When Can an Applicant Apply for Citizenship

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Can you Apply for Australian Citizenship early?

A Permanent Resident can apply for Citizenship after they have been a Permanent Resident for at least 12 months, AND have been legally resident in the country for 4 years, with allowances for Holidays etc (see below).

What happens if you apply for Citizenship early?

We did just that, and began to fill in the application form.  At page 6 we hit an issue and got this message.

Reached page 6 of 34 pages and got this:
The applicant is unable to proceed with this application. Access the Residence calculator to check when the applicant will have been in Australia long enough to be eligible for Australian citizenship.


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Residence requirement met: No
Reapply Date: 20/02/2020. Do not submit your application before this date.

So, can you start to apply early?  Yes, BUT..

  • You won’t get far, if you are not eligible.

There was one advantage though.  It told us exactly when we could apply again.


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Australian Citizenship 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.
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