I imagine most of you reading a title like that are hoping to see something like this:
- Call this toll-free number – 1800 123456789-TEN
- When prompted, leave your full name and address.
- When asked for the purpose of your call answer, clearly, “Australian Citizenship”.
- Wait for your citizenship certificate to turn up in the post.
The reality is, it’s very much harder than that. For the vast majority of people, the only way to do it is to start by getting some kind of visa to come to Australia. To qualify for a visa you would have to have enough points.
You can find more about how that works over on my page about visas.
What I am talking about today is how to go from “permanent resident” to “Australian citizen”.
That was the article I wrote after becoming an Australian citizen. Turns out I printed that article out of turn, what I should have posted was my article called “Australian Citizenship”.
I’m sure you can see how easy it was to make that mistake.
That article appeared in the magazine in January of this year, but I wrote it on on 8 November last year, just four days before my fourth anniversary of living in Australia. That’s an important date as you will see in this article.
Here it is, slightly amended with links that I just couldn’t add in the print version…
The right to stay.
Moving to Australia isn’t easy, there’s lots of dull paperwork to fill in. Questions you need to answer; things you need to prove; medicals to take; criminal records to be checked. Oh, and a not insignificant amount of money will need to pass over to the Australian government.
Not to mention, which I’m now doing, Australia will need to want you. Is your skill in demand? Are you “young” enough? No, it’s not easy getting into Australia.
But supposing you do get in, supposing you get that visa? Well, that’s just great, isn’t it? You can now start your new life down under. Except, you’re not quite there yet. Because it’s most likely you will be entering Australia on either a temporary visa or a permanent residency visa.
Effectively, you’re in Australia as a guest. Guests can be shown the proverbial door. This door has the longest hallway in the world; as long as 11,000 miles for some. Yes, I’m talking about deportation. Not good.
You may think I’m getting carried away here, but that’s the scary prospect facing one British engineer. You may have read the story; I know it reached the UK. He was convicted of fare evasion and now has a criminal record. This could prevent him from being accepted as an Australian citizen, should he apply.
Being an Australian citizen is the only way you can secure the right to stay in this country. Under the terms of my entry into Australia, to get from a permanent resident, as I am, to Australian citizen, as I plan to be, I need to live here for four years. Without collecting a criminal record.
Well, I managed it for over 40 years in the UK, and I’ve now managed it for nearly 4 years here in Australia. I’m proud to announce that as I write this, I only have four days left to go.
So close, I can smell it.
So, as long as I don’t go fare dodging, everything will be okay, right?
Not so fast. I have to pass my citizenship test. “The citizenship test consists of 20 questions drawn at random from a pool of questions. To pass the test, you must correctly answer 75 per cent, or 15 out of 20 questions…”
But not to worry, help is at hand.
There is a free e-book which can be downloaded from the government’s website which will help me revise for the test. So I’ve got to go, I have work to do. 75% seems pretty high to me, I can’t remember getting anything as high as that when I was at school.
Hang on a tick; they also have a six part video series which you can now watch on my page called How to Pass Your Australian Citizenship Test! I don’t have to read the PDF!
I’ll crack a tinnie, settle down on the deck chair by the pool and veg out in front of my laptop. No worries. Let me just get some snags to chuck on the barbie, I’m a bit peckish. Now I’m good.
Hold up, I can’t see the screen on the laptop, it’s too sunny. I may as well get my togs and go for a dip. I can check that other stuff out tomorrow.
I’m sure I’ll be right, I feel a bit Aussie already.