Australian Citizenship Application: Applicants Must Meet the 4-Year Stay Requirement

Why Did the Delegate Refuse the Australian Citizenship Application?



 In Boonruang[1] (the Applicant), a citizen of Thailand, was granted the permanent Partner Visa (Subclass 100) on 14 March 2013 on the basis of her relationship with her current spouse, Mr Mark Parkins. On 7 August 2017, the applicant lodged an application for Australia citizenship. However, the delegate refused the citizenship application because the delegate suspected that the applicant did not have a close and continuing association with Australia. This was on the basis of her absence from Australia for a period of 909 days in the four-year period immediately before lodging the Australian citizenship application.


Subsequently, the applicant sought a review from the Tribunal and the Tribunal affirmed the decision of the Department.

Key Legislation on Australian Citizenship


Section 22 of  Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) refers to the general residence requirement. It provides, amongst other things, that:

(1) ...for the purposes of section 21, a person satisfies the general residence requirement if:

    • (a) the person was present in Australia for the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and



Subsection 22(9) provides for Ministerial discretion in the case of a person who is the spouse, de facto partner or surviving spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen. Specifically, the Minister may treat a period as one in which the person was present in Australia as a permanent resident if:

(a) the person was a spouse or de facto partner of that Australian citizen during that period; and

(b) the person was not present in Australia during that period; and

(c) the person was a permanent resident during that period; and

(d) the Minister is satisfied that the person had a close and continuing association with Australia during that period.


Key Takeaway in Meeting the Australia Citizenship Requirements


In meeting the requirements for Australian Citizenship, you should take careful note of the following:

·         Providing evidence regarding marriage or long-term relationship with an Australian citizen is not enough.

·         Having a child or stepchildren who is an Australian citizen child does not always amount to strong evidence.

·         The adult applicants should prove they have strong connection with Australia rather than relying on a spousal relationship with another person.

·         Employment and tax file number is not sufficient to show that the applicant has migrated to and established a home in Australia.

·         The applicant must prove his/her visits to Australia are in the nature of a resident who has settled in Australia or be indicative of close and continuing association with Australia rather than a visitor.


Contact Us


If you would like us to assist you in your Australia citizenship application, please call one of our highly trained immigration lawyers at Agape Henry Crux. They can be contacted on (02)-7200 2700 or email us to book in a time at


We speak fluent English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian and Malay. If these aren’t your language, we can also help you arrange an interpreter.

[1] Boonruang and Minister for Home Affairs (Citizenship) [2019] AATA 147 (15 February 2019)