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Mmmbop

Applying for Australian Citizenship then leaving the country

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Hi there,

My wife (and small baby, who is an Aussie citizen by birth) are from the UK and considering returning very soon. My partner and I are both PRs.

However, we would like to get our citizenship.

We're looking into the possibility of lodging the citizenship application and then leaving, with a view to coming back one day.

I realise this is an unusual circumstance, but has anyone had any experience of this, or know if it is possible?

I've read around it a bit. This page from a migration agent suggests that people who don't have a return date but meet the residence requirement at the time of lodgement (which we would) should in theory be eligible for granting of citizenship while offshore.

So from that it seems it should be possible, but I just wanted to check if anyone knows of any complications or barriers I might have missed?

Many thanks!

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The article says you must meet the “special residency requirement” (not the normal residency requirement).   Have a look but unless you’re in the olympics you probably don’t qualify.

 

 

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Many years ago, a lot of people (especially from unstable regions like the Middle East) used citizenship like an insurance policy.  They came to Australia, stayed for the qualifying period, got  citizenship then buggered off to their home country,  secure in the knowledge they always had Australia as a bolthole if the proverbial hit the fan.

Not surprisingly, Australia got fed up with that.  Citizenship is supposed to be for people who are making a commitment to becoming an Australian and making a life in Australia. Hence the increase in the qualifying period from two years to four, and you can't just apply then scarper (except in a few unusual circumstances).   That makes it tough on people who have a genuine reason to be absent for a few years, but it's how it is.

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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, mt9754 said:

The article says you must meet the “special residency requirement” (not the normal residency requirement).   Have a look but unless you’re in the olympics you probably don’t qualify.

 

 

The residency requirement is the one I linked in my OP: https://www.seekvisa.com.au/australian-citizenship-residency-requirement/

We do meet this, as I said. 

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Many years ago, a lot of people (especially from unstable regions like the Middle East) used citizenship like an insurance policy.  They came to Australia, stayed for the qualifying period, got  citizenship then buggered off to their home country,  secure in the knowledge they always had Australia as a bolthole if the proverbial hit the fan.

Not surprisingly, Australia got fed up with that.  Citizenship is supposed to be for people who are making a commitment to becoming an Australian and making a life in Australia. Hence the increase in the qualifying period from two years to four, and you can't just apply then scarper (except in a few unusual circumstances).   That makes it tough on people who have a genuine reason to be absent for a few years, but it's how it is.

Thanks - I understand all that in principle. However as stated in my OP it seems it is in fact possible to apply and then leave, given that we meet all the criteria of eligibility.

Are you aware of any specific rules that would prevent that out of interest? Thanks.

As far as I can see once you're a citizen you can remain out of the country for an indefinite period.

Edited by Mmmbop

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I think you are reading the article incorrectly or misunderstanding citizenship.  In most cases you need to be in Australia in order to be granted citizenship.  A more relevant page for you to read would be this one: https://www.seekvisa.com.au/leaving-australia-before-your-citizenship-application-is-finalised/ 

 


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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3 minutes ago, NicF said:

I think you are reading the article incorrectly or misunderstanding citizenship.  In most cases you need to be in Australia in order to be granted citizenship.  A more relevant page for you to read would be this one: https://www.seekvisa.com.au/leaving-australia-before-your-citizenship-application-is-finalised/ 

 

That is precisely the page I linked in my OP.

Can you elaborate on what you think I have misunderstood? 

As per my OP, that article states that those without a return date can apply if they meet the residence requirement, which it seems to me I do.

Edited by Mmmbop

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17 minutes ago, Mmmbop said:

That is precisely the page I linked in my OP.

Can you elaborate on what you think I have misunderstood? 

As per my OP, that article states that those without a return date can apply if they meet the residence requirement, which it seems to me I do.

Did you read the full page?  Including the bit about having to provide evidence of close ties to Australia?  If it was easy to get citizenship after leaving Australia lots of people would do it.  Worth remembering this is an article from a migration agent and not the official government website.  It might be worth a conversation with the agent to see just how likely it is to be able to get citizenship after leaving Australia.  The official website actually states (link to page here => https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen/permanent-resident#When ):

Travelling outside Australia

Let us know if you need to travel outside Australia while your application is being processed or while you are waiting for your ceremony.

In most cases, we cannot approve your application while you are outside Australia. You must also make the Australian Citizenship pledge within 12 months of your application being approved, or the approval may be cancelled.

If you need to travel, you must travel on your current passport. Make sure you have a valid visa that allows you to re-enter Australia. Apply for a Resident Return visa  if the travel conditions on your visa have expired or are about to expire.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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Thanks, yes I did read that bit. My son being a citizen would possibly help with the ongoing ties criterion.

That section from the official website is helpful. I think I need to get some clarity, from an agent, on where they draw the line regarding those 'most cases' for which approval can't be granted offshore.

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1 hour ago, Mmmbop said:

Thanks, yes I did read that bit. My son being a citizen would possibly help with the ongoing ties criterion.

That section from the official website is helpful. I think I need to get some clarity, from an agent, on where they draw the line regarding those 'most cases' for which approval can't be granted offshore.

So you have one tie, a son who is a citizen but does not reside in Australia. Doesn’t sound like strong ties to me

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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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44 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

So you have one tie, a son who is a citizen but does not reside in Australia. Doesn’t sound like strong ties to me

Right, thanks for that. Unless you've actually got anything helpful to add, based on concrete knowledge rather than negative speculation, I'm probably good for any more of your help. 

As I say, I'm eligible to apply for citizenship, and I also meet one of the exemptions listed re: having to be onshore for approval of application; the residence requirement

If anyone has any info on whether I've got those specifics right I'd be really grateful, but appreciate it's quite technical and I probably need to speak to a specialist.

Edited by Mmmbop

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@Mmmbop You've asked people to offer you their experiences and opinions, giving up their time to do so, and in every single response you've been at best, a little pointed and at worst, plain rude.

Just because you don't like the answer, doesn't make it wrong.  And even if it is wrong, people are trying to help you.  A little courtesy and a touch of humility goes a long way in life.

I'd be surprised if anyone else bothers to try and help you out on this thread.

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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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1 hour ago, Mmmbop said:

Right, thanks for that. Unless you've actually got anything helpful to add, based on concrete knowledge rather than negative speculation, I'm probably good for any more of your help. 

As I say, I'm eligible to apply for citizenship, and I also meet one of the exemptions listed re: having to be onshore for approval of application; the residence requirement

If anyone has any info on whether I've got those specifics right I'd be really grateful, but appreciate it's quite technical and I probably need to speak to a specialist.

That link is not an official gov one.  You need to be in Australia for approval and the ceremony.  People who have applied and left have had to return for approval and ceremony.  There are some exceptions like being married to an Australian citizen who has been required to move for work.  
You can apply and travel but just that travel, not move permanently.

Apply ASAP and get your citizenship then move.  Let’s face it moving now is probably not the best time anyway.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen

 

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

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4 hours ago, Mmmbop said:

The residency requirement is the one I linked in my OP: https://www.seekvisa.com.au/australian-citizenship-residency-requirement/

We do meet this, as I said. 

So that link is for residency requirement.  

If you leave the country then you must meet “Special Residency Requirement”, this is a different list of requirements:

https://www.australiavisa.com/immigration-news/australian-citizenship-special-residence-requirement/

 

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13 minutes ago, rammygirl said:

That link is not an official gov one.  You need to be in Australia for approval and the ceremony.  People who have applied and left have had to return for approval and ceremony.  There are some exceptions like being married to an Australian citizen who has been required to move for work.  
You can apply and travel but just that travel, not move permanently.

Apply ASAP and get your citizenship then move.  Let’s face it moving now is probably not the best time anyway.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen

 

Thanks very much. That's what I fear really, I'm just hoping against hope that there's some way to do it because we really don't want to wait. 

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8 minutes ago, mt9754 said:

So that link is for residency requirement.  

If you leave the country then you must meet “Special Residency Requirement”, this is a different list of requirements:

https://www.australiavisa.com/immigration-news/australian-citizenship-special-residence-requirement/

 

Thanks for the info. I'm not convinced that's correct though. The page I linked specifically links to the general residence requirement, rather than this one you've shared. I suspect it may just be they've thrown the word 'special' in there and this is confusing things.

It says at the top of the page you shared that this provision is for people who do not meet the general residence requirement, but require an exemption. I do meet the general residence requirement.

Perhaps you're right though, I'll look into it more. 

 

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56 minutes ago, FirstWorldProblems said:

@Mmmbop You've asked people to offer you their experiences and opinions, giving up their time to do so, and in every single response you've been at best, a little pointed and at worst, plain rude.

Just because you don't like the answer, doesn't make it wrong.  And even if it is wrong, people are trying to help you.  A little courtesy and a touch of humility goes a long way in life.

I'd be surprised if anyone else bothers to try and help you out on this thread.

Thanks for the analysis. I haven't been rude, I've been appreciative and asked for clarification where I wasn't sure what people meant. I admit I was a bit curt to one person, and I apologise, but I didn't really appreciate her response, I thought it was rude. 

Thanks for policing my tone though. It's actually quite hard to read that in text as I'm sure you know. This response is pointed (at worst rude) though, to be clear. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mmmbop said:

Thanks for the info. I'm not convinced that's correct though. The page I linked specifically links to the general residence requirement, rather than this one you've shared. I suspect it may just be they've thrown the word 'special' in there and this is confusing things.

It says at the top of the page you shared that this provision is for people who do not meet the general residence requirement, but require an exemption. I do meet the general residence requirement.

Perhaps you're right though, I'll look into it more. 

 

The page you linked to is an agent page, not an official government one.  It will be no more correct than the one mt9754 linked to, and is possibly less accurate.

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Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.

Dale Carnegie – 1888-1955, Author and Lecturer

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1 minute ago, NicF said:

The page you linked to is an agent page, not an official government one.  It will be no more correct than the one mt9754 linked to, and is possibly less accurate.

Re: residence requirement? That is the same general residence requirement which is on the immi official site. But yes, thanks for the flag that agent pages need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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4 minutes ago, Mmmbop said:

Thanks for the analysis. I haven't been rude, I've been appreciative and asked for clarification where I wasn't sure what people meant. I admit I was a bit curt to one person, and I apologise, but I didn't really appreciate her response, I thought it was rude. 

Thanks for policing my tone though. It's actually quite hard to read that in text as I'm sure you know. This response is pointed (at worst rude) though, to be clear. 

 

You may have thought I was rude but all I did was state my opinion. I don’t see the point in sugar coating it because all that does is offer false hope

Edited by Marisawright
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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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28 minutes ago, Mmmbop said:

Thanks for the info. I'm not convinced that's correct though. The page I linked specifically links to the general residence requirement, rather than this one you've shared. I suspect it may just be they've thrown the word 'special' in there and this is confusing things.

It says at the top of the page you shared that this provision is for people who do not meet the general residence requirement, but require an exemption. I do meet the general residence requirement.

Perhaps you're right though, I'll look into it more. 

 

The original site you quoted, the link was auto filled by a computer.  It was not the correct link, notice how it didn’t highlight “Special”

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11 hours ago, Mmmbop said:

Hi there,

My wife (and small baby, who is an Aussie citizen by birth) are from the UK and considering returning very soon. My partner and I are both PRs.

However, we would like to get our citizenship.

We're looking into the possibility of lodging the citizenship application and then leaving, with a view to coming back one day.

I realise this is an unusual circumstance, but has anyone had any experience of this, or know if it is possible?

I've read around it a bit. This page from a migration agent suggests that people who don't have a return date but meet the residence requirement at the time of lodgement (which we would) should in theory be eligible for granting of citizenship while offshore.

So from that it seems it should be possible, but I just wanted to check if anyone knows of any complications or barriers I might have missed?

Many thanks!

I think as Ramot said earlier, your biggest issue in getting citizenship if you leave straight after applying would be doing the face to face interview/test and attending the ceremony (normally a few months after test). Even if you stay for the test you need to attend a ceremony to have citizenship finalised, the missing piece of the jigsaw so to speak. 

If staying here another year is a no go you may have to resort to the fact you may never be able to come back. If returning at some point is a possibility for you, then i think you need to stick it out here until you can attend a ceremony.

   Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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1 hour ago, Marisawright said:

You may have thought I was rude but all I did was state my opinion. I don’t see the point in sugar coating it because all that does is offer false hope

The fact that it is your opinion doesn't preclude it from being rude.

If you're an immigration lawyer, then sure, tell it to me straight.

However, I would personally refrain from making sweeping and negative pronouncements about other people's families' futures, unless I was quite sure what I was talking about. 

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14 minutes ago, calNgary said:

I think as Ramot said earlier, your biggest issue in getting citizenship if you leave straight after applying would be doing the face to face interview/test and attending the ceremony (normally a few months after test). Even if you stay for the test you need to attend a ceremony to have citizenship finalised, the missing piece of the jigsaw so to speak. 

If staying here another year is a no go you may have to resort to the fact you may never be able to come back. If returning at some point is a possibility for you, then i think you need to stick it out here until you can attend a ceremony.

   Cal x

Thanks Cal. Yes I can see that will be difficult to say the least. I would be willing and able to come back to do those if possible. Who knows, maybe the situation would have improved by then and travel will be easier.

I've also heard they are doing some ceremonies online now, though I don't hold out much hope of that as a possiblity for me.

I haven't quite given up hope yet.

Edited by Mmmbop

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1 hour ago, rammygirl said:

That link is not an official gov one.  You need to be in Australia for approval and the ceremony.  People who have applied and left have had to return for approval and ceremony.  There are some exceptions like being married to an Australian citizen who has been required to move for work.  
You can apply and travel but just that travel, not move permanently.

Apply ASAP and get your citizenship then move.  Let’s face it moving now is probably not the best time anyway.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/become-a-citizen

 

@rammygirl actually, just re-reading your post...so do you know of people who have left, then come back to do the interview and ceremony? That could be viable if so...

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