Australian Citizenship for Indians 2024: A Step-by-step Guide

Expat life
06 Nov 2023
14 mins read
Written by pranit

Australia is a peaceful country with beautiful landscapes and a pleasant climate throughout the year. The country has a stable economy and offers ample job opportunities to the skilled and experienced workforce across different sectors. 

 

However, the country has been facing persistent domestic skill shortages over the last few years. To meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce, the Australian government announced the Permanent Migration Program, an Australian immigration scheme, which plans to intake 190,000 immigrants into the country in 2023-2024. This opens the gates for skilled people globally, including India, to have a prosperous life in Australia. However, there is a detailed process for foreigners to move to Australia for work or education.

 

If you want to migrate to Australia and have questions like ‘Can Indians have dual citizenship? Or ‘How to get Australia citizenship?’ read our detailed guide on citizenship and immigration in Australia.

 

Understanding Australian Citizenship for Indians

First, you must understand that the Indian constitution does not allow dual citizenship. So if you plan to migrate to Australia and get citizenship there, you will need to renounce your Indian nationality. Moreover, as Australian citizens, you will be expected to pledge your loyalty and allegiance to the country and exercise your rights and responsibilities as an Australian citizen

 

Must Read: Cost of Living in Australia 

 

Significance of Australia Citizenship for Indians

You can stay and earn in Australia on a permanent residency visa. But there are multiple drawbacks to it. You will require permanent visas from the Australian authorities when you want to leave or enter the country. 

 

You will not be eligible to apply for certain jobs or vote in the elections on a permanent residency visa. On top of that, there will always be insecurity about your visa getting expired and canceled and your life in Australia going for a toss.  

 

Therefore, if you plan to settle in Australia and live there indefinitely, it is advisable to move from permanent residency to citizenship in Australia.

 

Key Privileges and Benefits of Australian Citizenship for Indians
  • You can live, study, or work freely in Australia.
  • You can apply for an Australian passport. It enables you to leave and re-enter the country without any restrictions. 
  • You get the right to vote in national elections and even run for office as an Australian citizen.
  • You can get diplomatic assistance from the Australian Embassy or Consulate abroad in case of an emergency. 
  • You become eligible to apply for public sector jobs and to serve in the Australian military. 
  • You can serve on the legal jury in Australia by enrolling yourself in the state and federal electoral registers. 
  • You can travel visa-free to around 181 countries which have an alliance for it with Australia. 
  • You can have a stable and well-paying job and financially support your family and relatives in India

 

Must Read: Comprehensive guide to Australia’s visa options

 

Overview of the Naturalization Process for Indians

An individual born in Australia to either or both Australian citizen or permanent resident parents gets Australian nationality by birth. An individual born in another country could get Australian citizenship by descent if either or both parents had Australian citizenship at the time of his birth. 

 

A person not an Australian citizen by birth or descent can still get Australian nationality by the naturalization process or grant. It is the most convenient route to get Australian citizenship for Indians. 

 

You can apply through the naturalization process if you meet the eligibility criteria and have a permanent resident status in the country.

 

Eligibility Criteria for Indians to Apply for Australian Citizenship

The Australian citizenship eligibility for Indians is as follows:

 

  • You must be over 16 years of age.
  • You are likely to stay in the country or maintain a close association with it.
  • You must be a permanent resident of Australia.
  • You must pass the citizenship test conducted by the Australian Citizenship and Immigration Services. The test analyzes your knowledge of Australian history, culture, values, government bodies, and national symbols. Applicants under 18 and over 60 years of age are exempt from this test. Applicants with specific impairments and disabilities are also exempt from the test. 

 

Permanent Residency Requirements

You cannot apply directly for citizenship in Australia and must hold a PR status in the country for a minimum stated duration before applying for citizenship. A permanent resident is a person who holds a permanent resident visa or a special category visa. 

 

Must Read: Moving to Australia? 6 challenges to know before moving

 

Physical Presence and Residence Requirements

You must hold permanent resident status for at least 4 years to become eligible for citizenship through naturalization. Lawful residence in Australia includes your stay in the country on a temporary visa for multiple reasons such as education, tourism, working holiday, etc. 

 

Continuous Residence and Absences from Australia

Out of the 4 years of your PR status, you must have stayed for at least 12 months in Australia to apply for citizenship. Additionally, your maximum absence from Australia should not exceed 3 months in the 12 months immediately preceding your naturalization application. 

 

Good Moral Character and Criminal Background Checks

You must exhibit good moral character in the 4 years of your permanent residency in Australia. The authorities will conduct in-depth checks into your background, and any criminal record or past or ongoing investigation against you can become a hindrance in your citizenship process. 

 

Step-by-Step Guide to How to Apply for Australian Citizenship

If you are wondering, ‘How to get citizenship in Australia?’ here is your step-by-step guide:

 

Step 1: Consider your eligibility Before you apply for Australian citizenship, consider the eligibility requirements and ensure you are eligible to apply. If there is a shortcoming anywhere, fulfill it and then send your application.

 

Step 2: Collect the documents – A citizenship application must be supported with the requisite documents. Check the list of documents and collect them to support your application.

 

Step 3: Apply online or offline – Once you have the documents ready, apply offline by mailing the application form or online at the Australian government website.

 

Step 4: Select the correct form – To apply for citizenship, you must fill out the correct form. Applicants between 18 and 59 years of age must apply through Form 1300t, and applicants less than 18 and older than 59 should apply through Form 1290. People with a physical impairment or disability must also apply through Form 1290.

 

Step 5: Fill and send the form – As both forms have a few different requirements, understand them carefully and fill out the form accordingly. Send the application form and the documents by mail or online. 

 

Step 5: Pay the application fees – Pay the applicable fees for getting Australian citizenship. 

 

Step 6: Go through the verification process – The Australian Government’s Department for Home Affairs will conduct background checks, security checks, verification of documents, address verification, PR verification, and other checks to confirm your eligibility for the citizenship test and interview. 

 

Step 7: Appear for the test and interview – Appear for the citizenship test and interview to complete your application process.

 

Step 8: Attend the Australian Citizenship Ceremony – Once you qualify the test and interview, you will be invited to the citizenship ceremony, where you will be granted the certificate for Australian citizenship and pledge your sincerity to the country. 

 

Also Read: Part-Time Jobs in Australia for International Students

 

Documents Required to Apply for Australia Citizenship

  • Documents to prove your identity (passport, driving license, etc.).
  • Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Original police certificate confirming that there are no criminal records in your name in Australia. 
  • Proof of permanent residence in Australia, confirming your PR status’ validity for at least 4 years before applying. Utility bills, insurance documents, bank statements, etc., can be submitted here. 
  • Proof of time spent in Australia.

 

How Much Does it Cost to Become an Australian Citizen: Application Fees for Australia Citizenship

Application Type

  Application Fees

Applicants aged 15 years or less (with parental consent)

$330

Applicants aged 16 or 17 years

$330

Applicants aged between 18 and 59

$540

Applicants aged 60 years or above

$330

Applicants aged 15 years or less but applying on the same form as
parents

Nil

 

Note: Fees taken from thisisaustralia.com on 3rd August 2023 at 6 PM IST.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get Australian Citizenship: Estimated Processing Time and Waiting Periods

An application for Australian citizenship by conferral takes about 10 months to process. Almost 90% of the approved applicants are invited to the citizenship ceremony within 7 months of approval of their applications. The processing time may be extended a bit under the following circumstances:

 

  • If you submit incomplete documents.
  • If you take time to respond to the request for more information or documents.
  • If the verification of your information takes a longer time.
  • If other agencies take longer than usual for your verification, usually concerning character verification and verification for security reasons.  

 

Must Read: Best way to send money to India

 

Common Challenges in Getting Australia Nationality and How to Overcome Them

Even though getting Australian citizenship is a simple and straightforward process, your application may get rejected due to several reasons. Here are a few reasons why your application may get rejected and how you can avoid it:

 

  • Fraudulent identity: Your identity will be established from birth for the purpose of verification. If there is a misrepresentation of identity, your application will be rejected. To avoid this, ensure your identity proof and birth certificate are in coordination and there is no misrepresentation. 
  • Discrepancies in documents: The documents you submit with your application are scrutinized carefully. If your records do not match the information given in the documents or your documents are fraudulent, your application will be rejected. To avoid this, ensure that you submit a complete set of genuine documents with only correct and verifiable information.
  • Former citizens: Former Australian citizens whose citizenship became invalid over the last 12 months will be rejected to apply for Australian citizenship.
  • Reason for citizenship: You must be able to provide a convincing reason to the authorities behind your citizenship request. You should be able to prove your clean intentions and communicate a genuine and reasonable purpose during the citizenship interview.
  • Qualifying the citizenship test: Your citizenship application will be rejected if you do not appear for the citizenship test and qualify it with a minimum percentage of marks (unless exempted). Prepare well in advance and attempt the test to the best of your ability to qualify it.
  • Criminal conviction: If you have criminal records in your name or there is an ongoing criminal investigation against you, your application will be rejected. Similarly, if the authorities do not find good moral conduct from your end in the last 4 years as a PR visa holder, your application will be rejected. To avoid this, maintain a clean record and avoid involvement in illegal or anti-national activities in Australia.  
  • Successive applications in a short duration: If your citizenship application was rejected recently and you re-apply immediately, your application will be rejected again. Therefore, it is advisable to re-apply only after a certain period to avoid re-rejection. 

 

Rejection of Australia Citizenship Application

If your citizenship application is rejected, you will be duly informed. You can request a review under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. However, if your application was rejected due to insufficient information or discrepancy in records, make corrections and re-apply after a reasonable time has passed. 

 

Taxes and Financial Considerations for Indian Australia Citizens

Indians who take Australian citizenship are taxed as other Australian citizens. A resident Australian citizen is subject to income tax on a worldwide basis. His income from Australian and foreign sources is considered for tax purposes. Citizens with an annual income of a maximum of AUD 18,200 are not subject to any tax in Australia.

 

Rights and Responsibilities of Australia Citizens

Here are a few essential rights of an Australian citizen:

 

  • Right to freedom of speech
  • Right to freedom of assembly
  • Right to freedom of association
  • Right to freedom of movement
  • Right to freedom of religion
  • Right to vote
  • Right to seek work within the government and the defense forces
  • Right to apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely
  • Right to register your children born abroad as Australian citizens
  • Right to sponsor family members for migration

 

Here are a few essential responsibilities of an Australian citizen:

 

  • Obey the Australian laws
  • Serve on the jury if summoned
  • Vote in elections
  • Defend the country if a need arises
  • Enroll on federal and state electoral registers

 

Conclusion

Australia is a prosperous country with a stable economy and friendly people. The country has a shortage of skilled workers and requires a skilled overseas workforce to meet the rising demand, which is welcoming for immigrants worldwide, including India. You can plan to take up Australian citizenship if you want to make a life in a country and settle there and have a family.

 

As an Australian citizen, you may often need a reliable service provider to send money to India from Australia for your family. 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I have both Indian and Australian citizenship?

 

While Australia allows dual citizenship, the Indian constitution does not have a provision for it. Therefore, you will have to renounce your Indian citizenship to become an Australian citizen. 

 

  • How can I get Australian citizenship by investment from India?

 

You can get an Australian Golden Visa by making an investment of AUD 1.25 million in a business in the country. The business and investment visa will increase your chances of getting Australian citizenship. 

 

  • Is it hard for an Indian to get Australian citizenship?

 

The Australian government has an immigrant-friendly policy to meet its skilled worker requirement. You can easily get an Australian visa by following the proper procedure and meeting the eligibility criteria.

 

  • Does marrying an Australian give me citizenship?

 

An Australian citizen marrying an Indian citizen does not automatically make the individual an Australian citizen. The Indian citizen will still have to apply for citizenship.

 

  • What happens to my Indian passport after I get Australian citizenship?

 

You must immediately surrender your Indian passport to the nearest Indian mission or post when you get Australian citizenship.

 

  • Is Australia PR easy for Indians?

It is not difficult to get Australian PR if you meet the eligibility criteria and score sufficient points on the PR point system.

 

  • What is the current wait time for the naturalization process?

An Australian citizenship application by conferral takes about 10 months to process. Nearly 90% of the approved applicants are invited for the citizenship ceremony within 7 months of approval of their applications. 

 

  • What is the eligibility of citizenship in Australia?

 

– You must be over 16 years of age.

– You are likely to stay in the country or maintain a close association with it.

– You must be a permanent resident of Australia.

– You must pass the citizenship test.

– You must hold permanent resident status for at least 4 years to become eligible for citizenship through naturalization.

– You must have stayed for at least 12 months in Australia to apply for citizenship. Additionally

– Your maximum absence from Australia should not exceed 3 months in the 12 months immediately preceding your naturalization application.

 

Also Read: U.S. Citizenship for Indians 2024: A Step-by-step Guide

 

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.     

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