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Saurer Pfirsich

Australian Citizenship - Is it worth getting?

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19 hours ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

We've been in Melbourne for 10 years this coming November and this subject has never come up until a recent conversation I had with another (British) parent at school pick-up. We were discussing a forthcoming family holiday that we're taking back home and I happened to comment on how slowly the line seems to move at Melbourne Airport for non-Australian passport-holders as opposed to that for the locals. He looked a bit puzzled by this and then said "don't you travel on your Australian passport then?" When I told him that I didn't have Australian citizenship he looked astonished and said "10 years here and you haven't got citizenship, are you mad?!" 

I must admit that I was a bit taken aback by how strongly he felt about it, but he went on to say that he had applied for citizenship as soon as he could and that there were lots of benefits attached to having it.

As I say, up until now it's never occurred to me to apply for Australian citizenship as I've got a spouse visa through my Australian wife which affords me the right to live and work here. I've never had any immigration issues during our 10 years here, other than having to purchase a Resident's Return Visa when I go home. When I asked him what the benefits of citizenship were he said voting and being able to undertake work contracts with the armed forces. Oh, and not having to wait so long in the airport queue! 

I'm guessing that there must be more benefits to having citizenship than the ones he listed, so just wondered what other people found the advantages to be?

There's a lot of jobs where you have to have it. Mine is one. I worked on a project once and they qustioned my dual nationality and whether I should be allowed to work on it. Luckily my British passport had expired and they deemed that good enough. 

We got our citizenship as soon as we could. Just in case they changed the rules, you never know.?

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1 hour ago, can1983 said:

can't believe anyone would even question not getting it immediately. Only downside is compulsory voting which can be a pain if you need to go abroad at short notice and have to vote to avoid a fine

 

As I say, it's not something that ever occurred to me until I had this conversation with another parent at school. Never entered my thinking.

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I'm counting down the months until we can get ours.
Peace of mind when all the rules keeping changing

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17 minutes ago, Paul1Perth said:

There's a lot of jobs where you have to have it. Mine is one. I worked on a project once and they qustioned my dual nationality and whether I should be allowed to work on it. Luckily my British passport had expired and they deemed that good enough. 

We got our citizenship as soon as we could. Just in case they changed the rules, you never know.?

Wow, that's pretty full on! Fortunately my employer is a humble not-for-profit organisation which employs a tonne of Brits, Irish and others, if they used that criteria they'd end up with no staff!

I can't imagine ever letting my British passport expire, even if I had an Australian one. It's part of my identity really, my birthright. Besides, I don't trust the British Govt when it comes to changing the rules at some future stage and trying to not let people back in! 

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The main advantage is future proofing. It is impossible to know what will happen in the future. You say you plan on returning to the UK but you might not. It is a long way off and a lot can happen. At the same time, nobody knows what the visa situation would be then or other things. So, it is about keeping as many options open as possible. 

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1 hour ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

Wow, that's pretty full on! Fortunately my employer is a humble not-for-profit organisation which employs a tonne of Brits, Irish and others, if they used that criteria they'd end up with no staff!

I can't imagine ever letting my British passport expire, even if I had an Australian one. It's part of my identity really, my birthright. Besides, I don't trust the British Govt when it comes to changing the rules at some future stage and trying to not let people back in! 

You are still a British citizen with the right to live there, even if your passport expires. 

You would have to take the drastic step of relinquishing your citizenship to stop eing a British citizen. I worked with a guy who did that as he wanted (and got) a fairly high job in the Australian Defence Force which demanded he hold only ozzie citizenshiip. . 

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2 hours ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

I can't imagine ever letting my British passport expire, even if I had an Australian one. It's part of my identity really, my birthright. Besides, I don't trust the British Govt when it comes to changing the rules at some future stage and trying to not let people back in! 

....but you're not worried about the Australian government doing likewise, especially when you're not a citizen and therefore much more vulnerable??

Many government departments, and companies contracted to Defence, aren't allowed to employ non-citizens.  Live in Canberra and it's very hard to get a job if you've only got PR!    They don't mind about dual citizens though - I didn't get questioned about mine, anyway.   I now have the dubious distinction of having signed the Official Secrets Act of two different countries.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 hours ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

Wow, that's pretty full on! Fortunately my employer is a humble not-for-profit organisation which employs a tonne of Brits, Irish and others, if they used that criteria they'd end up with no staff!

I can't imagine ever letting my British passport expire, even if I had an Australian one. It's part of my identity really, my birthright. Besides, I don't trust the British Govt when it comes to changing the rules at some future stage and trying to not let people back in! 

I would be more worried about here changing rules for people who've not bothered with Australian citizenship.

Don't trust any government.

I only have an Aussie passport now, too expensive to keep 2 going. 

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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

....but you're not worried about the Australian government doing likewise, especially when you're not a citizen and therefore much more vulnerable??

Many government departments, and companies contracted to Defence, aren't allowed to employ non-citizens.  Live in Canberra and it's very hard to get a job if you've only got PR!    They don't mind about dual citizens though - I didn't get questioned about mine, anyway.   I now have the dubious distinction of having signed the Official Secrets Act of two different countries.

Same here. 

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The same question could be asked in reverse, what is the benefit of not getting it? You still keep your British passport but gain from never having to worry about immigration rules changes in the future.

You only need to look as far as what has recently happened here in the UK with the Windrush generation to see why you should ensure you have covered all bases when moving to a new country. 

 

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

....but you're not worried about the Australian government doing likewise, especially when you're not a citizen and therefore much more vulnerable??

Many government departments, and companies contracted to Defence, aren't allowed to employ non-citizens.  Live in Canberra and it's very hard to get a job if you've only got PR!    They don't mind about dual citizens though - I didn't get questioned about mine, anyway.   I now have the dubious distinction of having signed the Official Secrets Act of two different countries.

I was being a little bit tongue in cheek in my response Paul to be honest Marisa! Yes, I think in light of the recent scandal over the Windrush generation it's probably best that I cover my bases in case the Australian Govt decide that they don't want fully integrated Brits like me around anymore! :)

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a couple of people we know who have been here over 40 years never took out Australian citizenship but they still vote etc.  Was it different for those people who came here in the 1960s?  Just wondering.

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I came in 1979 on a WHV and got PR in 1981. As a PR, I was allowed to join the electoral roll and vote. 

The rules changed in January 1984 when only citizens were allowed to be added to the roll - but everyone who was already on the roll stayed on it. 

That's how some old-timer PRs are able to vote - even now. 

Edited to add that this concession only applied to British subjects - not PRs of any other nationality. I assume that there were so many British subjects here at the time that no political party was game to annoy them by removing their ability to vote. :/

 

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13 hours ago, Paul1Perth said:

I would be more worried about here changing rules for people who've not bothered with Australian citizenship.

Don't trust any government.

I only have an Aussie passport now, too expensive to keep 2 going. 

It certainly wasn't a case of me not being 'bothered' to apply for citizenship Paul, but rather that it never occurred to me. When you move over there's so much else going on in the early years - finding a home, jobs, school and nursery places etc. Also, in our case we weren't sure how long we'd be here. My wife was super keen to come home to Australia, but we moved to Melbourne rather than Brisbane where she grew up and there was no guarantee that either of us would like it here. Fortunately it all worked out and we're settled here, but the early years here were hard (as they often are for many people) and we might have returned home on numerous occasions. Once we got settled though, my visa status was something we never gave any thought to - too much else going on on - until now. :)

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43 minutes ago, Saurer Pfirsich said:

It certainly wasn't a case of me not being 'bothered' to apply for citizenship Paul, but rather that it never occurred to me. When you move over there's so much else going on in the early years - finding a home, jobs, school and nursery places etc. Also, in our case we weren't sure how long we'd be here. My wife was super keen to come home to Australia, but we moved to Melbourne rather than Brisbane where she grew up and there was no guarantee that either of us would like it here. Fortunately it all worked out and we're settled here, but the early years here were hard (as they often are for many people) and we might have returned home on numerous occasions. Once we got settled though, my visa status was something we never gave any thought to - too much else going on on - until now. :)

That's fair enough. 

Consider also, your kids may prefer when older to live in Australia and you somewhere else. But you will want to make numerous trips to Australia to visit them or stay for a while. Citizenship would mean not having to worry or keep up with an RRV or worry about changes to that visa and so on. 

TBH the plus points far outweigh any negatives (apart from having to apply for an Aus passport every 10 years, which isn't really a bad thing, I can't think of any negatives tbh). 

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My husband is Australian and after our two boys were born here I became a citizen.  Just made sense really.

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Similar story.  Two of our children were born in the Uk and came over as babies.  The others were born here so we figured we might as well all be the same plus we had no intentions of going back.

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On 03/05/2018 at 12:12, can1983 said:

can't believe anyone would even question not getting it immediately. Only downside is compulsory voting which can be a pain if you need to go abroad at short notice and have to vote to avoid a fine

 

If you can prove you weren't in the country at the time you don't have to vote or pay the fine. 

 

I'll be getting my citizenship as soon as I'm eligible. Out of interest, how do I check when I can do it? Do I log in somewhere?? 


Independent (Subclass 189) IELTS 17/5/14 - L 8.5 - R 8.0 - W 8.0 - S 9.0 / VETASSESS Training and Employment Check 1/4/14 - Successful / Bench Joinery VETASSESS Technical Interview - 28/07/2014 (Kent) - Successful 04/08/2014 / EOI - 06/08/2014 / Invite for VISA - 29/08/2014 / Medicals 13/09/2014 / VISA Granted - 28/10/2014 Landed In Brisbane - 29/04/2015

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1 hour ago, Jack91 said:

If you can prove you weren't in the country at the time you don't have to vote or pay the fine. 

 

I'll be getting my citizenship as soon as I'm eligible. Out of interest, how do I check when I can do it? Do I log in somewhere?? 

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/citi

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4 minutes ago, snifter said:

Cheers 


Independent (Subclass 189) IELTS 17/5/14 - L 8.5 - R 8.0 - W 8.0 - S 9.0 / VETASSESS Training and Employment Check 1/4/14 - Successful / Bench Joinery VETASSESS Technical Interview - 28/07/2014 (Kent) - Successful 04/08/2014 / EOI - 06/08/2014 / Invite for VISA - 29/08/2014 / Medicals 13/09/2014 / VISA Granted - 28/10/2014 Landed In Brisbane - 29/04/2015

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Been in Australia over 40 years after arriving as a child on my parents passport. Have considered getting Australian citizenship many times, but kept deferring out of pure laziness and inconvenience (after all, I essentially have the same rights and privileges as a citizen).

Finally filling out my citizenship application and, my goodness, talk about pulling teeth. Eg. list all the places you have travelled to outside of Australia and when?..that alone is going to take ages to complete.

Anyway aside from my passport, I’ve almost always considered myself Aussie and look forward to the day I take my pledge. Ultimately, this is why you should or shouldn’t become a citizen.

 

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On 03/05/2018 at 13:53, Saurer Pfirsich said:

As I say, it's not something that ever occurred to me until I had this conversation with another parent at school. Never entered my thinking.

if youcan't get a postal vote and are abroad then producing proof ofthe travel is usually sufficient to get the fine waived. Been there, done that.

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I lived in Luxembourg for fifteen years and could have applied for Luxembourgish citizenship at that time. Why would I though, when I had exactly the same rights as any other citizen of the European Union. 

You never know what's round the corner - I intend to apply for Australian citizenship as soon as possible - just for peace of mind.

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103 visa application lodged February 2013. 143 visa application submitted January 2016. Police checks and form 80 submitted February 29th 2016. Visa granted April 4th 2016.

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4 hours ago, Briandi said:

Been in Australia over 40 years after arriving as a child on my parents passport. Have considered getting Australian citizenship many times, but kept deferring out of pure laziness and inconvenience (after all, I essentially have the same rights and privileges as a citizen).

Finally filling out my citizenship application and, my goodness, talk about pulling teeth. Eg. list all the places you have travelled to outside of Australia and when?..that alone is going to take ages to complete.

Anyway aside from my passport, I’ve almost always considered myself Aussie and look forward to the day I take my pledge. Ultimately, this is why you should or shouldn’t become a citizen.

 

Re the part of your post that I've highlighted, that fills me with horror! I never realised that you had to do this! I travelled extensively before I met my wife, and a fair bit afterwards too. I'll never remember all of those places and dates and am bound to omit something and end up invalidating my application. :embarressed:

 

 

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4 hours ago, Nemesis said:

if youcan't get a postal vote and are abroad then producing proof ofthe travel is usually sufficient to get the fine waived. Been there, done that.

I wasn't aware that people got fined for not voting in Australia, is that a new thing? I don't follow Australian politics tbh, so I'd be at risk of completely forgetting to vote. How much is the fine?

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