Australian Defence Clearance
This page gives some helpful and background information on getting an Australian Defence Clearance as an immigrant.
Generally you must be citizen to get a clearance level of any worth. Once you have citizenship your clearance is a straight forward process with a few slight differences, which will be mentioned later.
If you do not have citizenship then you may still get clearance under the rules of DEFGRAM 273/2008. Under this instruction you can get a citizenship waiver if you meet some criteria:
- Have served as a member of the Armed forces of 'friendly' country
- Have worked as a member of a 'friendly' countries government as a civilian
- Have not had your clearance revoked (administrative removal, i.e. because of leaving is fine)
- Have left the service of that country under 6 months ago
- Have specific skills and/or experience that make your employment worthwhile
- Have a level equivalent to 2* to sign off your citizenship waiver.
A clearance granted under this situation will be at or below what was held in the country of origin.
Access to caveated material (AUSTEO) will obviously not be allowed.
You MUST commit to gaining citizenship as soon as possible, current rules mean that is about a 4 year wait.
Friendly countries are not specifically stated, however UK, USA, NZ, CAN can be assumed.
There are other ways to achieve citizenship and also clearance in shorter than 4 year timescale. Members of active ADF are eligible after serving 3 months, and would normally be given a clearance straight away, while members of the ADF reserve are eligible after 6 months and again would normally be cleared straight away.
These rules make it clearer for workers from government agencies (such as UK MOD or UK Armed Forces) to move to Australian defence and provide their experience and skills.
To apply for the clearance you would fill out the normal forms, however you also fill out a statutory declaration stating your intent to obtain citizenship as soon as eligible.
The forms will be a bit more tortuous, since you must list relatives living overseas, trips abroad and dealings with foreign nation representatives. These are likely to be more extensive than if you were born in Australia!
To gain a clearance will require someone at a reasonable level wanting your skills and experience through the DEFGRAM 273/2008 route, not always possible and the timescales my make getting a government department work fast enough challenging.
Joining the reserves is a highly productive way to gain citizenship, it pays, can improve your CV and avoid many of the issues with other routes.
 links to external information
Defence main page