The Australian Government has been looking to crack down on Australian citizenship regulations, proposing tighter restrictions and changes to the citizenship law to make permanent residents wait much longer and require additional evidence before they are able to be granted Australian citizenship.
The government wants to increase the wait time to a minimum of four years living in Australia as a permanent resident, a four-fold increase from the current 1 year, regardless of the time spent in Australia before acquiring permanent residency.
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship David Coleman said in a statement that the government “makes no apologies for ensuring only those who meet our security and character requirements are given Australian citizenship”.
There are no guarantees as to when or how the laws may change next, so if you are eligible to apply for your Australian citizenship now, we recommend that you get your application started.
As it stands right now, it is easier than ever for the Australian Department of Home Affairs to deport visa holders who are not yet citizens. Since 2016 there has been a significant increase in the number of permanent visa holders being deported/removed.
The reality is that if the holder of any Australian visa engages in an offence or is charged with an offence, which includes accidents, that person can have their visa cancelled and become subject to removal or deportation.
A visa holder may be judged as failing the character test if they have ever been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment (regardless of time actually served) among other things.
The Department of Home Affairs and the minister also have discretionary power to cancel a visa on the basis that a person ‘could pose a risk to the community’ or are deemed to ‘not be of good character’. As a result, we have seen residents and current visa holders face visa cancellation without ever having committed a serious offence.=
If someone is tagged for visa cancellation, they are generally provided with a short period of time in which to appeal the decision. Unfortunately, what can happen is that they may be held in immigration detention while the appeal is underway.
Once you are an Australian citizen, you are able to stay in Australia forever if you choose, without the shadow of possible deportation or removal hanging over your head. This is why the best thing to do at this point is to start the application process for citizenship as early as possible.
It is important to note that becoming an Australian citizen does not mean you are no longer a citizen of your country of birth. Australia allows for dual citizenship. As long as your birth country allows for the same, then you can become a citizen of both countries.
Getting your Australian citizenship can be a daunting process. We deal with people here at Timpson Immigration Lawyers all the time who have kept putting it off for this very reason.
If you want us to take care of everything for you, we have full-service packages.
- We do all the work on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about anything
- We have an outstanding success rate so you can get total peace of mind
- We’ll get your application filed much faster than if you do it yourself
- Our packages start at $3,000
Talk to us now if you wish to know more.