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WRooney

After applying for Citizenship, can I leave Australia?

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I plan to apply for Citizenship in the first half of February. I have certain things to sort out back in the UK though, and any period of time I could spend there would be important. I couldn't figure out at which stages of the Citizenship process one is allowed to leave Australia, and how long for. Basically I understand that after the application has been made, the steps that follows are the communication regarding where and when to sit the test, then the test, finally the citizenship ceremony, and after that the passport (which I would want). All of this should take 4-6 months. I am wondering where, across these steps, I would be allowed to temporarily leave Australia.

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When you apply you have to indicate any planned time outside of Australia - bearing in mind you are making a declaration of your commitment to Australia I would tread carefully on this. It you were to declare dates they would simply invite you for your interview/test after that date (unless it was way in the future)

 

The time between applying and taking the test is relatively short so I would apply and get the test out of the way, the longer wait is for the ceremony. Once you have been approved for citizenship but before your ceremony in which it is granted you can travel on your UK passport - it would be advisable to let your local city/shire know that you will not be available for your ceremony until after a particular date. Ours was four months after our test but it varies shire to shire.

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Thank you very much Lady Rainicorn (I love Adventure Time too ha), that was very informative. Hmm 4 months between the test and the actual ceremony seems quite a long time to wait. Can I just tell them I would do the ceremony anywhere in WA as soon as there is one spot available?

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Thank you very much Lady Rainicorn (I love Adventure Time too ha), that was very informative. Hmm 4 months between the test and the actual ceremony seems quite a long time to wait. Can I just tell them I would do the ceremony anywhere in WA as soon as there is one spot available?

 

No, you have to specify one - it was my understanding that it was only the place you lived but I did read on here recently someone suggesting phoning around to see where had the shortest waiting list.

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Hmm I see. Like, I ring the different shires and ask when they have the next ceremony scheduled for?

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Hmm I see. Like, I ring the different shires and ask when they have the next ceremony scheduled for?

 

Well that's what was suggested - I

didnt know you could do that though - it would be more a question of how long is the waiting list, our city council

did them monthly but we were waiting for a space

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Thank you very much Lady Rainicorn (I love Adventure Time too ha), that was very informative. Hmm 4 months between the test and the actual ceremony seems quite a long time to wait. Can I just tell them I would do the ceremony anywhere in WA as soon as there is one spot available?

Unless things have changed very recently you have to have the ceremony in your local council area, where you live.

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I was told by my council that they have no say in who to invite to which ceremony - they develop a schedule of ceremonies based on historic demand levels and then wait for DIBP to tell them who to invite. In Victoria when I was looking for ceremonies - a year ago - you could only go to your home local authority unless you had an urgent and compelling reason to be dealt with sooner - and wanting to spend extended periods of time overseas would not be seen as a good reason. My waiting time for a ceremony was 9 months.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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Just a reminder if the travel portion of your visa has expired you will need an RRV to travel until you have your Aus citizenship and passport.


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Oh crap.. at the moment I live in a rural town of WA, there will be a long wait. Would be great if there was any possibility to ask the DIABP a special request in order to speed things up.

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Oh crap.. at the moment I live in a rural town of WA, there will be a long wait. Would be great if there was any possibility to ask the DIABP a special request in order to speed things up.

 

Very unlikely unless you have a very good reason - given you can travel on your British passport until the ceremony a need to travel overseas is not deemed to be a good reason.

 

What is the urgency? Are you wanting to return to the UK permanently?

 

If for example you have a job offer which requires you to be a citizen, e.g. armed forces or federal government that could be deemed a good reason and I have known people get it more quickly so they didn't have to pay international student fees.

 

If you would need a RRV and do need to travel to the UK for a good reason i.e terminally ill parent or something like that then possibly it is worth requesting - some shires do offer private ceremonies.

 

I do think you can only get it in your own shire as others have said but someone had suggested on here you could nominate another one at the time of application.

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Remember, if you do have you ceremony before you go back to the UK you'll need to get an Australian Passport before you leave as your Visa automatically terminates following the ceremony (and they're pretty hot on it). As a citizen, you need to leave Australia on an Australian passport. If you try and leave on a British Passport you may have problems (as your Visa has been terminated), as well as the hassle of trying to get the airline to let you board when you fly back.

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I was told by my council that they have no say in who to invite to which ceremony - they develop a schedule of ceremonies based on historic demand levels and then wait for DIBP to tell them who to invite. In Victoria when I was looking for ceremonies - a year ago - you could only go to your home local authority unless you had an urgent and compelling reason to be dealt with sooner - and wanting to spend extended periods of time overseas would not be seen as a good reason. My waiting time for a ceremony was 9 months.

 

9 months is a really long time to wait without being able to leave the country. Did you knew it would have taken 9 months, or you just waited patiently until you received the invitation 6 weeks prior to the ceremony? Was it a small town?

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9 months is a really long time to wait without being able to leave the country. Did you knew it would have taken 9 months, or you just waited patiently until you received the invitation 6 weeks prior to the ceremony? Was it a small town?

We applied for our Citizenship and had the test at the end of July. In September we flew to England for two weeks, then had our ceremony at the end of October. Our visas had not expired though and we travelled on our British Passports.

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You can travel once your citizenship has been approved ( normally within a couple of weeks of the test) and before the ceremony, provided you have a valid visa to return to Australia. You do not have to stay in Australia for the wait, but you need to be in Australia for the test, decision and ceremony. Unless you are applying from overseas as a special case.


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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9 months is a really long time to wait without being able to leave the country. Did you knew it would have taken 9 months, or you just waited patiently until you received the invitation 6 weeks prior to the ceremony? Was it a small town?

 

You can leave the country, your visa on your British passport is still valid or if it's expired you can get an RRV

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As others say, you can travel. I applied and left for a holiday in Cambodia before I sat the test. Then I went on holiday to Japan whilst waiting for a ceremony.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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Very unlikely unless you have a very good reason - given you can travel on your British passport until the ceremony a need to travel overseas is not deemed to be a good reason.

 

What is the urgency? Are you wanting to return to the UK permanently?

 

If for example you have a job offer which requires you to be a citizen, e.g. armed forces or federal government that could be deemed a good reason and I have known people get it more quickly so they didn't have to pay international student fees.

 

If you would need a RRV and do need to travel to the UK for a good reason i.e terminally ill parent or something like that then possibly it is worth requesting - some shires do offer private ceremonies.

 

I do think you can only get it in your own shire as others have said but someone had suggested on here you could nominate another one at the time of application.

 

A number of reason, one of which is looking after a relative of old age who is sick. Not sure whether that would represent enough grounds for me to ask for them to speed things up, and which documentation they would ask me as a proof.

 

Anyway, do I need to sit the test also in the shire of residency, or they would call me to do it in Northbridge (which I would prefere as it would be much faster)? Also, what happens if I change residency after I pass the test? would I be able to sit the test in the new shire of residency?

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You can travel once your citizenship has been approved ( normally within a couple of weeks of the test) and before the ceremony, provided you have a valid visa to return to Australia. You do not have to stay in Australia for the wait, but you need to be in Australia for the test, decision and ceremony. Unless you are applying from overseas as a special case.

I am on a RSMS which expires in 2018 so I could return. What you say is very interesting, I thought I was not allowed to travel outside of Australia while waiting for the ceremony. Should I tell the Department about me leaving Australia after I pass the test?

The only thing is I would need to arrange for someone to read my correspondance to see when they invite me to the ceremony; I hope their invitation letter goes straight to the letterbox and doesn't need the recipient to go to the post office and sign..

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I thought my RSMS would have automatically expired from the moment I passed the test. Anyway here is where I read that one can't travel while a decision is being made: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Citi/Appl/How-to-apply/Application-process-for-Australian-citizenship#. At Step 9 (receiving notification of the dept decision after the test) they say in bold: you must be in the country at the time a decision is made. You may need to defer your travel plans or, if your travel is urgent contact the department for advice. Anyway shouldn't take long from the test to the notification, shouldn't it?

Edited by WRooney

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The time from test to notification is relatively short about a month for us if I recall - you can travel on your British passport between then and the ceremony.

 

Our invites came straight to the house but that could vary by shire i guess.

 

Once you have the decision you could certainly advise them you need to leave to look after an elderly relative, if this could be backed up with evidence there is a chance they would fit you in the next available ceremony. This is such a frequent request though I wouldn't count on it.

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I didn't travel between the test and the decision - but that only takes a couple of weeks. I would tell DIBP of your travel plans after they have given the approval.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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If you read further in that document it tells you that once citizenship is approved you still have to wait for the ceremony for conferral of the actual citizenship . As that can take several months you are allowed to travel as long as you have a valid visa whilst you are waiting for this. Either your PR visa or an RRV if the travel portion of your PR visa has expired.

 

it is only on conferral at the ceremony that you become a citizen and your visas are no longer valid. At this point you will need an Australian passport if you wish to travel abroad.

 

Stages are, application, test/ interview, approval, conferral ( ceremony).

 

the longest wait is from approval to conferral for most people and you can travel between these two stages.


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Also worth saying that if you get notified of a citizenship ceremony that you can't make because you are away, you can let your council know and they'll put you on the invite list for the next suitable ceremony - provided you attend a ceremony within a year of being approved for citizenship.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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Thank you all for the great help. I just have one thing unclear at this stage: how can they notify me while I am in the UK? Would they be happy to contact me via email or I have to arrange for somebody to check my mail in Australia? I am wondering what would happen if they send me the invitation via regular mail and I don't attend the ceremony without notifying them.

Edited by WRooney

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