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Applying for our Australian Citizenship
So the time had finally arrived when we could apply for our Australian Citizenship! 4 years after arriving in Perth on a Permanent Resident Visa.
The process is pretty easy but be warned there is quite a bit of paperwork to organise!
I would definitely recommend that you have all the paper work ready at the start of your online application (unlike me!!) but you can save your application and return to it without loosing all your info.
It will be slightly quicker if you are making an individual application, the more kids you have the longer it will take!
For a general Australian citizenship Application it costs $260 per adult, children under 16 years are free. You only need to add your child/children’s details under one of the main applicants.
What documents you will need
All applicants must provide proof of their identity and provide the following documents.
Three original documents that collectively show your:
- Current residential address
- Birth name, date of birth and gender.
- Proof of change of name, if applicable
- *Identity declaration completed by a person with the appropriate authority.
Full list of designated occupations and professionals available here.
If permanent residency is an eligibility requirement of your application, you must also provide evidence of your arrival in Australia.
In addition to providing your identity documents, you will need to print off the identity declaration form and have it completed by a person with the appropriate authority, this person should also sign the back of a passport-size photograph of you.
The completed identity declaration and endorsed photograph must be signed by a person who:
- is an Australian citizen, and
- has known you for at least one year, and
- is not related to you by birth, marriage or de facto relationship, and
- is currently working in a position from the designated list of occupations, and is easy to contact by telephone during normal working hours.
You will need to provide documents for any children on your application too, including:
- a full birth certificate or family register containing parent’s details
- a travel document or passport, if they are not on your passport
- evidence of links between birth name and current name, if applicable
- one passport-sized photograph and identity declaration signed by an Australian citizen with the appropriate authority.
If there are any parenting orders relating to your children, or they have been adopted, then you will need to provide these documents too.
Once your application has been lodged you will then receive an email/letter inviting you to attend your citizenship appointment and take your test. You will need to take all your original documents with you as these will be checked and your identity will be verified. Once complete you then go in and take your test.
Taking the Australian Citizenship test
The test is carried out in a small room with approx. 10 other computers. You will be asked 20 multiple choice questions and you have to get 15 or more to pass. You have 45 minutes to take the test but to be honest it only really takes around 5 minutes. You are told there and then if you have passed.
Its advisable to revise before your test. You can download the our Common Bond Book which covers all the questions, you can also watch videos on youtube and there is an Australian Citizenship test App which you can download and complete dummy tests.
Once you have passed your test your application is then submitted and you will then be sent a letter inviting you to attend your Australian Citizenship ceremony. Don’t expect this to be a quick process, especially if you reside within a council popular with migrants! You can generally expect to receive an invitation within 6 months after your test. You can apply for an express ceremony but these are only issued for circumstances that are classed an emergency. Expired passports and Visas and pre-booked holidays do not class as an emergency.
Attending your ceremony
You will be sent a letter or email inviting you to attend your ceremony on a given date, you must accept the invitation if you want to attend that date. Ceremonies do vary, we attended one at our local council (Wanneroo) along with approx. 100 other people. We were given our Australian Citizenship certificates before we went in, along with a form to complete for the electoral roll. It was a short 10 minute ceremony where the mayor spoke a little about Australian Life, we then stood up and all read the pledge, after this we were congratulated as Australian Citizens. I have to add ours was an emergency ceremony so the format is slightly different to the regular larger ceremonies, these often go on for much longer and sometimes include finger foods and drinks after the ceremony. Larger ceremonies are also held on Australia Day, these are usually outdoor events where hundreds if not thousands of other migrants attend.
Next step is to apply for those all important Australian Passports!!!