Australian Citizenship – Special Residence Requirement

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Australian Citizenship – Special Residence Requirement

There is provision in the Citizenship Act that allows the Minister to grant citizenship if the general residency requirement has not been met but the applicant needs Citizenship earlier to engage in specific activities that are viewed as a benefit to Australia. These benefits are related to specific work related activities, sporting activities.

Section 22A of the Citizenship Act 2007, sets out a special residence requirement for persons engaging in activities that are of benefit to Australia and where the person needs to be an Australian citizen to engage in those activities. These provisions are different from the general residency requirements exemptions we discussed in our previous newsletter last year.

Read: General Residency Requirements For Australian Citizenship And Exemptions

These activities are outlined in a special list and are currently as follows;

1. Employment in a position which requires a Negative Vetting 2 or higher security clearance in a Department, an Executive Agency, or a Statutory Agency of the Commonwealth.

2. Participation in an Australian team in the following competitions:

(a) the Olympic Winter Games, including qualifying events for the Games;

(b) the Paralympic Winter Games, including qualifying events for the Games;

(c) the Olympic Summer Games; including qualifying events for the Games;

(d) the Paralympic Summer Games; including qualifying events for the Games;

(e) the Davis Cup Competition, including qualifying events for the Competition;

(f) the Fed Cup Competition, including qualifying events for the Competition; and

(g) any men’s or women’s International Cricket Match, being any

(i) International Test Match;

(ii) International One Day Match;

(iii) Twenty20 International Match;

(iv) Match played as part of an International Cricket Council (ICC) Event, or

(v) Other matches organised or sanctioned by the ICC from time to time to which the ICC deems it appropriate that the ICC Regulations should apply.

The Instrument specifies the following organisations which may support the application for citizenship:

1. A Department, an Executive Agency, or a Statutory Agency of the Commonwealth;

2. Australian Olympic Committee (AOC);

3. Australian Paralympic Committee (APC);

4. Tennis Australia; and

5. Cricket Australia.

3. There is a special residence requirement for persons engaged in particular kinds of work requiring regular travel outside Australia. The Instrument specifies the following kinds of work  undertaken as part of their duties in which a person is:

(a) a member of the crew of a ship; or

(b) a member of the crew of an aircraft; or

(c) engaged in work on a resources installation or a sea installation; or

(d) a Chief Executive Officer of an S&P/ASX All Australian 200 listed company; or

(e) an Executive Manager of an S&P/ASX All Australian 200 listed company; or

(f) a Scientist employed by:

(i) an Australian university who has attained a PhD in their Field of speciality and is undertaking research and development of benefit to Australia; or

(ii) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; or

(iii) a medical research institute which is a member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI).

(g) a medical specialist, internationally renowned in their field, who is a fellow of an organisation listed in Schedule 4 – Part 1 of the Health Insurance Regulations 1975 (Cth) and holds a relevant qualification in relation to the organisation;

(h) a person who is a writer or is engaged in the visual or performing arts and who is the holder of, or has held, a Distinguished Talent Visa

The Citizenship Act outlines certain circumstances that must be met in order to be eligible to be granted Citizenship earlier than would otherwise be possible;

The person (the applicant) satisfies the special residence requirement if:

(a)  the following apply:

(i)  the applicant is seeking to engage in an activity specified under subsection 22C(1);

(ii)  the applicant’s engagement in that activity would be of benefit to Australia;

(iii)  the applicant needs to be an Australian citizen in order to engage in that activity;

(iv)  in order for the applicant to engage in that activity, there is insufficient time for the applicant to satisfy the general residence requirement (see section 22); and

(b)  the head of an organisation specified under subsection 22C(2), or a person whom the Minister is satisfied holds a senior position in that organisation, has given the Minister a notice in writing stating that the applicant has a reasonable prospect of being engaged in that activity; and

(c)  the applicant was present in Australia for a total of at least 180 days during the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

(d)  the applicant was present in Australia for a total of at least 90 days during the period of 12 months immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

(e)  the applicant was ordinarily resident in Australia throughout the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

(f)  the applicant was a permanent resident for the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

(g)  the applicant was not present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen at any time during the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application.

In summary if Australia needs you to be a Citizen earlier so you can help this country out and you fit those limited types of circumstances, then we thank you for signing up and for your service.

Need advice regarding any Citizenship matter and meeting the above requirements? We are here to help. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. Save time and money and book a Skype appointment if you like!

Zoe He