Essential facts about the test

Requirements to take the test

There are various requirements that you need to meet in order to be eligible to become an Australian citizen. For the majority of people this includes passing a Citizenship Test.

Most applicants for citizenship by conferral are required to:

  • understand the nature of their application for citizenship
  • possess a basic knowledge of the English language
  • have an adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship

Tests are held at departmental offices in all capital cities and some other locations such as some Centrelink and Medicare offices. You can find the nearest test centre to you by using the DIAC Test Centre Locator.

There is no fee for sitting the test itself; instead the cost is included in the fee for lodging your citizenship application. Applicants need to sit and pass the test, however, before lodging their citizenship application.

Successful completion of a test will be the only way to satisfy the Minister that an applicant meets these requirements. The requirements will be amended slightly to add an adequate knowledge of Australia and this too will need to be demonstrated through successful completion of the test.

Requirements and Exemptions

To sit the test you must:

  • be an Australian permanent resident
  • satisfy the department of your identity during the process of registering for the test
  • allow the department to take a photograph of you or provide one yourself

People who are not required to have a knowledge of the English language or the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship will not be required to sit a citizenship test. This includes:

  • those who lodged their citizenship application before 1 October 2007
  • those aged under 18
  • those aged 60 and over
  • those who suffer from a substantial impairment or loss of hearing, speech or sight
  • those who can provide specialist medical evidence of a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity which means you are not capable of:
    • understanding the nature of your application
    • demonstrating a basic knowledge of the English language
    • demonstrating an adequate knowledge of Australia and of the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship
  • those who were born to a former Australian citizen
  • those who were born in Papua before 16 September 1975 to an Australian citizen born in Australia as currently defined
  • persons who are stateless and were born in Australia

Residency requirements

In order to begin you application for citizenship you will need to fulfill several requirements. The first of these is that you have been lawfully resident in Australia for four years or longer. You should also have had no periods outside of Australia totaling longer than 12 months in these four years and must have remained in Australia with absences totaling less than 90 days for the 12 months prior to your application.

As of July 2010 this four year residence requirement applies to all citizenship applicants, who will need to meet the requirement at the time of their application. This marks the end of any transitional arrangements and it no longer matters when you arrive in Australia. Full details of the changes to the citizenship residence requirement made on 1 July 2010 can be found on the DIAC website.

The DIAC have provided a Residence Requirements Calculator on their website to help if you are unsure if you have met the requirements.

If you are sent to prison, or confined in a psychiatric institution, during your residency period you may no longer be eligible for citizenship. You should contact the DIAC for guidance if this applies to you.