Common Reasons Why Australian Citizenship Applications are Refused

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So, you’ve been enjoying life as a permanent resident of Australia for a while now and you’re thinking of taking that next step which is citizenship. It’s a huge decision to make, one that you’ll have to consider and plan accordingly if you choose to live in Australia’s immaculate weather for the rest of your life. But there are challenges along the way and if you’re not prepared enough, you can risk getting your Australian citizenship application refused.

Around 4,151 immigrants were refused Australian citizenship back in 2016-17, all of which were caused by a number of different reasons. The good news is, more and more immigrants are becoming Australian citizens by conferral. In 2017-2018, a total of 80,649 immigrants were granted Australian citizenship from 180 different countries.

Today we’re going to break down the most common reasons that can knock back your citizenship application so you can be better prepared before making that next big leap. Should you require any further assistance, get in touch with your local migration agent in Perth.

Benefits of becoming an Australian citizen

There are plenty of advantages to being an Australian citizen. People from all over the world choose Australia as an ideal destination to settle for the rest of their life because:

  • They can make use of consular services if they’re experiencing difficulties while abroad.
  • They can travel in an out of Australia without being burdened by a Resident Return visa.
  • Their entitlement to vote.
  • Having access to medical facilities and student loans.
  • Seeking a career in the Public Service and Defence Forces.
  • Ability to register their children born overseas as Australian citizens.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at the reasons hindering you from obtaining these privileges.

Failing the citizenship test

One of the major reasons for an Australian citizenship application refusal is failing the citizenship test. The goal of the test is to assess your overall English skills as well as your knowledge on the privileges and responsibilities that come with living in Australia. Failed tests have accounted for 1,800 application denials back in 2016-2017 which is why you should prepare for the citizenship test.

If you pass the test, it means you understand the commitment you’re making when you take the Australian Citizenship Pledge. There are plenty of resources online that provide reviewers and quizzes so make sure to review thoroughly before applying for an Australian citizenship.

Failure to meet character requirements

To obtain Australian citizenship, you must prove to the Department of Home Affairs that you have good moral character. This can be achieved by providing an overseas penal clearance certificate in your home country or a clear National Police Check. If you have ever received a fine or been convicted of a criminal offence, it is your responsibility to provide a criminal record. The Department will refuse your citizenship application if they believe a serious offence was committed by the applicant.

Even minor traffic offences can hurt your chances of getting approved. For example, if you have any outstanding fines or multiple driving offences, the Department may refuse your application. They may also check against your involvement in any extremist organization activities. Failure to disclose convictions will appear as a deliberate pattern of dishonesty to the Department.

Failure to meet residency requirements

Before applying for an Australian citizenship, you need to evaluate your eligibility. Most people make the mistake of overlooking their residency requirements which leads to application refusals. If you’re a permanent resident of Australia, you are only eligible to apply for citizenship after four years of obtaining permanent residency. You must also be present within the country when applying for citizenship if you wish to call Australia your new home. Other residency requirements you should know are:

  • Living in Australia with a valid visa for 4 years
  • Permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for more than 12 months
  • Leaving Australia for no more than 12 months in the past 4 years and a maximum of 90 days away from the country is only allowed within the past 12 months.

If the Department isn’t convinced of your intention to live in Australia, they have the right to refuse your citizenship application. Immigrants must show their commitment to building a life in the country and maintain a close association to Australia. If you own a business or have a family that requires you to spend large amounts of time overseas, it might affect your chances of getting approved with your application.

Failure to prove your identity

The Department of Home Affairs requires you to verify your identity before your Australian citizenship application is processed. This means you must be able to provide a photograph and a completed identity declaration that’s signed by an existing Australian citizen who meets certain eligibility criteria and is not related to you whatsoever. Additional verification documents you provide should be genuine, accurate, and free of error in terms of your name, address, and other information.

How to avoid Australian citizenship application refusal

When applying for an Australian citizenship, you need to adhere to all rules and regulations. You can use the information provided here to avoid some of the most common mistakes applicants make so you can obtain citizenship in Australia. 

If for some reason you believe that the application refusal is invalid, you can request to have it reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). They can take a close look at the decision made by the Department of Home Affairs to help you in finding the best solution for your case.

If you’re looking to expedite the citizenship application process, you can do so with the help of  Registered migration agents understand all aspects of migration, including applying for an Australian citizenship. They can help assist you with all the complexities involved in becoming a citizenship of Australia without having to deal with frustrating refusals. Immigration laws are constantly changing and if you’re unsure about your citizenship application, it’s best to seek professional advice so you can preserve your time, energy, and resources.