NSW Citizenship for children on immigration visa not complying with general residence requirement

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Ovais Hakeem

3 February 2019
Under 189 Skilled Immigration visa, If I and my entire family were unable to comply with general residence requirement (as we stayed outside Australia for more than 12 months in 4 years) for obtaining Australian citizenship, will my children still be able to obtain Australian citizenship since general residence requirement does not apply to children below 15 years of age?
And in similar situation, can I continue to renew my residence visa if I am not complying fully with general residence requirement?

Olena Brodovska

Active Member
13 February 2019

Obtaining citizenship through conferral by children is not that simple.

Although the Citizenship Act allows children under 18 to obtain citizenship without a requirement to meet residency requirement, the Minister is guided by the policy of the Department in that regard and may still refuse the application made by a child.

As a general guidance, the policy states the following:

"Children under 16 applying individually in their own right would usually not be approved under s24 [citizenship by conferral] unless they are permanent residents at the time of application and decision and under policy also are:
  • under 16 when applying and living with a responsible parent who is an Australian citizen and who consents to the application or
  • usually resident in Australia with a permanent resident responsible parent who consents to the application, and that responsible parent would meet the residence requirement but has decided not to apply for Australian citizenship because they would lose the citizenship of another country or
  • under 16 when applying, living with a responsible parent who is not an Australian citizen and consents to the application, and the child would otherwise suffer significant hardship or disadvantage... or
  • an unaccompanied humanitarian minor who falls under the Minister’s guardianship and a delegated guardian has consented to the application ... or
  • an unaccompanied humanitarian minor who does not fall under the Minister’s guardianship and their responsible carer has consented to the application..."
Regarding your second question, as a holder of SC 189 visa, you remain permanent resident irrespective of the expiry of your SC 189 visa. If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you may be further eligible for so-called Resident Return Visa, depending on the circumstances. Please, however, note that upon expiry of your SC 189 visa, once you leave Australia, you will not have a right to return under your SC 189 visa. You need to receive RRV before you leave Australia to secure your right to return.

Kind regards,