We could all be forgiven for thinking that Australia has a completely open door through which thousands of people stream daily, all clamouring to become Australian citizens. At least, that is the impression we seem to get from media reports of the unfortunate people who take to boats under dangerous conditions to get here. However, a quick review of the process required to apply for Australian citizenship should open peoples’ eyes to the complexity of the requirements, and no doubt this is necessary to ensure that we welcome only those people who want to be here.
The first hurdle to jump is that of eligibility, and there is no simple way to address this requirement. There are four options given on the website including citizenship by descent or by adoption, but each of these options break down further into multiple options. Some of the choices for the first option are for a migrant with permanent residence, the spouse or partner of an Australian citizen, a refugee or humanitarian entrant or a person born in Papua before 1975. There are others. Is it any wonder that people need to consult an immigration expert, just to make an application?
There are several more options under different headings, but they all serve to give the applicant information to allow them to decide if they are eligible to apply for citizenship. Once they have found the category that applies to their situation, and they have determined they are eligible, they must then ensure that they meet the residence requirements. This is Step 2 in a 10-step process.
Steps 3 to 8 are part of preparing for the citizenship appointment. The applicant is required to read the Australian citizenship resource book, gather original documents, complete the application form, lodge the form and attend the citizenship appointment. Step 8 requires the applicant to take the citizenship test or have a citizenship interview. From there, the applicant waits for a decision regarding the success or otherwise of their application.
If all goes well, they receive notification of the decision, and are then invited to attend the next available citizenship ceremony. This is usually within three months but can vary depending on the local councils that administer the ceremonies. For most people, this is their proudest moment, and their opportunity to publicly make the Australian citizenship pledge which completes the process. They are now Australian citizens. If the application is rejected, there is an appeal process and assistance can be provided by a Sydney Immigration Lawyer.
There are many benefits to citizenship, not the least of which is the opportunity to take part fully in every aspect of Australian life. It opens up employment prospects in areas otherwise closed such as the public service or defence forces, gives access to the full range of government services, provides the person with the protection of our legal system and allows the new citizen to go about their life in freedom without fear of being deported.
Junior Papua ngerap #Aprilmob