Will I still meet the residency requirement for Australian citizenship?

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Will I still meet the residency requirement for Australian citizenship?


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-29-2020, 05:58 AM
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Will I still meet the residency requirement for Australian citizenship?

So, I have been living in Australia since July 2013, as an international student. I will be soon graduating from my undergrad studies in mid-march 2020, and departing from Australia as my visa will also be expiring short after completing my studies. I am planning to get some overseas experience in my field during the remaining of 2020 before starting my postgrad studies in 2021 in Australia. After this, I intend on applying for the graduate visa, find a job, and hopefully apply for permanent residency and possible citizenship. I am unsure if by being absent from Australia with an already expired visa will affect any future possibility to meet the residency requirement for citizenship once I lodge my application— will all my time spent in Australia go to waste if I leave for a year? Will my residency start from zero upon my return? Is the residency requirement based on cumulative or consecutive years?

It would be greatly appreciated if anyone can assist me with this.

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Old 02-29-2020, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Knowles View Post
So, I have been living in Australia since July 2013, as an international student. I will be soon graduating from my undergrad studies in mid-march 2020, and departing from Australia as my visa will also be expiring short after completing my studies. I am planning to get some overseas experience in my field during the remaining of 2020 before starting my postgrad studies in 2021 in Australia. After this, I intend on applying for the graduate visa, find a job, and hopefully apply for permanent residency and possible citizenship. I am unsure if by being absent from Australia with an already expired visa will affect any future possibility to meet the residency requirement for citizenship once I lodge my application— will all my time spent in Australia go to waste if I leave for a year? Will my residency start from zero upon my return? Is the residency requirement based on cumulative or consecutive years?

It would be greatly appreciated if anyone can assist me with this.

Regards
I think the main thing is this bit: "lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years before you apply". I read it as having a valid visa for the four years immediately prior to application date. And of course actually being in Australia for 3 of those 4 years, with at least 9 months in the year before application.

I think that any break in visa period will reset the clock.

In my wifes case, the first 3 months she spent in Australia on a tourist visa doesn't seem to count, as she then had a period without a visa, before coming back again.

When we began the citizenship application, using cumulative times, it would not accept it and stated the date we can apply, which was the 4 years date using consecutive visas.

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Old 03-01-2020, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JandE View Post
I think the main thing is this bit: "lawfully resident in Australia for at least 4 years before you apply". I read it as having a valid visa for the four years immediately prior to application date. And of course actually being in Australia for 3 of those 4 years, with at least 9 months in the year before application.

I think that any break in visa period will reset the clock.

In my wifes case, the first 3 months she spent in Australia on a tourist visa doesn't seem to count, as she then had a period without a visa, before coming back again.

When we began the citizenship application, using cumulative times, it would not accept it and stated the date we can apply, which was the 4 years date using consecutive visas.
This is not the case. You can be outside Australia without a visa provided you were previously in Australia lawfully and the period is under the 12 months total absence. This does not work with the final 12 months as a permanent resident, nor does it work if you want to start counting the 4 years at that point.

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Old 03-02-2020, 06:00 AM
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Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it a lot. I was wondering then, if by being absent for less than a year, I would still meet the residency requirement regardless of being outside Australia without a visa?


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Old 03-02-2020, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by paulhand View Post
This is not the case. You can be outside Australia without a visa provided you were previously in Australia lawfully and the period is under the 12 months total absence. This does not work with the final 12 months as a permanent resident, nor does it work if you want to start counting the 4 years at that point.

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it a lot. I was wondering then, if by being absent for less than a year, I would still meet the residency requirement regardless of being outside Australia without a visa?


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Old 03-02-2020, 06:26 AM
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It will depend on the details, and it is still a big hypothetical given the possibility of a change in the system in the next few years. Even if things don’t change, based on your suggested timeline, once you have done a masters and a graduate visa and converted this to PR for a year, you will have been back pushing 4 years anyway, I would have thought.

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Old 03-02-2020, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulhand View Post
It will depend on the details, and it is still a big hypothetical given the possibility of a change in the system in the next few years. Even if things don’t change, based on your suggested timeline, once you have done a masters and a graduate visa and converted this to PR for a year, you will have been back pushing 4 years anyway, I would have thought.
Thanks again for your quick reply, Paul. As I have mentioned before I have been a lawful resident since July 2013, and say this year I leave for 10 months without a visa. Once I get back, I will probably spend two years doing the masters, and, say, obtain the PR in 2023 while on my graduate visa, spend a year as a PR and then apply for citizenship in 2024. Given this scenario, I am kinda concern that all my previous years before those 10 months of absence, would go to waste just by being outside Australia without a visa. Do you think the clock will restart just by not having a visa or being outside Australia, regardless of the amount of time.

Would appreciate it your response a lot!


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Old 03-02-2020, 08:33 PM
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It sounds like based on the current rules, you'd be ok. However there has been talk over the past few years of making the citizenship eligibility more difficult so things may change between now and 2024.

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Old 03-02-2020, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Knowles View Post
Once I get back, I will probably spend two years doing the masters, and, say, obtain the PR in 2023 while on my graduate visa, spend a year as a PR and then apply for citizenship in 2024. Given this scenario, I am kinda concern that all my previous years before those 10 months of absence, would go to waste just by being outside Australia without a visa.
Current citizenship residence requirement rules state:
We consider the amount of time you have lived in Australia in the last 4 years.

If you apply for citizenship in 2024, then presumably they will only look back to 2020 anyway.


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Old 03-02-2020, 10:51 PM
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You currently do not have a PR yet, and you get all the same rights as a citizen anyway. You're going to be studying for post grad for a few years, graduate visa for about 2 years before getting a PR so I don't understand whats the stress or rush.

The citizenship requirement is
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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