Fast-track citizenship for family members of Australian Defence Force personnel

13 June 2012


The Australian government will fast-track Australian citizenship for partners and a greater number of family members of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, announced Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, and Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon MP.

Following changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, more family members of ADF personnel will be eligible for relaxed residence requirements enabling them to apply for Australian citizenship after 90 days of service. This change will benefit partners and other family members who have migrated with an ADF member, including children over the age of 16 and dependent elderly parents.

"The government recognises that families who support ADF members serving Australia should be able to enjoy all the benefits of Australian citizenship while their family members are settling into Australia," Bowen said. "The new requirement provides for a more consistent approach, and will apply to partners and other family members who have migrated with an ADF member, including children aged over 16 years and dependent elderly parents who previously had to wait four years to apply for citizenship."

According to Snowden, the fast-tracked citizenship would be available to families of ADF overseas recruits granted visas after 1 July 2007. The ADF recruits overseas candidates to fill specific skill gaps that can't be filled by Australian citizens.

Previously, an ADF member and any children under 16 could apply for Australian citizenship after 90 days of service. Spouses and other family members, including children aged over 16 years or elderly parents, were previously required to wait for at least four years before applying for Australian citizenship; The changes will mean that these family members will be able to apply after 90 days of service by the ADF family member.

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