How Much Time Does It Take to Become an Australian Citizen?
Starting a new life far away from home is not always possible nor desirable. However, sometimes it is what people need or want to do in order to make things better for themselves and their family. Moving to a new country is always both exciting and challenging and for many reasons. When a person comes to somewhere completely new, they feel like they are starting all over again. Building a new life from scratch is much easier than it used to be and many places resemble one another in terms of general premises and opportunities, but it is still a strange new land. Even if the language is similar it is a drastic shift for everyone involved. This is especially true for the other side of the planet, the Land Down Under.
Moving to Australia
Moving to Australia and starting over is something that many people think about doing. It is a popular country and a very beautiful one. Best of all, it is enormous and rich in all sorts of opportunities. Going there as a tourist is one thing, but trying to make a permanent move there as an immigrant is a whole other. Of course, nobody wants to be considered an immigrant for long as people want to become citizens of their new countries as soon as possible. So how long does it take for somebody to become an Australian citizen? Can it be done easily and is it a realistic chance for those looking to live there one day? Join us in answering this important question by reading this article thoroughly.
About the Citizenship Process
Obtaining full citizenship of any country is not an easy task. There are many steps that need to be taken as well as many things that a candidate has to do. The rules, laws, and guidelines are strict in order to protect the country from those looking to take advantage of the whole idea of becoming a citizen. General eligibility criteria for a citizenship starts simple as every candidate has to be at least 18 years of age. Then come the more hands-on requirements. There is a citizenship test for everyone between 18 and 60. Every candidate must already be a permanent resident at the time of their application. They have to satisfy the residence requirement, continue to reside and maintain association with Australia, and be of good character. This is the criteria that every single candidate has to fulfill before they can apply. Children can also apply for Australian citizenship and have different criteria.
The Residence Requirement
The most important prerequisite to every application is the amount of time a candidate has to have lawfully lived on Australian soil. Unless they have lived in Australia for four years, nobody can apply for citizenship. The four years include being a permanent resident for 12 months, absences from the country that do not exceed 12 months, and absences of no more than 3 months in the 12 months before the application is made. Before one meets these requirements it does not make much sense to go for the application. There is no way of getting it before the four-year minimum has been met.
The Citizenship Test
Arguably the most well-known requirement for obtaining any type of citizenship is the test that the candidates have to pass. Once all the aforementioned criteria have been satisfied, you become eligible to take the test. Preparing for it could take some time but it is definitely nothing that cannot be learned. Just like any academic test you have taken before, it implies preparing for it and practicing until you learn the things that will be asked of you. The test is designed to help the future owners of Australian citizenship know more about the country and better understand what it means to be a part of it. The main fields the test covers include values, traditions, history, and national symbols. All of this can be considered basic minimum knowledge every citizen of every country needs to have.
The test itself is crucial because it ensures that each candidate is ready and that they have the capacity to participate in the Australian community as a valid member. Contributing and maximizing the opportunities available to you in this country will come much easier once you know all the test asks of you to prepare. The integration into the community will be seamless and the idea behind the test promotes a more social cohesion. Before taking the test you must be a permanent resident, prove your identity during the registration for the test, and bring a photograph of you. To learn more about the test as well as to try a great place to practice, make sure to check out citizenship test citizenshiptestaustralia.com.au.
How Much Time Does It Take?
Applying for citizenship can be done in three ways, by conferral, by descent, and for evidence. The total time to become a citizen depends on how you apply. About 90% of applications by conferral are processed in 30 months. About 90% of those approved will attend the citizenship ceremony within the next 10 months after this. If you apply by descent, know that 90% of those applications are processed within 5 months. Lastly, if you apply for the evidence of Australian citizenship, over 90% of applications are processed in less than 40 days.
Of course, this does not mean that everyone waits so long. The numbers for the 25% of applications are 8, months, 27 days, and 5 days, respectively. For 50% of all applications, it is 11 months, 41 days, and 7 days. For 75% of all applications, it is 18 months, 59 days, and 18 days, respectively. Even these are the worst case scenarios as people usually wait less. Rough estimates are all that can exist here because of the volume of applications and the many different cases that the department gets. All in all, you are looking at around 5 years at least from the moment you become a permanent resident. Four years are a must, after which you enter the process that can last anywhere from a few months to over a year.