September 26, 2019 no comment kartik
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship says more Indian nationals will become Australian citizens on Australia Day as the Government implements citizenship code, forcing local councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on 26 January.
India continues to be the top source of Australian citizenship with over 28,000 Indian nationals becoming Australian citizens last year.
Immigration Minister David Coleman says, the growth is expected to continue and more Indian nationals will pledge their allegiance to Australia at citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.
“The Indian community has made a significant contribution to Australia for centuries and we want as many Indian nationals as possible to receive the privilege of citizenship on January 26,” Mr Coleman said.
Since 2013-14, over 150,000 Indians have to become Australian citizens, overtaking Britain.
The processing of citizenship applications recorded a significant increase in the last financial year with over 145,000 migrants receiving approval for citizenship by conferral – an 80 per cent increase over the previous year when citizenship conferrals fell to under 81,000 first time since 2003.
Sukhpal Brar, an Indian national in Perth says her citizenship approval came through “surprisingly quickly”.
“For me, the approval for citizenship took just 55 days. Once I received the invite for citizenship interview and test, I kept looking for an earlier date and luckily, a spot became available pretty soon,” Ms Brar told.
On the other end of the spectrum is Mr Aggarwal* who has been waiting for the approval of his application 14 months after he lodged it and four months after he took the test.
“I don’t know what’s the reason. It’s the same set of documents that I submitted for my permanent residency and that was granted in just 15 days,” he says.
The Melbourne IT professional says the delay in getting his citizenship is a big hindrance in his professional development.
“I just lost an opportunity for a three-month overseas stint because my manager thought an Australian citizen would be better placed for the role,” he said. “Six months ago, I was offered a role in Canberra that offered great emoluments, but I couldn’t take it because it required base-line security clearance.”
Mr Coleman says an investment of $9 million in resources has resulted in improved citizenship approvals.
Of the 145,000 people approved for citizenship during the last financial year, over 35,000 are from India.
Councils to be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies
Under the new rules being enforced by the Federal Government, local councils will have to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day. The move comes in the wake of some councils cancelling Australia Day celebrations out of respect for Indigenous people.
Mr Coleman says the councils that don’t hold citizenship ceremonies on 26 January will be stripped of their right to hold them.
“If a council doesn’t hold ceremonies on Australia Day, then they lose the right to hold them and the government would hold them directly,” Mr Coleman told broadcaster Ray Hadley.
“We already do that sometimes now, but we would do it in on more occasions if there were councils that didn’t comply with the rules.”
The new code also requires councils to introduce a dress standard for people at citizenship ceremonies.
Mr Coleman said Australia Day was the most popular day for people to attend a citizenship ceremony. He said almost 90,000 people became Australian citizens on Australia Day in the past six years, including 2,600 Indian on 26 January this year.