4,000 migrants did not receive Australian citizenship in 2017. Here we present the common reasons that lead to this situation. There are migrants facing application refusal even after meeting all the qualifications for Australian citizenship. The reason is because of the activities they do after filing the application. Some of them do not return to Australia for many years. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection refuses application of citizenship on the grounds that they do not intend to stay in the country. Moreover they are not interested to maintain a close or continuous relationship with Australia.
There are a few cases where because of some family/business interests people spend more time outside Australia.
The Department of Home Affairs
The Department of Home Affairs mentions that the statistics regarding the citizenship refusals are not available for the present year. 4,151 applications seeking citizenship by conferral faced refusal in 2016-17. Among them 1,866 had not passed the citizenship test. In other cases the reasons were failure in proving identity, failure in police checks and also involvement in activities of an extremist organization.
Failure in proving the identity and meeting the character requirements were the common reasons for such refusals.
The citizenship application says that in case of charges are pressed but there is no conviction, the fact will be considered. If there is anything that leads the Department to determine that a person does not possess a good character, the best way is seeking legal advice. If not, not only will the citizenship application be refused, but the visa will also be cancelled. The character component is more important in applying for a visa.
The present approach of the government towards citizenship and character is that it gives the last chance to decide about the fate of the person in Australia. The reason is because after someone becomes an Australian citizen it is very difficult to undo that fact.
Traffic offences also a cause
A person lost his appeal against the decision to refuse his citizenship application with the Immigration Department because there were many traffic offenses. The applicant must not have a driving history full of multiple traffic offenses. Moreover he/she must not disobey traffic lights, cause over speeding, drive an unregistered vehicle nor drive in the period of suspension.
All fines and disqualification by a Court for driving an unregistered vehicle and the conviction must be disclosed. The driving offenses are also a source to ascertain whether a person possesses good character. The type of the traffic offenses, their numbers, any injuries, placing at risk, any harm get a mention here. There must be an honest disclosure of the applicant regarding the offenses, the time that has passed after committing the offenses, accepting responsibility by the applicant has, and expression of remorse, are other factors.
Additionally, there must be a truthful disclosure of the criminal history in the application for citizenship, and the details about the treatment of offenses by the courts are also a deciding factor. Moreover, the list goes on, to mention the amount in fines, imprisonment, and payment of fines.
Proposed changes in law
The government last year had announced substantial changes in citizenship laws. There was an increase in general residence requirement from one year to four years. Moreover, there was a proficiency test for English. After great opposition the government was forced to amend the proposed changes, as the legislation was defeated in the Senate. The government now plans to rework the legislation before July 2018.