Australian citizenship is important when applying for a first home owner’s grant (FHOG). In fact, the FHOG Act of 2000 has a separate section dedicated to it: Section 9.
This can be confusing because there are a dozen ways to become a full-fledged Aussie. The default scenario is when you’re born to Australian citizens in Australia. The Act doesn’t explicitly list the residency requirements, but the Department of Immigration and Border Protection provides the valid scenarios. Here are some of them.
- You were born overseas to Australian citizens
- You’re married to an Australian spouse
- You’re a New Zealander or British citizen who has lived in Australia long enough.
- You’re a Papuan born before Papua New Guinea gained its independence on September 16, 1975
- You arrived in Australia as an unaccompanied child under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme (most are of British or Maltese descent)
- You were adopted by Australian parents either under the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption or any existing bilateral agreement between Australia and the country of origin
Regardless of your citizenship circumstances, Section 12 of the Act only requires the applicant to declare the house in question as his or her principal residence for at least a year from the date of completion. The applicant can apply for a reduction of the term, provided he or she has a good reason for the Commissioner to review.