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saglover

Citizenship Application on sleep mode - any advice or help please

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We applied last January 2019 for Citizenship after 4 years of living in Australia. My husband and two sons (under 16 years) under one application and me under another.  In July my mother became very ill and I left quickly with my sons to be with her.  Before we left we asked immigration help line if it would affect our sons application if they left with me and we were told no as they are under 16 years - my husband was remaining in Australia.  2 days after arriving in the UK, my husband received an email asking for boys to return within 30 days.  We replied that we were told we didn't need to and the circumstances around leaving. Immigration dept send a response email confirming that it didn't matter, we were at the end stages waiting for police checks and that boys could apply for their passport from UK.  I am in the position of unable to leave my mother and my husband joined us in October.  We applied for FOI and have since found it was put on sleep mode in August.  As you must be in Australia at the time of approval, my husband was when the application was being looked at but now no longer is.  It appears our only option is leave my mother and return or lose citizenship. It a very difficult dilema for me.

Does anyone have any experience with this?  My questions are If we return to Australia for approval, how long can this be before it is approved days, weeks or months?  We can apply for resident return visas but when is the latest we must do this by (our visa expired in November).  

Coincidentally I was approved a few hours before leaving.  I am concerned for my children as they see Australia as their home and will want to return one day but may not be able to.

Thanks in advance if you can help

 

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hello.

 

sorry to hear about your mum. I don't know everything in your case but my case might give you a little bit of help you with the information you are seeking.

Have to  be in Australia for approval to be granted, it can't be done offshore and there is a timeframe for completion. its interesting that they had approved you hours before leaving Australia though. it seems like really bad timing.

so yes you would need to return. in my case without going into specifics too much, I was offshore and received an email stating the date I had left Australia and that I had not declared travel plans and that I had to give the date that I intend to permanently reside back in Australia with evidence e.g airline ticket, lease rental agreement) and that I had 14 days to respond and if I do not provide any additional information in the period specified and not been given an extension of time to provide additional information then a decision will be based on the information they already had available. (I read that-it will be denied)

I was in a position to return and had the flight was already booked for a few weeks later. I responded to the email with the date I was returning. when I returned back to Australia, I checked everyday my immiaccount to see. It was 10 days later that my status has changed on my account to granted citizenship. the letter arrived about 10 days later in the post. Once your account status has changed online to citizenship then you are ok to travel overseas on your current passport as PR and don't need to wait for the letter of approval (I guess this may be helpful to know because you mum is sick). some people say you have to wait for the letter in the post, but this isn't true if its been changed on your online immi account to approved for citizenship. the problem here is that some peoples online account don't get updated at all and the first they know is when the letter arrives in the post and the account online actually hasn't been updated throughout the different stages. mine went from application submitted to granted and never through the other stages so it was never consistent.

 

The citizenship ceremony you will need to attend, the timeframe just depends on how often your local council has the ceremonies. some councils have the ceremony dates listed on their own webpage and some don't. from memory mine was about 4 months later. the letter came in the post about 4 weeks before the ceremony date (so I did not get notified online-only in the post). you can always postpone attending it but there is a timeframe and I think its within the year. so it just depends how often they have them. then of course you cannot travel after the ceremony without your Australian passport. you can do priority application for the passport for this though and pay the extra especially if you need to get back to your sick relative, but still about a week or so for this, its quicker to collect it at the passport office then wait on Australia post to send out even with priority posting. I suppose you could go back to your mums after your citizenship approval and then return for your citizenship ceremony at the later date if you have your Australian address for correspondence still ok and someone to check your mail for you to know when it is.

I have heard that there can be urgent citizenship ceremonies that can be conducted in the immigration offices. so once approval for citizenship has been granted, you can quickly have the ceremony and then get the passport fast tracked. Now I don't know too much about this and you would have to do your research but I would be making sure I had all the evidence I needed to support my case for this, like your mothers doctors letter about her health etc.

 

unfortunately if we don't meet their criteria then we don't get granted citizenship, we do lose the money we have already paid and would have to start the process all over again, which is getting so much harder to do now with all the changes over the years. 

in regards to the RRV I remember doing this about a month prior to my PR running out whilst waiting for citizenship application to be processed. it was free to do, and I remember I had to do it before my PR expired. I really hope that your situation you get some clarity soon, because if you are not in a position to proceed with your citizenship application, I really hope you haven't lost your PR status because it has expired and you didn't get the RRV in the timeframe needed. That could be the case, but I would be calling immigration and checking immigration website for information regarding this. goodluck with everything and hope your mums health improves.

 

 

 

Edited by mellyholly
dates changed

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Thank you so much mellyholly for sharing.  It's good to know you got approved quickly once you returned.  Because now my husband (and children)'s application is on sleep mode, if we return we don't know how long we would have to wait - if we knew it was a short time, we would do that - but it could be months according to immi timeframes. 

The issue I have is that my husband was in oz at the time of approval as they said on email they were just waiting for police checks to return as it was at the final stages.   He waited another 3 months but what we didn't know is that they automatically put his application on sleep mode as my sons were with me in the UK and we didn't have a return date even though they had told us it wasn't necessary for them to be here at the time of approval as they are under 16 years.

The ombudsmen have agreed to look into it so I am hoping that will help.  You are right its getting much harder, the RRV alone is $400 each now.

Thanks again 

 

 

 

 

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