Other Requirements for Australian Citizenship


One does not become an Australian citizenship until one takes the pledge:

  1. 20 Requirements for becoming a citizen

                   A person becomes an Australian citizen under this Subdivision if:

                     (a)  the Minister decides under s 24(1) to approve the person becoming an Australian citizen; and

                     (b)  if the person is required to make a pledge of commitment to become an Australian citizen—the person makes that pledge.

Note:          Ss 21 to 25 deal with the Minister approving the person becoming an Australian citizen. Sections 26 and 27 deal with the making of a pledge of commitment.

Here are the general requirements for citizenship which broadly mirror the old Act:

  1. 21 Application and eligibility for citizenship

             (1)  A person may make an application to the Minister to become an Australian citizen.

Note 1:       Subsections (2) to (8) deal with eligibility.

Note 2:       Section 46 sets out application requirements (which may include the payment of a fee).

General eligibility

             (2)  A person is eligible to become an Australian citizen if the Minister is satisfied that the person:

                     (a)  is aged 18 or over at the time the person made the application; and

                     (b)  is a permanent resident at that time; and

                     (c)  understands the nature of the application at that time; and

                     (d)  satisfies the residence requirement (see section 22), or has completed relevant defence service (see section 23), at that time; and

                     (e)  possesses a basic knowledge of the English language at the time of the Minister’s decision on the application; and

                      (f)  has an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship at the time of the Minister’s decision on the application; and

                     (g)  is likely to reside, or to continue to reside, in Australia or to maintain a close and continuing association with Australia if the application were to be approved; and

                     (h)  is of good character at the time of the Minister’s decision on the application.


The requirement of the likelihood to reside in Australia is exemplified in Glasser [2003] AATA 180 (25.2.03), where the applicant told DIMIA she intended to spend significant time away from Australia in the next couple years with her husband who was not based in Australia.  She had a $255,000 unit on the Gold Coast recently purchased which was intended to be home.  The AAT found:


  1. The applicant has several Australian friends; she described one in Melbourne as “very close”. She has no children however, and her immediate family all reside overseas. She obviously has business associates, but as Mr B pointed out, the type of activities which she is pursuing could just as easily be carried out by computer link from many different places in the world and the representative job with the horse product organisation could involve travel to Germany. She has funds on deposit with ANZ Bank. These of course could be readily transferred overseas on short notice. She does own the complete equity in the Main Beach apartment. I accept that it was purchased as a future home with the concurrence of her husband. Although it has been let for several months, I am satisfied that it was not purchased purely as a financial investment. Her husband is.. still overseas. His furniture has not yet been shipped from Oman to Australia. He has no financial interests in Australia at the present time and his future employment is still in a state of some uncertainty. If the applicant’s hopes and aspirations are fulfilled she will be able to show that she is maintaining a close and continuing association with Australia at some time in the not-too-distant future.

As a result the AAT deferred the citizenship application for 12 months under s. 14 of the old Act to rescue to the applicant to the application to be taken up again a year later, by which time the applicant’s position would have been stabilised.

Another case involving the failure to intend to live in Australia is Smout v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs [2000] AATA 370 (12 May 2000), where an Australian born in 1925 but who lived continuously in the UK since 1929, applied for UK citizenship in 1998 because his residence status was queried on arrival back in the UK after a holiday.  He applied to regain his Australian citizenship but did not meet the intention to reside in Australia again criterion in s. 23AA(1)(iv) of the old Act.