Increased Flexibility for Australian Citizenship Applicants - New Requirements

Increased Flexibility for Australian Citizenship Applicants – New Requirements

The Australian Government has announced to make a few changes to make the process of Australian citizenship easy for upcoming eligible Australian citizens. As a response to special challenges faced by some of the most renowned applicants for citizenship, Hon Alex Hawke MP, the Minister for Australian Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, has introduced the additional flexibility.


Statements by Alex Hawke MP

Minister Alex Hawke MP has given few statements about the increased flexibility for people applying for Australian citizenship.


“Australian citizenship is a rare privilege and it should not come easy. Those who apply must meet a range of character, values and language requirements. They must also have lived in Australia for a minimum period to be eligible.”


He added that,


“However, the unique work and travel demands on some of our most highly distinguished prospective Australians should not preclude them from making the cut. That’s why I have directed the Department of Home Affairs to apply greater flexibility in applying the residence requirement for eligible people.” 


“Exceptional people must not be prevented from becoming Australians because of the unique demands of the very work they do that makes them exceptional.” 


According to Alex Hawke, all of the Talent Visa holders and those competing on the Australian Commonwealth Games team will be offered the special residence concession.


Requirements for Australian Citizenship         

All applicants for Australian citizenship need to comply with the general residence requirement under the current arrangements of increased flexibility. The general residence requirement contains information about applicants who’ve been living in Australia for the last 4 years on a valid visa. Moreover, they were outside Australia for not more than 12 months during that period.


Besides, applicants must have been eligible permanent residents or citizens of New Zealand to apply for Australian citizenship. They must not be absent from Australia for more than 90 days within the 12 months before lodging an application for citizenship in Australia.


Eligible Candidates for Special Residence Requirement 

The special residence requirement applies to people from different sectors. They consist of individuals who go for international traveling for employment purposes. Further, this international travel must be in Australia’s national interest. These travelers include distinguished artists, athletes, ship’s crew, business executives, researchers and scientists.


In addition, the special residency requirement is also applicable to the past, current and upcoming distinguished talent stream visa holders in Australia.


How Can You Become an Australian Citizen?

The Australian Government provides different opportunities through which you can become an eligible citizen of Australia. However, you’re required to follow the eligibility criteria set by the Government of Australia to get Australian citizenship.


There’re many ways through which you can apply for Australian citizenship. You may become an Australian citizen by conferral, descent, adoption and resume citizenship. However, the most common ways to apply for citizenship in Australia are by Conferral and Descent.


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Apply for Australian Citizenship by Conferral 

There’re specific categories of people who can apply for citizenship in Australia. They include,

  • Migrants and refugees
  • Spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen
  • Eligible citizens of New Zealand
  • Immigrants of the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme
  • Children who’re 15 years old or younger and applying with their parents or guardians
  • 16 or 17 years old children
  • 18 to 59 years old permanent residents of Australia
  • People who’re 60 or above that with Australian permanent residency


The general cost to apply for Australian citizenship by conferral is around AUD490. However, applicants who’re 16 or 17 years old can pay AUD300 while applying for citizenship in Australia. Furthermore, 90% of application for Australian citizenship are finalized within 14 months.


Australian Citizenship by Descent   

Australian Citizenship by Descent is for people who were born outside Australia; however, one or both of their parents were eligible citizens of Australia at the time of their birth. Applicants must meet the health and character requirements to become Australian citizens through descent.


If you’re 15 years old or younger than that, so you must get your parents’ sign on your application for Australian citizenship. Moreover, applicants are required to submit AUD 315 to lodge their application for Australian Citizenship by Descent.



The Minister for Australian Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Hon Alex Hawke MP, has introduced the increased flexibility for Australian citizenship applicants. This step aims to bring some changes to the process of Australian citizenship.


This increased flexibility has been announced after observing the challenges and difficulties faced by the distinguished applicants of Australian citizenship. Moreover, the Australian Government also provides ways such as conferral, descent and adoption through which people can apply for Australian citizenship.


If you want to apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Australia, book your consultation with our registered migration agents!


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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.

Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.