How Long Can An Australian Citizen Stay Out Of Australia (And Why)?

Exact Answer: An Indefinite Period

Australian citizens are required to enter and leave the country using a passport. Then what happens if they leave and don’t come back for a long time. It is essential to consider whether they are still considered an Australian citizen.  

An Australian citizen can stay out of Australia for an indefinite period provided they satisfy all the migration laws. Also, a permanent resident has more rights and entitlements in Australia than any other person.

However, several factors can affect this, so it is best to speak with an immigration lawyer to get specific advice for one’s situation.

How Long Can An Australian Citizen Stay Out Of Australia

How Long Can An Australian Citizen Stay Out Of Australia?

Citizenship processing timesDuration
Citizenship application time5 months
Evidence of Australian citizenship17 days

According to government rules, an Australian citizen can live out of the country for an indefinite period. This will not in any way impact the citizenship of the person. 

There are two requirements to be eligible to become an Australian citizen. All Australian citizens who travel outside of the country will be allowed to do so for an infinite amount of time. They must, however, obtain a Resident Return Visa if they want to return to Australia. One must renew the Resident Return Visa every five years to be accepted.

A person who has lived in Australia for the majority of their life, 18 years out of the total 20 years, is called a residence. One must show that they are integrated into society by speaking English, and everyday usage of English is also expected to be in good standing with the law. Lastly, naturalizing holders can apply for citizenship without meeting these conditions under more special circumstances such as war or statehood loss.

One of the most real perks of Australian citizenship is that one has the right to live, vote, and work in Australia. This can be a privilege for Australians currently living abroad or in Australia but overseas temporarily for work, holidays etc. Another perk of being an Australian citizen is that they are not subject to deportation from their own country. 

There are also privileges beyond rights, such as getting access to social services and pensions, which depend on one’s nationality, while some non-citizens get benefits (e.g., refugees).

Why Would An Australian Citizen Can Stay Out Of Australia For So Long?

As an Australian citizen, one does not legally need to reside in the country. One can live outside the country for any period.

While Australia is home to many people born outside of it, Australians have never set foot on Australian soil. Due to this varied range of perspectives and backgrounds, the choice to stay at times distant from one’s homeland can be a healthy lifestyle choice for some.

There are several legitimate reasons that an Australian citizen can stay out of Australia for so long, including Family obligations, health issues, work commitments elsewhere and other commitments. With the advancements in technology, many Australians have been able to return home without living overseas permanently. 

Due to these advances in technology, it is widespread for people to take a hiatus from their day-to-day lives and remain overseas indefinitely (on holiday) with no intention of ever returning. These “drifter” types will most spend their time working online until they can save enough money to purchase land or retire outright.

However, it is essential to note that citizenship’s social benefits include free public education, universal healthcare, and a guaranteed livable income. Australian citizenship also offers a sense of belonging in this great country – from incredible landscapes to the brilliant culture; they have everything one wants for personal development.

In addition to the freedom of being an Australian citizen, various privileges only come with citizenship – including preferential treatment when it comes to investment into government-sponsored ventures and loans, tax breaks, access to the jobs market and more without the need for skilled migration permits.


Rules vary on how long a citizen can stay out of their country. Still, there is no limit on residency time if the holder retains Australian Citizenship upon incorporation abroad and will resume living in Australia at some point down the line.

A citizen can stay out of Australia for so long because they can renounce their citizenship, allowing them to be eligible for citizenship in another country.

One needs to go through the process of renouncing their Australian citizenship and “throwing” the old passport away, obtaining a new passport from another country, and then they’ll be all set.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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