Apply for citizenship before 1 July 2018

Update

01 July 2018

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton did not table new legislation before the Parliamentary Winter break. He will probably try again so keep an eye on the Oz Kiwi website for updates.

Senator Pauline Hanson tabled a Citizenship Amendment Bill in February 2018, but it is highly unlikely to be passed.


Apply for citizenship before 1 July 2018

26 October 2017

The citizenship changes announced on 20 April 2017 will not be implemented after the Citizenship Amendment Bill (2017) was struck down by the Senate on 18 October 2017.

Despite this, Peter Dutton still intends overhaul citizenship laws. If you apply for citizenship on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the legislation passing) you will need to have resided as a permanent resident for four years.

Time spent residing as a Special Category Visa-holder will not count towards the four years as PR. People granted the NZ 189 visa should remain exempt from residing for four years as PR.

The new Bill is yet to be drafted, but the new requirements should be listed on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website once the legislation is tabled.

Already applied for citizenship?

If you applied for Australian citizenship before, on or after 20 April 2017, but before 1 July 2018, your application will be processed under the current rules. You’ll be required to have reside in Australia for four years with at least the last year as a permanent resident.

Backlog of applications

The Dept of Home Affairs currently has a backlog of almost 120,000 citizenship applications due to uncertainty caused by the changes proposed on 20 April 2017. Processing times are likely to increase from 14 to 16 months to over 18 months, including attending a ceremony.

Apply for citizenship

Anyone eligible should apply for citizenship before 1 July 2018 to avoid having to reside as permanent resident for four years.

Protected Special Category Visa-holders (PSCVs) will not be impacted by any change to the permanent residency requirement as they are considered permanent residents whilst in Australia. Oz Kiwi still strongly recommends that PSCVs apply for citizenship. This is the best way to ensure your rights are protected in Australia.

Related

Your options for Australian citizenship

Applying for citizenship

What’s new for Australian citizenship?

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