Citizenship questions

Old Jan 19th 2013, 12:16 am
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Default Citizenship questions

Well it's been an epic journey but I'm finally about the reach the end of my migration journey - citizenship! Who'd have thought when I landed in Melbourne as a bright eyed 16 year old almost 11 years ago that I'd become a citizen of this great country one day (it was meant to be a jolly for uni before heading somewhere else for further adventures, but I just never left!). I'm about to hit my 1 year anniversary of PR (and have been here since 2002 on a student, then partner visas), so I'm getting ready for my citizenship application in April. Actual eligibility is late March but delaying till April as we've got a trip to Hawaii planned for Easter.

I understand that I can't travel overseas whilst the application is being processed which is fine. And that I can travel in the 'limbo' period between application approval and the citizenship ceremony - I'll be traveling on my existing Malaysian passport like a regular PR presumably in that period.

Questions:

* We're thinking of going to Europe in late September - can I safely assume the processing would be complete way before then as I don't forsee any major issues?? I think the SLA which I read somewhere is about 90 days but a few friends have had approval way faster.

* Assuming approved within the 90 days, how long does it typically take between approval and citizenship ceremony? We live within Brisbane City Council (out in Carseldine if that makes a difference). It'd be great to travel on my shiny new Australian passport in September if I can - reason being that my current Malaysian passport is fast running out of pages and I'd love to avoid flying interstate (they don't have a consular presence in Brisbane) to get a new one when I'm intending to renounce citizenship of said country as soon as an Australian passport is safely in my hot hands!

MTIA for your advice as always!
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

expect 9-12 months from the time you apply to your ceremony date.
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 1:23 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Thanks. It sounds like I will be traveling before the ceremony then.

What are the typical wait times for DIAC to process / approve the actual application? I now see that the SLA advertised on the website is 60 days - is this the standard wait time in practise?

I assume that so long as they've completed processing and my existing passport is still valid with a valid re-entry visa (initial PR visa is valid all the way to 2017), I can still travel without having to apply for any kind of travel permission?

I suspect I'm worrying over nothing but I'm a natural worrier and immigration related red tape always makes me a little highly strung.
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Originally Posted by Qantasflyer View Post
Thanks. It sounds like I will be traveling before the ceremony then.

What are the typical wait times for DIAC to process / approve the actual application? I now see that the SLA advertised on the website is 60 days - is this the standard wait time in practise?

I assume that so long as they've completed processing and my existing passport is still valid with a valid re-entry visa (initial PR visa is valid all the way to 2017), I can still travel without having to apply for any kind of travel permission?

I suspect I'm worrying over nothing but I'm a natural worrier and immigration related red tape always makes me a little highly strung.
Your existing visa is valid up until the ceremony itself. Once you've done the ceremony you need an Aussie passport for travel, but till then you can use your existing passport and visa.
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Great, thanks all!
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Old Jan 19th 2013, 4:13 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

We applied at the end of August 2012, did our tests early in October and had the ceremony on 23 Novemeber if that helps
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Old Jan 20th 2013, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Originally Posted by Qantasflyer View Post
What are the typical wait times for DIAC to process / approve the actual application? I now see that the SLA advertised on the website is 60 days - is this the standard wait time in practise?

I assume that so long as they've completed processing and my existing passport is still valid with a valid re-entry visa (initial PR visa is valid all the way to 2017), I can still travel without having to apply for any kind of travel permission?
The whole process of becoming a citizen takes somewhere between 3-12 months usually (and for most people, it's between 6-9 months).

You can travel in the meantime however your application cannot normally be approved while you are offshore. So you will need to let DIAC know.

If you're Malaysian then presumably you are aware that you need a U.S. tourist visa to visit Hawaii.
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Old Jan 20th 2013, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Thanks JAJ!

I'm actually going to wait till we get back from Hawaii in April to begin the application process to avoid stuffing anything up. I'm eligible to apply from 23 March so a delay of about 7 days won't kill me. The approval should hopefully be done well before we travel again in Sept! (As opposed to actual ceremony)

Yep I've got an existing B1/B2 visa for travel to the US that's valid thru 2019 which is handy.

Last edited by Qantasflyer; Jan 20th 2013 at 8:42 pm.
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Old Jul 1st 2013, 3:19 am
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

My application for Australian citizenship was approved today!

My timeline differs somewhat from all the data points posted online in this forum and others. I applied online and nominated the Brisbane office for my test if that makes a difference. There's also an apparent backlog in processing.

April 2 - Lodged application online. Credit card was instantly charged.

Didn't hear a squeak for a long time unlike a lot of people here who have reported being in receipt of a test appointment date after a couple of weeks. Thinking that I'd forgotten to cross a t or dot an i, I rang up to enquire only to be told all is in order and it was explained that there's a backlog.

May 17 - Received citizenship test appointment date by email.

July 1 - Rocked up to the Brisbane office, presented all the original documents as instructed including an English translation of my Malaysian birth certificate* plus completed Form 1195 and NPCS consent form, took the test - which resembled a trivia night pub quiz in parts. I passed with flying colours after finding some practical application of my Political Science degree for the first time since leaving uni. "You finished quick! There's always a show off in the room." - according to the person looking after test candidates.

The DIAC officer then proceeded to approve my application on the spot after I finished the test, and booked my ceremony.

There's a massive backlog for the ceremony and I had a choice of a departmental ceremony in September or wait for an Australia Day ceremony. Not wanting to reduced the occasion to a mere legal formality, I decided to book in for the Australia Day ceremony with Brisbane City Council. The other major reason is that we're traveling to Europe in October; given the legal requirement to depart/enter the country on an Australian passport, a late September ceremony may be a little tight when considering the additional time it takes to get a passport (unless the 10 working days cited on the passport website is an extreme example of worst case scenario), even though it'd have been nice to travel on an Australian passport for the first time.

Happy days! Australia Day seems so far away but all good things come to those who wait. My eternal gratitude once again to everyone on this forum who's assisted - you've been a wealth of useful info and assurance from the start of my immigration journey since Partner Visa stage 1.

* Just thought I'd also mention - For documents that have been translated from their native language/s into English, both the original and translated copies need to be presented on the day of the appointment. I wasn't aware of this requirement and was lucky that I'd also brought along my original birth certificate in Malay along with the translated copy just in case.

Last edited by Qantasflyer; Jul 1st 2013 at 3:37 am.
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Citizenship questions

Congratulations - great news, and a great feeling x
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