An Australian permanent resident and an Australian citizen are not the same thing. Get to know the key differences here as well as the privileges and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen.
An Australian permanent resident is someone who holds a permanent visa but is not a citizen. A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia.
A permanent resident has most of the rights and entitlements of a citizen, but there are some differences:
|AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN||AUSTRALIAN PERMANENT RESIDENT|
|Travelling||A citizen has an automatic right of entry to Australia.||If a permanent resident chooses to travel internationally they need to ensure they have a permanent visa with a valid travel authority if they wish to return to Australia as a permanent resident.|
|Voting||A citizen can vote in Australian government elections.||In most cases permanent residents can’t vote in Australian government elections. However, if a permanent resident was enrolled to vote (as a British subject) prior to 1984, they may remain eligible to vote.|
|Government services and benefits||Eligibility for government services and benefits depends on the rules set by the relevant government agency responsible for the service or benefit.||Eligibility for government services and benefits depends on the rules set by the relevant government agency responsible for the service or benefit.|
If you want to apply for permanent residency, there are a number of requirements you need to meet. You can make an application on humanitarian grounds, as a migrant, or part of a family unit.
Being an Australian citizen means you can say, ‘I am Australian.’ Making Australia a permanent home is the goal of many of Melbourne’s migrants and comes with many privileges and responsibilities.Becoming an Australian citizen means you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia and everything Australia stands for.
Generally, those over the age of 18 who apply for Australian citizenship must:
Children may also apply for Australian Citizenship, although different requirements apply. Please visit the Department of Home Affairs website external link for more information.
Any adult who became a permanent resident on or after 1 July 2007 must have been lawfully residing in Australia for four years immediately before applying for Australian citizenship. This includes:
If you satisfy the general eligibility criteria, you will need to pass a test before applying for Australian citizenship. Those covered by other situations (such as those aged under 18 or over age 60, or people who suffer from a substantial impairment or loss of hearing, speech or sight) are not required to sit a test.
The Australian citizenship test has been designed to help future Australian citizens gain an understanding of Australia's:
The test is an important part of ensuring you have the capacity to fully participate in the Australian community as a citizen and maximise the opportunities available to you in Australia. It promotes social cohesion and successful integration into the community.
To sit the test you must:
Being an Australian citizen entitles you to the right to:
Citizenship also brings with it responsibilities. For example, citizens are required to:
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