with your guests so you can register and find your seat.
The proceedings will include a speech by a prominent member of the community or Federal Member of Parliament, an address to participants, the pledge – and finally, the National Anthem.
Congratulations – you have now become an Australian citizen and can officially barrack for Australia in the tennis, cricket etc!
And, you may now apply for an Australian passport.
How can a Migration Agent help?
Determining the right timing and strategy to gain citizenship can be confusing.
Adopting the wrong strategy could result in either delay or refusal of your citizenship application.
At Aspire Australia, we guide you through the process, from start to finish.
Having worked with many people like yourself – who have gone through a long migration journey, and want to take that final step of becoming a Citizen, we understand the significance and impact that applying for Australian citizenship has for you..
Providing strategic advice, we will guide you through the preparation from beginning to end, taking the pain out of the paperwork, to lodge your application approval-ready!
To discuss your eligibility or take the next step, we invite you to contact us today to book an appointment and take your next step.
We look forward to helping you achieve your dream of becoming an Australian Citizen!
Don’t forget to download our Pledging your loyalty to Australia guidebook!