The number of Australian citizenship approvals by conferral has grown by 80% with above 145,000 individuals approved for citizenship of Australia in 2018-19. The sharp rise occurs in the wake of a 15-year of low from just 81,000 permissions in 2017-18, the weakest since 2002.
The government tells the time taken to decide on appeals after appellants given the citizenship interview has also been tremendously reduced.
Immigration Experts say several cases where citizenship appeals have been accepted on the same day an appellant given an interview and pass the citizenship examination.
The Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, David Coleman, told developments such as promoting online lodgements and improving the performance of citizenship processing had given to the increased citizenship permissions.
Mr. Coleman said that he has been working from the past 12 months to assure citizenship appeals are handled as efficiently as feasible, while also managing the program integrity.Mr. Coleman also said he was confident of seeing more developments in the process over the following year. However, there is still a large backlog of appeals awaiting a decision.
As of 31 July 2019, the Home Affairs Department had above 198,000 citizenship appeals anticipating processing which has come down from a notable high of 240,000 in July 2018.
The ANAO recognized that there was a notable improvement in the processing of the appeals during the initial half of 2018-2019 over 2017-2018, but stated it was under the levels of 2014-2015 to 2016-2017.
However, the entire number for the year is biggest since 2013-2014 when above 160,000 requests were accepted.
As per the Department’s announced global processing time, maximum of the citizenship requests are processed in 18 to 20 months and upon approval, extra six months prior to citizenship ceremony – the last step to becoming a citizen of Australia.
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