An application to become an Australian citizen by descent, adoption, conferral or resumption must be made to the Minister of Immigration. But, there are specific criteria that must be met before the grant of citizenship can be made.

The Australian Citizenship criteria includes:

  • Being a permanent resident of Australia;
  • Meeting the residence requirement;
  • Being of good character;
  • Having a basic knowledge of English;
  • Intending to live or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia; and
  • Having an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.

Meeting the residence requirement is often the most difficult criteria to prove. However, it is the most crucial.

In some cases, an applicant might be eligible to apply for a variation of the residence requirement or be eligible under the special residence requirement.

For more information about Australian Citizenship, please contact Laymens on 1800 529 636.

Getting an Australian Visa

To enter Australia, you need a valid passport and a visa. To get a visa, you must apply for the correct visa and pass the requirements. If the process is overwhelming, you can get the help of an immigration lawyer or officer.

Types of Australian Visa’s  

You can apply online for:

Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)

To apply for this short-term visa online, you can’t be in Australia, and you must hold a passport from Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea or the United States.

This Australian visa application is for a tourist, for business visitor activities. In most cases this allows you to visit several times within a year.

It is possible to not meet the online requirements and still get a visa to an immigration office, travel agent or airline.

eVisitor (subclass 651)

This is a free visa that eligible passport holders can get if they are visiting Australia for tourism or business. This visa lasts 3 months for a tourist or business visitor activities.

Visitor visa (subclass 600)

This visa lets you visit Australia to visit or for business purposes for up to either three, six or 12 months. This visa is for a tourist, for business visitor activities, to see family, or if you’re on tour with a registered travel agent.

Work or Holiday visa (subclass 462) or Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) 

You must be at least 18 but younger than 31, no children, and have a passport from eligible partner countries.

Student visa (subclass 500)

This student visa allows you to study and stay in Australia full-time. To be eligible for this Australian visa you need to have applied and been accepted to study. You must also have organised welfare arrangements if you’re under 18.

Partner visa (subclasses 820 and 801) 

To obtain this visa you must be married to or in a de facto relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen. You must be in Australia when you apply.

Medical Treatment Visa (subclass 602) 

This allows you to travel to Australia for medical treatment or consultations, if you need to support someone who needs medical treatment or if you’re donating an organ. Also, you can apply if you’re 50 years of age and you were refused a permanent Australian visa due to health reasons.

This visa allows you to receive medical treatment, study for 3 months (excluding people under 18). This visa also replaces Medical Treatment (Short Stay) visa (subclass 675) and Medical Treatment (Long Stay) visa (subclass 685).

To get this visa you need to meet financial, health and character requirements, you can’t have a condition that is a threat to public health, and you can’t hold a Domestic Worker visa or Domestic Worker stream of the Temporary Work visa.

You can’t apply for this visa if you already have another visa with a ‘no further stay’ condition.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) 

This visa is for skilled workers looking to obtain sponsorship and employment in Australia. If granted you can work in Australia up to four years. It’s important to note that getting a visa doesn’t guarantee residence.

First, you need to accept an offer of employment from an employer in Australia and then apply for the visa. The employer needs to be a sponsor to recruit overseas workers.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) 

If you can’t get a sponsor from either an employer or family member, you can apply for this points-tested skilled visa. If successful, you can live and work as a permanent resident with an Australian visa.

You must be under the age of 50, nominate your field of work, get a skills assessment, pass the factors in the points test, and be competent in English.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

This visa allows an experienced and skilled worker to work in their chosen field in Australia, once approved by a sponsor, this visa lasts for up to four years.

To figure out which visa you need visit:

To check the fees and charges you will need to pay for your Australian visa; you can select your type of visa and get a fee estimate here.

Processing times for an Australian Visa:

  • Visitor (subclass 600) can take 1 working day to 1 month.  
  • Medical Treatment (subclass 602) can take from 1 week to 1.5 months.
  • eVisitor (subclass 651) can take one working day to one month.
  • Working Holiday (subclass 417) for your first application can take around 6 days, but for your second application it can take up to 21 days.
  • Work and Holiday (subclass 462) takes around 6 days for a web application (US nationals only) and about 14 days for a paper application.


There are many things that can stop you from getting a visa:

You can be rejected if you fail the character requirements (e.g. you have a criminal record), you fail to respond to the requests of the embassy or immigration officer, you provide fraudulent documentation or information, you made a false claim, or you failed to meet health requirements.

If you’re applying for an Australian partner visa, you may be denied if the Australian Government determines that your relationship is not genuine. It can also happen if you failed the interview process, or Section 48 Bar and schedule 3 criteria is imposed which means you’ve overstayed your Australian visa, or your visa was cancelled or refused, which means your partner can’t get one.

Other barriers include not being able to afford the application charges, not meeting the conditions of the visa, or a previous visa, or not giving enough information to back up your claims. There are courses of action for challenging these negative decisions, one being accessing the legal services of an immigration lawyer.


If you need help with the process, you can hire a migration agent, but you need to use a registered agent, which means being registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). The registration protects you and helps you get the correct advice regarding current laws and procedures.

If you use an agent, you still need to ensure the accuracy of information and documentation in your application. If false information is given, the visa might be cancelled.