May 18 2011

Citizenship Rules 2007 to 2017

Citizenship Rules in Australia Between 2007 and 2017

See New Rules at: Citizenship Requirement Changes 2017

Citizenship Residency Requirements

From 1 July 2010 all citizenship applicants will need to meet the following residence requirement at the time they apply for Australian citizenship.

  • You must have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for 4 years immediately before applying, including 1 year as a permanent resident, and
  • You must not have been absent from Australia for more than 1 year during the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.

Citizenship Test

From 1st October 2007, most people were required to pass a test before they apply for Australian citizenship. However, current information from the Citizenship website now states that you must apply for Citizenship before taking the test.

The citizenship application process for permanent residents changed on 9 November 2009.

  • Before 9 November 2009, you must have sat and passed the citizenship test before you could lodge an application for citizenship.
  • On or after the 9 November 2009 you must lodge your application with us to receive an appointment to sit the citizenship test.

Information on this test can be found at:

The information includes how to prepare for, and where to take, the Australian Citizenship test.
People aged under 18, or over 60, are not required to take the test.

Most testing locations are at Immigration offices, but a small number of Centrelink Offices also do this. For example, in SE Queensland we have:

  • Brisbane DIAC Office, Level 3, 299 Adelaide Street, Brisbane
  • Tweed Heads South Centrelink, Level 1, 100 Blundell Boulevard, Tweed Heads South

Australian citizenship practice test

The citizenship test consists of 20 questions drawn at random from a pool of questions. To pass the test, you must answer 75 per cent, or 15 out of 20 questions, correctly.

Citizenship by Migration

The current rules are:
If you became an Australian resident on or after 1st July 2007, you must have been legally resident in Australia for at least four years immediately before applying for citizenship.

During these FOUR years, you must have spent at least 12 months as a permanent resident, and must NOT have spent more than 12 months out of Australia during that four years, and no more than three months out of the country in the 12 months immediately before applying.

If you were an Australian Resident before 1 July 2007, and apply for Citizenship before 30 June 2010, you must have been physically present in Australia as a permanent resident for a total of two years in the five years before applying, including one year in the two years before applying.

These times do not need to be consecutive.

There are some exemptions and discretions to the residence requirements, and these include:

  • Service in the permanent Australian Defence Forces for at least 3 months;
  • Service in the Australian Reserve Forces for at least 6 months;
  • Former Australian citizens or persons born in Australia

The Citizenship website is at: http://www.citizenship.gov.au


Some of the Main Changes to the New Citizenship rules include

Pledge of Commitment

Form of Pledge No. 1

From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.

Optional Form of Pledge No. 2

From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey.The Pledge came into effect in January 1994.

Citizenship by Birth

You may be eligible to apply to become an Australian citizen by descent if you were born outside Australia, and one of your parents was an Australian citizen at the time of your birth.

If your Australian citizen parent was a citizen by descent then that parent must have spent at least two years in Australia.

Most people born in Australia before 26 January 1949 became Australian citizens on that day.

Between that date and 19 August 1986, people born in Australia automatically became Australian citizens unless one of their parents was a foreign diplomatic or consular official.

Since 20 August 1986, citizenship is acquired if, at the time of the person’s birth in Australia, at least one parent is either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia.

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  1. k


    1. ABCDiamond

      The 1994 change was the introduction of a Pledge of Commitment, which replaced the oath or affirmation of allegiance and the removal of reference to the Crown.

      The NEW pledge became:

        From this time forward, under God, I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey. (“under God” being optional)


        I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia, Her heirs and successors according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Australia and fulfil my duties as an Australian citizen.

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