25 October 2021

Changes to Australian citizenship law and travel exemptions for parents overseas

Holding Redlich


Holding Redlich, a national commercial law firm with offices in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns, delivers tailored solutions with expert legal thinking and industry knowledge, prioritizing client partnerships.
These changes include visa requirements for eligible distinguished global talent and for parents of Australian citizens.
Australia Immigration
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The Australian Citizenship Act has been amended to provide a pathway to Australian citizenship for talented prospective Australians. These changes provide flexibility to the residence requirement, which requires a prospective Australian to have spent a certain amount of time in Australia before applying for citizenship.

This special residence requirement has been expanded to holders of the distinguished talent and global talent visas who, during the two years immediately before applying for Australian citizenship, have been:

  • ordinarily resident in Australia
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • present in Australia for at least 180 days in total, with at least 90 days of this being during the 12 months before making the application.

Australian citizenship by descent and evidence of Australian citizenship

Changes have also been made to the lodgement arrangements for applications for Australian citizenship by descent and for evidence of Australian citizenship requiring all applications to be made by ImmiAccount from 1 November 2021. These changes will facilitate faster processing times and easier management of applications.

Great news for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents

Throughout the pandemic, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents were unable to travel to Australia and were not eligible for a travel exemption because they were not considered 'immediate family'. The great news is, parents will now be considered immediate family when applying for a travel exemption to visit their children in Australia.

This is particularly good news for parent visa applicants who left Australia holding a bridging visa and have been unable to return and for those with new grandchildren. Those parents caught offshore on a Bridging Visa B will need to apply for a visitor visa to return to Australia and have their bridging visa reinstated once onshore.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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