Citizenship processing times

If you have been living long enough in Australia to apply for Australian citizenship by conferral, 90 percent of applications have a processing time of sixteen months. Once approved, after eight months you will be asked to attend a citizenship ceremony. If you file an application for Australian citizenship by descent, 90 percent of these applications have a processing time of around five months. If you file an application for ‘Evidence of Australian Citizenship’, 90 percent of these applications have a processing time of less than17 days.

The main reasons which affect processing time are mailing times and the number of applications which have filed for Australian citizenship and are waiting to be processed.

All applications are assessed case-by-case so the time taken to process an application may vary because each of the applicant’s personal circumstances is likely to be different.

When a decision has been reached it applies to all results including those that have applications that have been approved, withdrawn and refused and those are invalid so can’t be considered.

Factors that may have an effect on the processing times include:

  • whether a fully completed application has been sent, including requested supporting documents;
  • how quickly you respond if more documents or information are requested;
  • the time taken to evaluate the information provided;
  • the time taken by other agencies, such as providing character checks;
  • for applications that are seeking citizenship by conferral, the applicants may be asked to sit the Australian citizenship test and then go to a citizenship ceremony,

If you have filed an application for Australian citizenship through descent or evidence of Australian citizenship, your citizenship certificate will be printed and sent to you once your application has been approved.

For any applicants who are in Australia you should allow a further 2 weeks to complete the printing and posting of the citizenship certificate. If you aren’t yet living in Australia and did not give an Australian postal address it may take up to six weeks for printing and postage. If possible, you should provide an Australian postal address before the decision is made about before your application. This means your citizenship certificate will be dispatched securely and quickly using registered post.

If your application was filed for Australian citizenship by conferral, you will get your citizenship certificate when you attend a citizenship ceremony as soon as you have made a pledge of commitment.

When can you apply for Australian citizenship?

You must meet the residence requirement for Australian citizenship before you are eligible to apply. Because Australian citizenship is a privilege which requires long-term commitment to Australia you not only need to have lived in Australia without a break and on a valid visa for at least 4 years but other features about your relationship to Australia are considered before a decision is made to grant you citizenship. One of the key features of your application is your links to Australia such as:

  • you own property in Australia;
  • you have spent some time in Australia;
  • you have paid Australian income tax;
  • you have extended family residing in Australia;
  • you have an Australian bank account;
  • you have a partner who is an Australian citizen and you have spent time together;
  • you are employed in Australia;
  • you already have a child who has Australian citizen.

Other requirements before you are accepted as an Australian citizen

If you are 18 years or older you must be able to prove you are of good character. This means you must be prepared to do the following:

  • have no criminal convictions;
  • meet commitments that are attached to the citizenship pledge;
  • uphold and obey Australia’s laws;
  • you don’t associate with people of concern;
  • you don’t have any outstanding issues with an australian court or one overseas;
  • you have been honest in any dealings you have had with anyone in the australian community which includes giving misleading or false information with reference to a citizenship or visa application.
  • you haven’t been reported for domestic violence.
  • when you file your application for Australian citizenship you should have been:
  • residing in Australia for the last 4 years on a valid visa;
  • for the last 12 months be a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen;
  • have not been away from Australia for any more than a total of 12 months in the last 4 years, which includes no more than a total of 90 days in the last 12 months.