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Dreaming_when

COVID-19 and postponement of Citizenship Tests and Ceremonies

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Posted (edited)

Hi all, 

Just thought I’d update everyone...

I just had my citizenship test. The DHA officer who conducted the interview mentioned that they were going to postpone ALL citizenship tests and ceremonies for the next 6 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said a formal announcement will be made soon. Ceremonies for urgent cases may still be considered according to the officer. (This is just what I was told and with the situation changing so quickly, we should wait for a formal announcement). 
 

Edited by Dreaming_when

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Thanks for the update. We had our test last month and gathered we may have a long wait for the ceremony now. Luckily we have another 3 years on our RRV’S, although any travel anywhere is not looking likely for a while now but it’s no big deal on the scale of things!

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Was there any mention of policy regarding whether they will continue to process applications?

I am currently waiting for approval, status is "Further Assessment" and has been since passing exam in December 12 2019 and asking for a UK police certificate. Unsure what to do now as there is a chance I may need to head back to the UK to look after relatives there. 

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38 minutes ago, olloyd21 said:

Was there any mention of policy regarding whether they will continue to process applications?

I am currently waiting for approval, status is "Further Assessment" and has been since passing exam in December 12 2019 and asking for a UK police certificate. Unsure what to do now as there is a chance I may need to head back to the UK to look after relatives there. 

It won't matter if they are processing applications or not. You are not legally a citizen until you've had the ceremony and been given your certificate.

Your only option is to apply for a RRV.


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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I was of the impression once your application status goes to 'Approved' you are free to depart/enter the country as needed as a decision has been made?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, olloyd21 said:

I was of the impression once your application status goes to 'Approved' you are free to depart/enter the country as needed as a decision has been made?

No - you are still a PR (and subject to RRV) until you have the actual ceremony

You can come and go as much as you want, but only under RRV rules. You can't get an Australian passport until you have the ceremony, so you can only travel under your home passport, which requires a valid RRV for entry to Australia

Edited by Ausvisitor

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3 hours ago, olloyd21 said:

I was of the impression once your application status goes to 'Approved' you are free to depart/enter the country as needed as a decision has been made?

No, because to travel as a citizen, you must have an Australian passport.  To apply for a passport, you must have the certificate.


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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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, olloyd21 said:

I was of the impression once your application status goes to 'Approved' you are free to depart/enter the country as needed as a decision has been made?

I’m guessing @olloyd21 was referring to the condition that “the applicant has to be onshore for the approval of the citizenship application (after passing the test)”. And once he’s received the approval, he’s free to travel overseas on his PR or RRV while waiting for the ceremony. 
The DHA officer did say that I could travel on my PR/RRV after the approval but I had to inform immi when I would be overseas but that I would not be invited to attend a ceremony while I was away which I understood to be for scheduling reasons. The DHA website does state that requests to attend citizenship ceremonies at an overseas embassy/consulate may be considered (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/ceremony). I’m guessing your best bet would be to wait for the approval, @olloyd21 before travelling and then if you have to stay on to care for your relatives, request for a ceremony at the nearest embassy giving your reasons. (Of course, it’s best to check with your agent or DHA about this). 

Edited by Dreaming_when

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I passed test on Monday but havnt been approved. Wonder if they are still continuing the approvals.

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54 minutes ago, olloyd21 said:

I hope they are still approving!

What's the point?  If you can't get a ceremony then there's no point in having the approval.


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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Anyone seen any announcement on tests etc? I’m due to have mine in the next week, I’m not fussed if it’s postponed just looking for info either way. 

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as what Dreaming_when said, once I have approval at least I can travel/move around on my PR/RRV and wait for a ceremony date...

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1 minute ago, olloyd21 said:

as what Dreaming_when said, once I have approval at least I can travel/move around on my PR/RRV and wait for a ceremony date...

Once we are approved it's one less hurdle

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1 minute ago, Rawkus said:

Once we are approved it's one less hurdle

Agree...for those of us who’ve been waiting, it’s a sign of some progress...a step closer to the “holy grail” of this long, often arduous journey...

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Posted (edited)
On 23/03/2020 at 11:05, Marisawright said:

What's the point?  If you can't get a ceremony then there's no point in having the approval.

Marisa we will apply in May as soon as we are eligible so we will be in the queue already as soon as the ceremonies start up, rather than waiting in case there is a surge of applications when they commence again. We’ve all seen that happen in other cases when people panic and flood the system with applications. Luckily we won’t have to wait to take the test, as we are exempt.

Edited by ramot

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