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Changes to Australian citizenship law and travel exemptions for parents overseas

20 October 2021

2 min read

#Immigration Law, #COVID-19

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Changes to Australian citizenship law and travel exemptions for parents overseas

The Australian Citizenship Act has been amended to provide a pathway to Australian citizenship for talented prospective Australians. These changes provide flexibility to the residence requirement, which requires a prospective Australian to have spent a certain amount of time in Australia before applying for citizenship. 

This special residence requirement has been expanded to holders of the distinguished talent and global talent visas who, during the two years immediately before applying for Australian citizenship, have been:

  • ordinarily resident in Australia
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • present in Australia for at least 180 days in total, with at least 90 days of this being during the 12 months before making the application.

Australian citizenship by descent and evidence of Australian citizenship

Changes have also been made to the lodgement arrangements for applications for Australian citizenship by descent and for evidence of Australian citizenship requiring all applications to be made by ImmiAccount from 1 November 2021. These changes will facilitate faster processing times and easier management of applications.

Great news for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents

Throughout the pandemic, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents were unable to travel to Australia and were not eligible for a travel exemption because they were not considered ‘immediate family’. The great news is, parents will now be considered immediate family when applying for a travel exemption to visit their children in Australia.

This is particularly good news for parent visa applicants who left Australia holding a bridging visa and have been unable to return and for those with new grandchildren. Those parents caught offshore on a Bridging Visa B will need to apply for a visitor visa to return to Australia and have their bridging visa reinstated once onshore. 

If you have any questions regarding this article or your visa, please speak to us or contact us here.

Author: Rebecca Macmillan

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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