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Australian Citizenship-Travel during Application

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If you are applying as an adult for conferral of Australian citizenship (also known as grant of citizenship / naturalisation) there are some things you need to know about travel during your citizenship application.

Contents

[edit] In general

  • You don't become a citizen until your citizenship ceremony (unless you are within one of the few categories who are exempted);
  • You must maintain a valid foreign passport and Australian permanent re-entry visa until you become a citizen.

[edit] From Application to Approval

  • Under section 24(5) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, your application cannot normally be approved while you are physically outside Australia.
  • Hence, you need to inform DIAC of any travel in this period.
  • Vacations will not be a problem. They look at the residence requirement only when you make the application, normally.
  • However, if you leave for a longer period, DIAC will consider whether you still intend to reside in Australia, or maintain a "close and continuing association" with Australia.
  • It's also a problem if they send you a letter asking you to come to a citizenship test or interview and you are overseas. You can reschedule, but it complicates things.

[edit] From Approval to Ceremony

  • Again, no problems travelling for short vacations or business trips.
  • Longer trips may be a problem. You usually only get a few weeks notice of a citizenship ceremony.
  • DIAC can still cancel your application if they think you are no longer intending to live in Australia
  • It's often difficult or impossible to call 131880 (DIAC citizenship number) from offshore.
  • Citizenship ceremony must normally be done in Australia.

[edit] Spouses and Partners of Australian citizens

  • Rules are a little more flexible. Application can sometimes be approved while you are offshore (you must still tell DIAC about travel).
  • "Close and continuing association with Australia" can include an Australian spouse
  • It may be possible to attend a citizenship ceremony at a DIAC office offshore.

[edit] Other applications for Australian citizenship

  • These issues do not affect applications for special naturalisation/conferral (eg children of former Australian citizens, stateless persons and certain persons born in Papua before independence).
  • They don't affect applications for children under 18;
  • Nor do they affect applications for Australian citizenship by descent, or resumption of Australian citizenship.

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