Who is eligible for Australian citizenship?

Becoming an Australian citizen is a status sought by so many. Not only does it give you the ability to live, travel, work and vote like every other Australian but it also provides you with numerous benefits around study, healthcare and even residency in New Zealand.  With these benefits comes great responsibility as well as a robust application process which ensures that only eligible applicants are considered for citizenship.

If you have always wanted to apply for Australian citizenship, it’s important to know the avenues available to you and the types of requirements you’ll need to fulfil before submitting your application. In this article we’ll look at the three ways (conferral, descent and becoming a citizen again) to apply for Australian citizenship as well as the expected processing times and prices.

Applying for Australian citizenship


Applying for Australian citizenship by conferral is the most popular of the three options. You must either be a permanent resident of Australia or an eligible New Zealand citizen. If you are a permanent resident, you must have been lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years and have been a permanent resident for at least 1 year prior to application. To fulfil the basic requirements, you must:

  • Meet the residency requirement (exemptions apply)

  • Pass the Australian citizenship test (exemptions apply)

  • Be in Australia when the decision on your application has been made

  • Attend the Australian citizenship ceremony

  • Intend to live in Australia or maintain a lasting connection with Australia while overseas.

  • Be of good character if you are 18 years old or over when you apply

Prices and application processing times

To apply for Australian citizenship through conferral, the standard application fee is $285 AUD would apply, and the current processing time is between 22 to 24 months of submitting the application. For applicants under 16 years of age, there is no fee.


If you were born outside of Australia and one of your parents was an Australian citizen at your time of birth, you may be eligible to apply for Australia citizenship by descent – this is the second most common option for citizenship applications. To fulfil the basic eligibility requirements, you must:

  • Have been born outside Australia

  • The parent that you’re claiming descent from must have been an Australian citizen at the time of your birth

  • Be of good character if you are 18 years old or over when you apply

Prices and application processing times

To apply for Australian citizenship through the way of descent, the standard application fee is $230, and $95 for each sibling that applies at the same time as you. The current processing time is between 2 to 4 months after submitting the application.

You can find out more information about applying for Australia citizenship by descent by clicking here.

Become an Australian citizen again (resume citizenship) 

If you had previously been an Australian citizen and then decided to revoke your citizenship status, you may still be able to resume your citizenship by applying through the Australian Department of Home Affairs. To apply, you would need to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Prove your identity and that you indeed were previously an Australian citizen

  • If you are over 18 years old, you will need to demonstrate your good character

  • Provide evidence of evidence of how and why you ceased being an Australian citizen 

Prices and application processing times

To apply to resume your Australian citizenship the application fee is $210. From the date of submitting your application the processing time can be as little as 5 to 14 days.

You can find out more information for resuming your Australian citizenship by clicking here.

About the author

Nick Hansen

Nick has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2016 when he founded Hansen Migration. Since then he has helped many migrants obtain permanent residency in Australia and Australian citizenship.

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