Required documents to apply for citizenship

Date: Oct 16, 2012

For those who are in Australia and wish to make the transition from permanent residence to becoming an Australian citizen, there are a number of documents that you will need in order to begin the application process. Different documents will be required depending on the type of citizenship application you are making. Any issues of ambiguity or confusion can easily be cleared up by talking to an experienced, competent immigration lawyer.

First of all, you will need three original documents which prove your identity. Together, these documents must show your photograph, your signature, your current address and your birth name, date of birth and any name changes. Your passport is a good example of a document which will help you prove your identity, but other forms of identification may also be appropriate.

In addition, there is a form where an identity declaration, which is a legal statement that confirms your identity, must be completed. This must be signed by an Australian citizen who works in a profession approved by the DIAC and who isn't related to you by blood or marriage. They must have known you for at least a year. They also must sign the back of a passport sized photo of you in addition to the application.

If you are applying for all of this from overseas and do not know an Australian citizen in your current location, talk to a friend who's known you for at least a year and get them to fill out the relevant sections of the application, provided that their occupation is the on the list of approved jobs.

In addition to identity documents, declarations of good character are also required. The types of documents required will vary depending on the type of citizenship application you are making. In order to make an application for Australian citizenship, you will be required to submit documents regarding your criminal history while living in or visiting other nations. This is what's known as a penal clearance certificate or an overseas police check. You may be required to submit a number of penal clearance certificates from different countries if you have spent time in a number of countries prior to your application for Australian citizenship.

You must tell the DIAC about any convictions you have had, in Australia or overseas. A conviction consists of a guilty verdict in a criminal court where the sentence is jail time, a fine or a good behaviour bond. Certain convictions may prevent your application from being processed, including if you are currently a prisoner of an Australian jail or are awaiting the outcome of a criminal case.

If you have been out of jail for less than two years for a serious crime or been out for less than ten for a repeat offender, your application may be halted. If you are incarcerated in a psychiatric
institution as a result of criminal activity you also may have your citizenship application halted; also breach of bail conditions are also circumstances where you may have your claim stopped.

To ensure a smooth process, it's important to have all your documents handy and up to date to prevent any setbacks. Speaking to an experienced migration lawyer can also ensure you have everything in order before you proceed with your Australian citizenship application.