Australian Citizenship Residency Requirement

Residence requirement

The Department of Immigration consider the amount of time you have lived in Australia in the last 4 years. In certain cases, DHA may exempt you from this requirement

Meet the general residence requirement

At the time you apply you must have been:

  • living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years
  • a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months
  • away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months

For children 16 or 17 years old, if meeting this requirement would cause significant hardship or disadvantage, you will need to provide proof.

Children under 16 do not need to meet the general residence requirement but must be permanent residents.

COVID-19 update: The Department of Home Affairs have advised that if an applicant is not able to return to Australia due to the current travel restrictions, there are no concessions for those individuals, meaning they are going to have to postpone applying for citizenship applications until they satisfy the citizenshipresidence requirement’.

Online citizenship ceremonies being trialled during coronavirus crisis.

Calculate your permanent residence

Your residency starts on the date:

  • we granted the permanent visa when you were in Australia, or
  • you first entered Australia on a permanent visa
General exemptions

You do not need to meet our residence requirement if you:

  • are under 16 years
  • were born to a former Australian citizen who lost their citizenship before 4 April 2002
  • were born in Papua before 16 September 1975 and one of your parents was born in Australia and was an Australian citizen when you were born

You will need to give us documents that support your claim when you apply.