Australian citizenship symbolises our unity as a nation. It represents commitment to Australia and its people, the values we share and our common future. It also symbolises the sense of belonging to the country where we have been born or where we have decided to make our own.
As an Australian citizen, you enjoy its democratic freedoms (such as, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice across all areas of life, such as politics, religion and education). You also enjoy Australia’s protection under national and international laws.
The benefits of citizenship include the right to vote, the right to stand for political office, the chance of a career in the Australian Defence Force and the opportunity to be employed by federal and state government departments and agencies.
Citizenship Act Change
On 5 May 2016, Minister Dutton formally declared Islamic State (IS) a terrorist organisation under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. IS is the first organisation to be declared a terrorist organisation.
Dual citizens could have their Australian Citizenship revoked if they are found to be a member of Islamic State.
The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Act 2015 also strips Australian citizenship from dual citizens who are involved in terrorist conduct overseas or convicted of a terrorism offence in Australia.
It will also ensure terrorists who are dual nationals are prevented from returning to Australia and dual nationals who engage in terrorism within Australia can be removed where possible.
Revised Citizenship Test Resource Book
On 17 September 2009, Minister Evans released the revised Citizenship test resource book, Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond, which provides the information required to take the new test. The new test will see potential new citizens assessed on their understanding of Australian civics and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship rather than undergoing a general knowledge quiz about Australia.
The new Australian Citizenship test which assesses prospective new citizens on their understanding of Australian civics and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship commenced on 19 October 2009.
The new test will contain 20 multiple-choice questions and will take up to 45 minutes to complete. It has been written in plain English and will be conducted in English only. The pass mark will rise from 60% to 75%. Unlike the current test, the new test will not contain mandatory questions. The questions will all focus on the important concepts contained in the Australian Citizenship Pledge, rather than general knowledge about Australia. All questions will have equal weighting.
A Citizenship course is also under development to help a small group of disadvantaged people, who for a range of reasons, such as limited literacy and schooling, are likely to struggle when preparing for and sitting a formal computer-based test.
July 2010 Changes
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship have announced changes to the residence requirement for Australian Citizenship.
From 1 July 2010, all Citizenship applicants will need to meet the following residence requirement at the time they apply:
- 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
- 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).
So on 1 July 2010 the transitional arrangements will cease. From 1 July 2010 there will only be one general residence requirement which everyone aged 16 and over will be required to meet.
The Pledge of Commitment:
'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.'
* A person may choose whether or not to use the words 'under God'.
Please contact us if you are interested in applying for Australian citizenship