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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys. I received my pr back in March 2018 in Australia (physically present). But since then, I left Australia and entered an university oversea and only entered Australia for a period of 3 months between June 2019 to August 2019.

As I will graduate later this year, I am planning to move to Australia in September this year and start my calculation of residence requirement. I wonder what would my lawful residence date be? And if I do not leave Australia for 3 consecutive years starting from September 2022 to August 2025, could I apply for citizenship in September 2025?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it needs to be 4 years, not 3 years.
I thought the requirement was 3 years out of the last 4 years? If I stay in Australia for 3 consecutive years, doesn’t it mean I meet the requirement? I used the residence calculator for reference but I got confused on the lawful residence date part. If my lawful residence date was the day I was granted pr, the calculator said I met the residence requirement.
 

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If my lawful residence date was the day I was granted pr,
Your lawful residence date is the date you moved to Australia, not the date your permanent visa was granted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your lawful residence date is the date you moved to Australia, not the date your permanent visa was granted.
But how do they define ‘the date I moved to Australia’ though? Here is a passage I found online:

‘At the time you apply for Citizenship you must have been living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years.
The “Living in Australia definition” allows for trips overseas to be still counted as residence in Australia, assuming you had a valid visa during those trips. Any period in those four years, without a valid visa, would reset your Lawful Residence Date to the new entry date.’

As my PR was granted in March 2018 and I still have a valid visa (PR) since that date. Doesn’t it mean my lawful residence date hasn’t been reset and it should still be March 2018?
 

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But how do they define ‘the date I moved to Australia’ though? Here is a passage I found online:

‘At the time you apply for Citizenship you must have been living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years.
The “Living in Australia definition” allows for trips overseas to be still counted as residence in Australia, assuming you had a valid visa during those trips. Any period in those four years, without a valid visa, would reset your Lawful Residence Date to the new entry date.’

As my PR was granted in March 2018 and I still have a valid visa (PR) since that date. Doesn’t it mean my lawful residence date hasn’t been reset and it should still be March 2018?
It would seem that that website does not belong to a registered migration agent or a lawyer, and this information is plain incorrect.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would seem that that website does not belong to a registered migration agent or a lawyer, and this information is plain incorrect.
I also checked the Australian Citizenship Act 2007

(1) Subject to this section, for the purposes of section 21 a person satisfies the general residence requirement if:
(a) the person was present in Australia for the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and
(1A) If:
(a) the person was absent from Australia for a part of the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and
(b) the total period of the absence or absences was not more than 12 months;
then, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), the person is taken to have been present in Australia during each period of absence.

For what I understand above is that I am allowed to be absent from Australia for 12 months in the 4 years period? If that is true, does it mean that I could move to Australia in Sept 2022 and apply for citizenship in Sept 2025? Assuming that Sept 2021 to August 2022 is the "12 months" that I am allowed to be absent from Australia.
 

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Have you tried this one: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/tools/residence-calculator

In my case, I got a PR, made my entry, stayed in Australia for two weeks then left the country... I have come back after almost two years. Now when I use the official calculator above and enter the respective dates the calculator tells me that I can apply after staying in Australia for 3 years, not 4.

The conditions on immi.gov are stated as:
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

So I believe what happens is; If your PR is active (Meaning that you were in AU when you received the visa or entered AU with the visa), the system assumes that you are living in Australia and leaving the country doesn't change this status. So the exact condition is more or less "If your PR is active, at least 4 years old, and you are here for the last 3 years, you are eligible to apply" (Assuming the person is already fulfilling the "No absence more than 90 days in the past 12 months condition); because the 12-month (Probably 364 days to be exact) absence allowance is added to your existing 3-year residency, making it 4 years and fulfilling the "living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years" condition... Obviously, any additional absences, such as having a one week vacation in a different country further pushes your eligibility date by 7 days...

The above explanation does not factor in the "Lawful Residence Date", which is not applicable in my case since I haven't come to AU with any visa before my PR. However, as far as I can see it is only relevant if your PR is relatively new but you had lived in AU with another visa. In that case, the "Lawful Residence Date" essentially replaces the PR activation date but the rest of the logic is more or less the same (In this case, I am assuming the PR itself is older than 12 months)

P.S. This is my personal interpretation of the information I read on the Immi website; you may want to get professional help from a registered consultant.
 

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I also checked the Australian Citizenship Act 2007

(1) Subject to this section, for the purposes of section 21 a person satisfies the general residence requirement if:
(a) the person was present in Australia for the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and
(1A) If:
(a) the person was absent from Australia for a part of the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and
(b) the total period of the absence or absences was not more than 12 months;
then, for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), the person is taken to have been present in Australia during each period of absence.

For what I understand above is that I am allowed to be absent from Australia for 12 months in the 4 years period? If that is true, does it mean that I could move to Australia in Sept 2022 and apply for citizenship in Sept 2025? Assuming that Sept 2021 to August 2022 is the "12 months" that I am allowed to be absent from Australia.


Did you get any clarification on this as I am asking a similar question.

To me, the lawful Residency date is clear from their website and example and it is when you 1st landed in Australia. In the legislation, any absences are still classed as being a Lawful Resident while holding a valid visa.

HOWEVER, Speaking to IMMI, as there is an issue for me in applying for Citizenship, they told me that because I was out of the country for an extended period of time, my Lawful Residency date changed to the last time I entered Australia (excluding a couple of holidays abroad). I cannot find any legislation or information to validate that this is the case. N.B. I have been in the country this period for 3yrs 3 months but was out of the country for 5 years prior but always with a valid PR visa able to travel.

Staffy
 

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I have managed to work out the issue with mine.

Basically, I now believe that your lawful residency date is when you 1st legally arrive in Australia (holiday or PR) without any period being offshore and cannot legally travel back.
In other word, you stop being a Legal Resident as soon as you are out of the country and the Travel part of your visa ends.

As long as the visa's you have, stated that you could come and go indefinitely during the WHOLE time since March 2018, you should be OK to apply after being back for 3 years.

If your PR was like mine, the initial PR had a 5year travel period on it at which point I had to apply for a resident return visa.
If you applied in March 2018, and you had the 5yr limitation, have you applied for a Resident Return visa and was there a period where you were unable to come back to Australia between your original PR running out and the RR being granted? If so, you will need to reset you 4 years to when you arrive on your latest visa.
 

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I have managed to work out the issue with mine.

Basically, I now believe that your lawful residency date is when you 1st legally arrive in Australia (holiday or PR) without any period being offshore and cannot legally travel back.
In other word, you stop being a Legal Resident as soon as you are out of the country and the Travel part of your visa ends.

As long as the visa's you have, stated that you could come and go indefinitely during the WHOLE time since March 2018, you should be OK to apply after being back for 3 years.

If your PR was like mine, the initial PR had a 5year travel period on it at which point I had to apply for a resident return visa.
If you applied in March 2018, and you had the 5yr limitation, have you applied for a Resident Return visa and was there a period where you were unable to come back to Australia between your original PR running out and the RR being granted? If so, you will need to reset you 4 years to when you arrive on your latest visa.
Sorry, but unfortunately It's not true.
In my case, my first arrival date was on my 600 Visa, and after 2 years, I've applied for another Tourist Visa ( the last one was expired more than 1 year ago). There was a big gap between those 2 Tourist Visa's. But my application for citizenship went through using the first arrival date as the start of my lawful residence date.

It's not something about the visa validity.
Once you've been offshore more than 12 months, your residence calculator ceased and would restart from the next entering date.
The official residence calculator unfortunately is just a calculator.
 
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