Alternative Pathways to gain Australian Citizenship
September 11, 2018

Alternative Pathways to gain Australian Citizenship

Gaining Australian Citizenship - Alternative Pathways

There is an anxiety regarding forthcoming changes in Australian Citizenship laws. This is also forcing migrants to examine alternative ways to become an Australian Citizen.  Many migrants become eligible for it as per conferral; but there are different ways to become a citizen. We give the details of such cases below.

Citizenship by descent

This method as per the current Citizenship Act demands that a person needs to satisfy one from the two sets of eligibility norms of section 16 of the Act. In case of birth outside Australia on or after 26th Jan 1949, the person must satisfy section 16 (2). Here such person is eligible to become a citizen if:

  • his/her parent was an Australian citizen at the birth time; and
  • If the parent was an Australian citizen at the time of the birth:

    (i) The parent was been present in Australia totally for 2 years at a time before the person sent the application; or

    (ii)  The person is not a national of any country at the time the person sent the application; and

  • If the person has ever been a citizen of any country

In case of not satisfying the above norms, there is still a way for eligibility for Australian Citizenship by Descent under section 16(3).  This section applies to persons born before 26 January 1949,

In case of not satisfying the above norms, there is still a way for eligibility for Australian Citizenship by Descent under section 16(3).This section applies to persons born before 26 January 1949,

(3)  This section states that a person can get Australian Citizenship provided if he/she meets the following criteria:

A person born outside Australia before 26 January 1949 can become a citizen if:

  • A parent became an Australian citizen on 26 January 1949; and
  • The parent was born in Australia/New Guinea or became a naturalized person in Australia before the birth of such person; and
  • If the person is a citizen of any country

Citizenship by Adoption

The person can resort to adoption and such person’s path to citizenship is based on by the type of their adoption process.

When a person is adopted in a Simple Hague Convention the procedure is as follows:

  • The contract of Adoption can be off-shore, but finalized in Australia
  • There is an involvement of Adoption Authorities of Australia in the process
  • A Compliance Certificate regarding Adoption should be issued and recognized as per Australian law
  • For enabling the child for travelling to Australia, there will be a requirement to submit application for asubclass 102 adoption visa
  • Furthermore, a child can be adopted by Australian citizens under adoption arrangements of Hague Convention for inter country adoptions or under the bilateral arrangement between two countries. The adoption can be finalized overseas by issuing a valid adoption compliance certificate. Documents are provided by authorities, to satisfy the norms of an adoption compliance certificate. These are ‘full Hague’ convention adoptions.
  • The adoption is recognized in Australian law.
  • Application is made for Australian citizenship in Subdivision AA - Citizenship for persons adopted as per The Hague Convention on Inter country Adoption or also through the bilateral arrangement. There are application and eligibility requirements in Section 19C. A child that is adopted as per the Hague Convention or through a bilateral arrangement need not obtain a permanent visa under this provision.

Full Hague Convention

The Hague Convention for Protecting Children, and Cooperation in Inter country Adoption started to operate in Australia on 1 December 1998. This is the procedure to be followed to qualify for citizenship in the full Hague Convention:

Ministerial Discretion and Special Residence Requirement 

Australian Citizenship Act permits giving concessions to the residency norms and for Ministerial Discretion in some circumstances.  In section 22, furthermore, the Minister has discretion to count time spent in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen for meeting the requirements for the Australia Permanent Residence

Moreover, an applicant seeking Australian citizenship is eligible under section 22-B for consideration of special residence need.  This is also useful for such persons who are regular travelers for work outside Australia when they do the work as specified by the legislative instrument.  Examples of such works are:

  • crew member of the of a ship; or an aircraft; or working on a resources or a sea installation; 
  • Moreover, C.E.O.s or the Executive Managers of an Standard & Poor/ASX All Australian 200 , listed company; or
  • any Scientist hired by an Australian University, who is a PhD holder in special field, and is undertaking development and research  benefiting  Australia; or for a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization; or A Medical Research Institute holding the membership  of the Association of Australia Medical Research Institutes. Finally, an internationally renowned Medical Specialist also qualifies in it.

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