STEPS TO APPLYING FOR CITIZENSHIP: 

Please note, this is meant as a general guide only as it's too technical to address every possible variation of applications. Details have been collated from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website in order to make the process easier.

There are several ways to apply for Australian citizenship. The application process varies depending on your visa and residency history.

View the citizenship options below to find out how to apply:

As a New Zealand citizen your eligibility for Australian citizenship depends on whether you arrived in Australia before or after 26 February 2001.

On arrival in Australia, most New Zealand citizens are automatically granted a Special Category visa (SCV). An SCV is a temporary visa, but it allows the holder to remain and work in Australia. If you were present in Australia on 26 February 2001 as the holder of an SCV, you may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.

On 26 February 2001, the Australian Government announced that New Zealand citizens arriving after 26 February 2001 are required to apply for and be granted a permanent visa if they wish to access certain social security payments, obtain Australian citizenship or sponsor their family members for permanent residence.

More information for New Zealand citizens entering or living in Australia.
See:

The cost of your application will vary according to your eligibility and which form you need to use to apply. In some cases you may be able to apply for a fee concession or exemption.

Credit card is the preferred method of payment.  More information on how to pay  for an application and related surcharges is available.

If you are outside Australia and applying for Australian citizenship by descent or adoption, check the website of your nearest Immigration office  outside Australia for acceptable methods of payments.

Citizenship fees changed on 1 January 2016. The new fees are below. For information on the new fees see:  Citizenship fee changes. Printable information of citizenship fees on Form 1298i - Citizenship fees (58KB PDF)  is available.

THIS PROCESS IS SPECIFICALLY FOR NEW ZEALAND CITIZENS APPLYING FOR CITIZENSHIP

NOTE: DUAL CITIZENSHIP IS AUTOMATIC, IN OTHER WORDS YOU WON'T LOSE YOUR NZ CITIZENSHIP HOWEVER THIS MAY CHANGE IF YOU ARE ALREADY A DUAL CITIZEN. CHECK WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION BEFOREHAND TO BE SURE.

STEP ONE:

Apply for a NZ police check. This takes approximately 20  days not including postage.
Note: If you have resided in any other country and were 18yrs or over for periods longer than 90 days you may be required to obtain police checks from those countries too. 
Link is for the forms needed to get your police check:
http://www.justice.govt.nz/services/criminal-records/forms/request-by-individual.pdf/view

 

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST TICK THE BOX THAT REQUIRES A FULL RECORD OF YOUR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST TICK THE BOX THAT REQUIRES A FULL RECORD OF YOUR CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

STEP TWO:

People are encouraged if possible to apply for citizenship online however submitting a paper application is available also. 2a outlines everything you need to do for  the ONLINE  application and 2b outlines what you need to do for the paper application.

2a.  Citizenship online applications

NOTE:  If you apply  online through the website,

 Create an  ImmiAccount to start you application if you: 

  • are between 18 and 59 years of age

  • meet the eligibility requirements

    • In general, to apply for citizenship you will need to:

    • be a migrant who is a permanent resident

    • satisfy the residence requirement

      • The residence requirement is based on the time you have lived in Australia and the time you have spent outside Australia.

        You must:

      • have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident, and

      • not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year before applying.

      • The Residence Requirement Calculator  can help you calculate whether you meet this requirement.

        Under certain circumstances the residence requirement may be varied.

    • be likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia

    • be of good character if you are 18 years of age or over.

  • have all of the required documents.

    • Examples of supporting documents:
      Birth certificate
      Passports or other travel documents
      Endorsed passport sized photograph as part of the Identity Declaration
      Evidence of any name changes
      Any orders relating to the custody, guardianship or parental responsibility for your child, if this applies
      Evidence of adoption of your child, if your child was adopted overseas

    • If you have difficulty finding suitable documents please call the Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 in Australia between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

  • If you are applying for citizenship online, you must also lodge Form 1195 - Identity declaration (81KB PDF). Attach a scanned copy of your completed Form 1195 to your online application and then bring the original to your citizenship appointment.

  • NOTE: The identity process  is can vary for children depending on age.

    • Usually, identity and other document requirements for children under the age of 16 years are the same as those for an adult.

      Children under 6 years of age

      For children under 6 years of age, it can be difficult to find a person with the appropriate authority to sign their Identity declaration and photograph.

      In this circumstance, copies of their documents may be certified and their Identity declaration and photograph signed by an Australian citizen who is not related to them by birth, marriage or de facto relationship, is currently working in a position from the designated list of occupations  and who has known them for less than one year.

      If the child is overseas, and no Australian citizen has known them for that time, a citizen of their country of residence who meets the other requirements listed can sign.

2b.  People are encouraged to apply  online if possible. You will also need to provide all other documentation as described in Steps 1 and 2a.

Form 1300T is for people who are aged between 18 and 59 years.

Form 1290 is for people who are:

  • 60 years of age and over

  • 17 years of age or younger, or

  • of any age and you:

    • were born overseas to a parent who had previously lost their Australian citizenship because they had acquired the citizenship of another country, or

    • suffer from a permanent loss or substantial impairment of hearing, speech or sight, or

    • have an enduring physical or mental incapacity that means you are not capable of understanding the nature of the application.

  • You can also download and print the paper application form 1290 - Application for Australian citizenship - Other situations (238KB PDF).

Note:  If you apply  on a paper form

  • attach certified copies of your documents to your application. You must then bring your original documents to your citizenship appointment.

STEP THREE:

Prepare for your citizenship test or interview

Ensure you understand what Australian citizenship involves.

The test resource, Australian Citizenship - Our Common Bond, has all the information you need to prepare for the citizenship test. It also contains useful information for people having a citizenship interview.

Download  Australian Citizenship - Our Common Bond or watch  it on YouTube.

You can also do the practice test.

STEP FOUR:

Gather your original documents

You must provide original documents.

You will need to provide a range of documents to:

  • All applicants must provide proof of their identity and provide the following documents.

  • Three (3) original documents that collectively show your:

    • photograph

    • signature

    • 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 

    • In addition to providing your identity documents, you will need to have the identity declaration section of your form 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.

  • If permanent residency  is an eligibility requirement of your application, you must also provide evidence of your arrival in Australia.

  • establish links between all names you have used,

  • establish you have not had any serious criminal convictions

  • to apply for variations to the residence requirement or fees.

What are the document requirements? Use this checklist  as a guide to the original documents usually required.

STEP FIVE:

You will be invited to attend an appointment at your local Immigration Department where you will sit the citizenship test, produce all your original documents that you put in your application and be interviewed.

Providing the test has been successfully passed, documents verified and interview a letter of approval or otherwise will follow in the mail. If successful the letter will outline a the next step of attending a Citizenship Ceremony .

STEP SIX:

Attend a Pledge of Commitment Citizenship Ceremony. Citizenship is not finalised until you have attended a ceremony. Usually, your citizenship ceremony will be held at your local council within six months of your application being approved, although waiting times can vary.

For most people, the final step in becoming an Australian citizen is making the pledge of commitment. Once your application has been approved, arrangements will be made for you to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will make the Pledge. Making the Pledge is the final legal requirement to become an Australian citizen.

Generally, your ceremony will be held at your local council within six months from the time your application is approved, although waiting times can vary. You will receive a letter of invitation from either your local council or us.

If you need to change the date of your ceremony, we can generally accommodate you but you will need to let us know as soon as possible.