Australia relaxes citizenship requirements for some permanent residents

Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke has announced additional flexibility in granting citizenship to talent visa holders and athletes in the Australian Commonwealth Games teams.

This flexibility also applies to ships’ crew, senior business people, research scientists, and distinguished artists.

Minister Hawke said Australian citizenship is a rare privilege.

“The unique work and travel demands on some of our most highly distinguished prospective Australians should not preclude them from making the cut. That’s why I have directed the Department of Home Affairs to apply greater flexibility in applying the residence requirement for eligible people,” Minister Hawke said in a statement.

“Exceptional people must not be prevented from becoming Australians because of the unique demands of the very work they do that makes them exceptional,” he added.

The special residence requirement reduces the number of days a permanent resident must live in the country in the last four years to gain citizenship. Such applicants will have to live in the country for at least 480 days instead of three years.

“Currently, the special residence requirement may apply for a range of applicants who due to their work undertake significant international travel and where it is in the Australian national interest including Australian representative sportspeople, ships’ crew, senior business people, research scientists, and distinguished artists,” the statement said.

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