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Benefits of becoming Australian citizen

You might be interested to know why permanent residents apply for citizenship.

I had a Filipina approach me last year for help because Immigration sent her a notice of intent to cancel her permanent visa. She has been eligible to apply for citizenship years before that but held it off until this happened. But before you conclude that this is the norm if you do not apply straightaway, let me tell you that the Filipina was dobbed-in to have married a man just to get a visa.

If you are confident you did not breach any condition or have submitted bogus docs or misleading information in any of your visas - past and present, you do not have any reason to fear cancellation. Well, there's other grounds for cancellation (ie., character) to be considered as well. And then there's the possibility of new laws being passed...

Now back to benefits of being an Australian citizen: Read SBS World News' Kelsey Munro takes a look at what Australian citizens can do that permanent residents can't. by Kelsey Munro.

Over 133,000 people from 190 different countries became Australian citizens in 2015-2016. The largest share of these new Australians came from India and the UK, with people from the Philippines and China hot on their heels. 

Permanent residents already enjoy many of the benefits of living in Australia: a prosperous, democratic society, with a clean environment, and a famously good lifestyle.

They can even get a a Medicare card - so why do so many permanent residents decide to take the extra step of becoming citizens?

Here’s ten things citizens get to do (and in some cases, have to do), that permanent residents can’t.

1. You can vote

Actually, you have to vote. It’s compulsory in Australia for citizens over 18 to vote in local, state and federal government elections and referendums. You can get a fine of up to $180 if you don’t show up to vote on polling day. 

There’s only 12 countries in the world that enforce compulsory voting, which puts Australia in the rare company of North Korea, where there’s only one candidate on the ballot paper.

The good news in Australia, is you can vote for whoever you want from what can be a bewilderingly large array of candidates. 


What you need to know about Australian citizenship application:

There are different ways of becoming an Australian citizen:

  • Automatic citizenship - if you are born in Australia and at least one of your parents is permanent resident or citizen.

  • By application - there are four situations that will allow you to apply for Australian citizenship:
    1. Descent : If you are born outside Australia but one or both your parents are Australian citizens when you were born.
    2. Adoption in accordance with the Hague Convention on Inter-country adoption
    3. By conferral - you need to have a permanent resident, pass the residence requirement and pass the citizenship test.
    4. Resuming citizenship is for former citizens who would like to resume their citizenship.

TentMA can help you in all situations, however, this page discuss addressing requirements for conferral applicants.


You will need to pass the citizenship test. TentMA will provide materials to help you with your review and practice the exam with you. Exemptions apply if you have permanent disability, less than 18 years old, over 60 years old or have speech, sight or hearing impairment. If you are born to a former Australian citizen, born in Papua or a stateless person, you can also be exempted from this exam. Contact us if you require more information about taking the exam.

Grounds for refusal of Australian citizenship application:
  • You fail to submit proper identification
  • You are a threat to national security
  • If you are not in Australia at the time the decision is to be made
  • You have pending court cases, in prison, serious repeat offender or other character-related offenses
  • If your citizenship ceased within the last 12 months

Find out if you are eligible :