What are the reasons for refusal of Australian citizenship? Perhaps you have been an Australian permanent resident for quite some time now and are thinking of applying for citizenship. The Australian government and immigration minister set up many avenues for applicants to become citizens of the country.
There are many benefits of being an Australian citizen. You can have your own passport and travel in and out of Australia as you please, you can vote, you can have access to student loans and medical facilities, and much more.
However, you may not be able to enjoy these benefits if DHA refuses your application for Australian citizenship. It is important to know the requirements as well as grounds for refusal before lodging an Australian citizenship application.
While there may be various reasons for Australian citizenship refusal, depending on your individual case, this article discusses the most common reasons for refusal of Australian citizenship.
Failure to Prove Identity
One of the main reasons for refusal of Australian citizenship is the failure to prove your identity. There may be failure on identity grounds, meaning there is no satisfaction of proven identity. The verification of your identity is one of the most important elements in your application.
As part of the process, the applicant would need to provide a photograph and a completed identity declaration signed by a designated person, who should be an existing Australian citizen.
The process of an Australian citizenship application involves thorough checking, so it is best to ensure that all your documents are genuine and that they contain correct information. The analysers evaluate the entire document; not just your photograph, but also your address details, spelling of names, and all other important information.
You must note that issues arise when a person has previously provided fake documents or was involved in fraud. Hence, it is important to provide genuine documents containing true information.
Failure to Meet Residency Requirements
Another factor of the reasons for refusal of Australian citizenship is that the applicant does not meet the residency requirements. An Australian permanent resident is eligible to apply for citizenship after 4 years.
You must also be in Australia (not overseas) when making a citizenship application and genuinely want to make Australia your home and continue to build a life in the country.
Other ways to be eligible include:
- living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years,
- being a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months, and
- being away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.
You must note that the residency requirement requires that the applicant must have lived in Australia lawfully, meaning on a temporary or permanent visa. Hence, if you have had a visa cancelled or expired, your 4-year count would start again.
Furthermore, DHA may refuse an Australian citizenship application if you cannot prove your intention to build a life in Australia or maintain a close and continuing association to Australia. If you have a significant business or family outside of Australia that requires you to spend a huge amount of time overseas, it may affect your Australian citizenship application.
Failure to Meet Character Requirements
Failure on character grounds is another reason for refusal of Australian citizenship. Your Australian citizenship application can be refused if you have a criminal record as a result of a criminal offence. You must be of “good character”, which involves the moral qualities of a person.
Good character is often assumed in the absence of criminal convictions or evidence of past misbehaviour. An applicant may fail the character requirements due to the applicant’s criminal history. Ongoing court cases and charges or previous convictions may affect your Australian citizenship application.
You must disclose everything when applying for Australian citizenship. Not disclosing prior convictions can lead to a refusal of your application.
It is worthy to note that a person may also not be of “good character” where it has been proven that they lied to the Department of Home Affairs in the course of making a prior visa application or in the process of their citizenship application.
However, a person can prove that, even with past misbehaviour, they are still of good character. Evidence of rehabilitation, employment, charity work, caring for relatives, among other good works are factors that can be considered. If the good works outweigh the past misbehaviour, and sufficient time has passed since the last instance of misconduct, the applicant can still satisfy the character requirements.
Failing the Citizenship Test
Failing the citizenship test is another the common reason for refusal of Australian citizenship. An Australian Citizenship application can be refused if the applicant failed the citizenship test. A score of 75% is needed to pass the citizenship test. Hence, it is highly advisable to study the official materials that are available for applicants.
Prior Australian Citizenship
Another reason for refusal of Australian citizenship is if there was a prior Australian citizenship. Your application may be refused if you have renounced Australian citizenship within the past year and in the same timeframe reapplied for citizenship. In this instance, the possibility of the refusal of the application is high.
Failing to Show You Were the Child of an Australian Citizen at Birth (by Descent)
A citizenship by descent is applied for if you were born outside Australia and one or both of your parents were Australian citizens when you were born. Providing evidence that at least one of your parents was an Australian Citizen on the day you were born is crucial. You must show evidence linking you and your parents, such as a birth certificate or citizenship certificates. If you fail to provide these, DHA can deny your Australian citizen application.
Why You Should Seek Legal Advice
It is best to have knowledge of the requirements and legal matters involved for an Australian citizenship to ensure that your application does not get denied.
However, if your application was already denied, or they have refused Australian citizenship for you, know that it is not the end of the road. JB Solicitors can help.
We can help with your appeal process by reviewing your application and assessing whether there have been any errors and devising a strategy for your appeal.
Our immigration lawyers can assist you with all the steps involved in the application, whether it’s for lodging an Australian citizenship application or preparing for an appeal in case your Australian citizenship application was denied.
Do you have any more enquiries regarding the reasons for refusal of Australian citizenship? Contact us today.