Migrant with permanent residence - eligibility

To become an Australian citizen you need to meet certain requirements. For most applicants these include that you:

  • are a permanent resident at time of application and time of decision
  • meet the residence requirements
  • are of good character
  • have a basic knowledge of the English language
  • intend to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia
  • have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.

If you are 60 years of age or over you are not required to sit the citizenship test.

General residence requirement

The general residence requirement is based on the amount of time you have lived in Australia.

You must meet all of the following:

  • have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying
  • must have been a permanent resident for the 12 months immediately before making an application and not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.

Under some circumstances you might be eligible to apply for a variation to the residence requirement  or be eligible under the special residence requirement.

Calculate your permanent residency

If you were granted a permanent resident visa before you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date is the date that you arrived in Australia on that visa.

If you were granted a permanent resident visa after you arrived in Australia, your permanent residence date will be the date that the visa was granted.

Use the Residence Requirement Calculator to determine if you meet the permanent residence requirements to become a citizen.


You can include children under 16 years of age in your citizenship application if they are permanent residents.

Children under 16 years of age do not need to meet the residence requirements but must be permanent residents. More information is available for children under 16 years of age or unaccompanied minors applying on their own.

More information is available about children who are 16 and 17 years of age.