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| November 15, 2019

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Thousands of Migrants Stuck Waiting for Over a Year for Citizenship

Thousands of Migrants Stuck Waiting for Over a Year for Citizenship

| On 15, Oct 2019

Recent news reaching us has revealed that obtaining Australian citizenship is now becoming technically difficult. Several migrants from the UK, India, and China were faced with a waiting time over a year – approx. Four hundred ten days – to obtain their Australian citizenships as the line of applicants becomes longer, and the Australian economy stands the chance of losing a major portion of its skillful labour force.

Despite the recent drastic reduction in the figure of those applicants applying for the Australian citizenship – about 100,000 applicants dropped, the average waiting time in days from the lodgment of the Australian citizenship application to its final approval is currently 412 days, an increase from the 168 days recorded in 2012-2013 but a decrease from the 494 days recorded in 2018 and the number of immigrants waiting for the Australian citizenship could only be cut by 23,350 during this time.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) provided the figures of Australian citizenship applicants when giving answers to the questions asked by Julian Hill, Labor MP. The figure showed that there are about 27,000 UK citizens, 31,000 Indian citizens, and more than 17,600 Chinese citizens wanting to acquire Australian citizenship. Altogether, there are more than 221,415 applicants who want to obtain Australian citizenships.

In 2018, Australian citizenships seekers told “The Age” and “The Sydney Morning Herald” that they are about losing hope on the situation, which suspended their move to use medicare, vote, study, sponsor members of their family, and applies for any government position opening.

Kristina Keneally, the spokeswoman for labour’s home affairs, said the waiting time was “callous and cruel.” She added that though Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, said that ‘if you have a go, you get a go,’ these application processing delays are proofs that the Prime Minister doesn’t think about those waiting for their citizenship applications for Australia to be processed.

The accumulation of unprocessed applications at the DHA results despite the decrease in the number of applicants from the migration stream of humanitarian by 9 percent over the last four years. The applications from the humanitarian migration stream are very tedious to process. 

According to a report by the Auditor-General in February: the increase occurred in less-complex applications from the skillful migration stream, which raised by about 41% over the past four years.”

It’s obvious that raising the total number of migrants who are skilled is one of the major parts of the population policy of Morrison-led government. His government is making attempts to fill gaps with skilled workers in the economy of Australia. This is expected to encourage economic increase from its present low level, which it has been since the worldwide economic meltdown.

Alan Tudge

Also, Alan Tudge, the Australian Population Minister, had created a Population Centre of Excellence within Treasury to shift attention from focusing on revenue created by the number of immigrants towards economic and social results for enticing skilled migrants, especially to regional Australia.

David Coleman

Last year, David Coleman, Australian Immigration Minister stated that the Morrison-led government had earmarked some money to invest in the Australian applications for citizenship and to increase necessary resources within the capacity of the Department of Home Affairs so that the body would be able to handle the growing demand of skilled workers.

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