Australian Citizenship

Australian Citizenship
Over the past 100 years, the process that was used to become an Australian citizen has changed numerous times. However, since 1949, more than four million foreign-born residents have bgone through this process and never looked back! Even though it does take a fair amount of time to gain citizenship in Australia, the benefits for 'new Aussies' certainly make this wait worth while.

Migrants have basically two ways of getting Australian citizenship. The first is usually known as a conferral for general eligibility. Most migrants working in Australia do so legally, and therefore they are already on the right track to becoming an Australian citizen. Costs to become an Australian citizen are not overly high. A general eligibility application has to pay fees of around $260.

Emigrants who desire to become a citizen of Australia have to be living in the country for a minimum of four years. In addition, they must have lived as a permanent resident for at least one year prior to application. The applicant must have been living within Australia for the entire year before the application process begins. If they leave the country for an extended period for other work, the citizenship process becomes void.

People who are part of the general eligibility process must undertake the citizenship test before being granted citizenship. This test is an integral part of the process, as it highlights the major rights and responsibilities of an Australian citizen, which all applicants are expected to acknowledge. The exam is only about 45 minutes long, with 20 questions of multiple choice. A passing grade is any score above 75 percent. Applicants can study for the exam using the Australian citizenship resource book called 'Our Common Bond', made available from the government. The resources are also available in many different languages. The test is only given in the English language, so it is also regarded as an English proficiency test in some ways too.

There are certain emigrants who are not required to sit the Australian citizenship examination to complete the citizenship process. These are applicants under the age of 18, aged over 60, physically and mentally handicapped individuals, and those born in Papua New Guinea prior to 1975.

There are plenty of significant benefits for newly recognised Australians, and numerous responsibilities. It is compulsory to vote in Local, State and National elections. If this is not done, fines are handed to offenders. In addition, some countries of origin require new citizens of Australia to denounce their citizenship of their home country. However, this is not a law of Australia. Finally, citizens need to be ready to serve for jury duty if called upon.