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I thought I recently became eligible for Australian Citizenship, but after calling DIBP, I discovered my four years started counting after I was granted a bridging visa. What was the time I spent on a student visa before that not counted?

EDIT (to answer comment): student visa, bridging visa, temporary residence, permanent residence

EDIT: (to answer comment): no gaps; did not leave country while on bridging visa, only on other visas.

EDIT: I fulfill the residence requirement as quoted in the answer below. According to the residence requirement calculator, I was eligible two months after I think I should be, but it still doesn't match what a phone call to immigration said for the date. The person on the phone was not very helpful. All I could get was "that's the citizenship eligibility date in the computer".

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    What visas were you on? Was there any gap between them? Did you leave the country while on/after receiving a bridging visa? – lambshaanxy May 27 '14 at 12:12
  • Can you please answer my other two questions as well? – lambshaanxy Jun 1 '14 at 13:40
  • sorry for the delay. had an issue with accounts and was waiting for SE to merge them. – user989 Jun 3 '14 at 23:42
  • @user989 it doesn't make sense. I know a few people who got citizenship in this situation. I would consult a Registered Migration Agent on this matter. – Boj Jun 4 '14 at 13:09
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If you're applying with the Form 1300t General eligibility process, the residence requirement is:

  • have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident, and
  • not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year before applying.

So, yes, your student visa should count, and there's some other reason DIBP is not happy. You can use the residence requirement calculator to check, but note that one of the exceptions where they recommend a phone call is having a bridging visa.

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