Citizenship for talents

Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke MP, has introduced additional flexibility to recognise the unique difficulties faced by some of our most distinguished applicants for citizenship: the special residence concession to all Distinguished Talent Visa SC858 holders and to athletes in the Australian Commonwealth Games team will be extended.

Let me remind you, that under current arrangements applicants for citizenship must meet the general residence requirement which provides that they have lived in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years, and were absent for no more than 12 months in that time. They must also have been a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen and absent from Australia for no more than 90 days during the 12 months before applying.

Currently, the special residence requirement may apply for a range of applicants who due to their work undertake significant international travel and where it is in the Australian national interest including 

  • a member of the crew of a ship or aircraft
  • a worker on a resource’s installation or a sea installation
  • Chief Executive Officer and senior businesspeople
  • a Scientist who is undertaking research and development of benefit to Australia, employed by an Australian university, CSIRO (an industrial research) and AAMRI (a medical research)
  • a medical specialist, internationally renowned in their field
  • 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 special residence requirement provides that an applicant has held a valid visa for the last four years, lived in Australia for at least 480 days during that time, and must have been a permanent resident in Australia for 120 days in the year immediately before applying. 

The special residence requirement will now also apply to past, present and future distinguished talent stream visa holders.

Suppose you are already on your way to Australian permanent residency or are just planning to migrate/relocate to Australia in the near future. In that case, I recommend you get your migration strategy or book an express consultation to discuss your next efficient migration steps.

Do you have any questions? You can ask me any time!

Just email me at and describe your migration issues!

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