From this Academia Stack Exchange question:

I am an Australian national and want to live in Australia long term.

What exactly is the meaning of Australian national? like student visa? or actual citizen? or resident?

This is from a user who has also asked questions here: Where should I get travel insurance for a Chinese student in Australia travelling to the USA and then travelling to China?

  • 1
    If you are curious about the US, here are the rules: immihelp.com/what-is-us-national
    – Flydog57
    Sep 16 at 20:45
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    In the US, there's also the concept of a "US Person". I was a "US Person" before I became a "US Citizen" (but, I was neither for the first 5 years I lived in the US (as a "Temporary non-resident alien")). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_person
    – Flydog57
    Sep 16 at 20:48
  • @Flydog57 many people fail to understand that these terms are usually defined by specific laws, so the definitions apply only with respect to those specific laws. For example, it is possible to be an "alien" and a "US person" while not being a "foreign national," as those terms are defined under immigration, taxation, and campaign finance law, respectively.
    – phoog
    Sep 17 at 7:33
  • @phoog: Yup. Back when I was a "Temporary non-resident alien" (for immigration purposes), I was a full-on resident for tax purposes. These were the days before the Department of Homeland Security. The Customs service reported to the Treasury and saw me as a resident (they wore blue shirts). Immigration (who wore white shirts) saw me as a non-resident. We're from Canada and we were living in New England. Whenever we crossed the border, we had to tailor our answers to whomever was asking the questions.
    – Flydog57
    Sep 17 at 14:10
  • @Flydog57 Ok, but that's not as weird as when you had a green card, at which time you were an "alien" under the INA and simultaneously not a "foreign national" for the purpose of federal campaign finance.
    – phoog
    Sep 17 at 15:01

In international law, nationality and citizenship are synonymous. In domestic law, some countries distinguish between citizens and nationals, where all citizens are nationals and most nationals are citizens. I don't think Australia distinguishes between the two. So Australian citizenship is the same as Australian nationality.

  • 1
    thanks Brian! is it really citizen implies national but not conversely? i'd think national implies citizen but not conversely if you define national as like having a passport. what is the definition of national then in 1 of those places 'where all citizens are nationals and most nationals are citizens' ?
    – BCLC
    Sep 16 at 5:42
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    @BCLC Australia does not distinguish between "citizen" and "national", they are exactly the same thing: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law Sep 16 at 6:12
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    A counter example where a national may not be a citizen: United States territories, that are not on a path of statehood. Sep 16 at 6:28
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    A person who requires a residence permit, in general will rarely be a national. Until 1934, you were a German national (Reichsangehörige) if you were a citizen of one of the German states. After that there is only a single citizenship. Sep 16 at 7:41
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    @BCLC The definition of "permanent resident" varies depending on the country. In most countries, it means someone who is not a national, who is allowed to live in that country permanently, and where such right can only be taken away if they commit a serious crime or if they spend too much time outside the country. However, some countries have multiple such immigration statuses, in which case "permanent resident" status is the one with the greatest rights: usually, permanent residents are eligible to apply for citizenship after a waiting period.
    – Brian
    Sep 16 at 13:15

I would parse it as this:

I am an Australian national

He/She is a citizen of Australia.

And want to live in Australia long term

And they are not interested in living outside of Australia

  • 1
    thanks Peter M! (i of course understand the latter part...)
    – BCLC
    Sep 15 at 21:45
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    And it could well be that they never lived in Australia or never even have been to Australia. I know someone who was a Polish citizen by blood, but had lifed from birth in America... and decided "I am a Polish national and want to live in Poland long-term". Sep 16 at 21:53

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