What happens if your Australian citizenship is denied? What should you do now? Reading this article might shed some light on what your next step should be. Australian citizenship offers numerous advantages that you would practically benefit from, such as:
- Hassle-free travel and re-entry
- Consular support while overseas
- Access to government services
- Right to vote
- Passport and travel benefits
- Permanent residency
- Employment Opportunities
But what if your citizenship application is denied? In this article, we will explore the reasons for citizenship application denial and the options you may have to address this. So, whether you are a migrant looking to become a citizen or a current citizen interested in learning more, read on to discover the significance of Australian citizenship.
Reasons for Australian Citizenship Denial
There are several reasons why an Australian citizenship application may be denied, including:
1. Failure to prove identity. Failure to establish identification is one of the main causes of Australian citizenship denial. Since the verification of identity is one of the most crucial steps in the application process, this indicates that there is no satisfaction with verified identity.
An applicant submits an identify declaration to the Department as part of their application for citizenship. A completed identity declaration signed by an existing Australian citizen is needed as well. The existing Australian citizen must not be related to the applicant, and must meet other eligibility criteria.
2. Failure to meet residency requirements. After four years of residency in Australia, a permanent resident of the country may apply for citizenship. The DHA can reject the application if the applicant fails to meet residency requirements. Generally, you must have been residing in Australia with a valid visa as a permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand Citizen.
3. Failure to meet character requirements. The Minister’s dissatisfaction with the applicant’s character is the most common reason for rejecting citizenship applications. This can include having a criminal history or other things that makes one wonder about the character of the applicant. Applicants should provide a National Police Check or overseas penal clearance certificate if they don’t want their Australian citizenship application rejected.
4. Failure to pass the citizenship test. Applicants must pass a citizenship test that assesses their knowledge of Australia and its values. If the applicant fails the test, their application may be refused.
What Are Your Options?
The following steps can be taken for an Australian citizenship refusal:
- Request for review. The applicant can request a review of the decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 21 days of receiving the notice of refusal.
- Reapply: The applicant can reapply for citizenship if they believe they can address the reasons for the refusal.
- Seek legal advice: It is recommended that the applicant seek legal advice to understand their options and the best course of action to take.
Regardless of why the application was denied, seeking legal advice can help the applicant understand their options and the best course of action to take. If the applicant decides to request a review or reapply, you must ensure that all requirements are met and that all information provided is genuine and accurate to avoid the risk of having the application denied again.
Australian Citizenship: Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Does it Take to Process an Australian Citizenship Application?
The processing time for an Australian citizenship application varies depending on the type of application and individual circumstances. Below are the estimated processing times for different types of applications as of September 2023.
1. Australian citizenship by descent:
- The processing of 90% of applications happens within 4 to 5 months.
- Evidence of Australian citizenship: 90% of applications are processed within 25 days.
2. Australian citizenship by conferral:
- 25% of applications processing takes place within 3 months.
- 50% of applications are processed in 4 months.
- 75% of applications are processed in 6 months
- 90% of applications are processed in 9 months.
The processing times may vary depending on individual circumstances and lodgement of the application. The Department Home Affairs (DHA) updates processing time information every month. We recommend to lodge the application online as it helps streamline processing arrangements.
2. What Is the Citizenship Test?
The majority of applicants for Australian citizenship by conferral must complete the citizenship test as part of the application procedure. Passing the citizenship test will demonstrate that you have:
- a basic knowledge of the English language
- an understanding of what it means to become an Australian citizen
- an adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship
- an understanding and commitment to Australian values based on freedom, respect and equality.
To pass the test you must answer 20 multiple choice questions, answer all 5 of the Australian values questions correctly, and get a mark of at least 75% overall.
3. How Much Does it Cost to Apply for Australian Citizenship?
|Australian citizenship – General Eligibility
|Australian citizenship – Other situations
|Australian citizenship – Citizenship by descent
|Australian citizenship – For children adopted under full Hague Convention or bilateral arrangements
|Application to resume Australian citizenship
|Application for evidence of Australian citizenship
However, these fees may change over time. Applicants should check the Department of Home Affairs website for the most up-to-date information on fees. To make your payment electronically, go to the ‘My Payments’ section of your ImmiAccount. Then select Manage > Payments > Pre-Pay Paper Service.
4. Are There Any Exceptions to the Residency Requirement for Australian Citizenship?
Yes, there are some exceptions to the residency requirement for Australian citizenship:
- Applicants who were born in Australia or are former Australian citizens need only have been present in Australia as a permanent resident for 12 months.
- Section s22(1A) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 allows for absences from Australia of up to 12 months within the four years immediately before applying for citizenship.
- If a person’s first arrival in Australia is less than four years before they apply for citizenship, they cannot meet the general residence requirement, even if they spend three years continuously in Australia.
- Under s22(5), the Minister may treat a period as one in which the person was present in Australia as a permanent resident if the Minister considers the person was present in Australia during that period but, because of an administrative error, was not a permanent resident during that period.
Seeking Assistance from Visa and Citizenship Lawyers
If you are planning to apply for Australian citizenship, hiring a lawyer can be a wise decision. Visa and citizenship lawyers specialise in immigration law and have extensive knowledge of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
JB Solicitors can provide expert advice and guidance on the citizenship application process. We will ensure that your application is complete and accurate, increasing your chances of success. Contact us today.