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80 per cent jump in Australian citizenship approvals in 2018-19

From encouraging online lodgements to increasing the number of citizenship appointments available for applicants to attend interviews and sit the citizenship test, the government has recorded an 80 per cent increase in citizenship approvals last year.

Australian citizenship approvals have registered a whopping 80 per cent jump in 2018-19, according to the latest figures by Immigration Minister.

For Canberra-based Gayatri Seth, the process of applying for Australian citizenship to being approved took less than three months.

“I applied for my citizenship on May 28 2019. I gave my citizenship test on August 22 and was approved the same day,” Ms Seth told SBS Hindi.

Ms Seth believes it was her ‘meticulous paperwork’ which helped her speed up her citizenship process.

“I work in the IT industry and Australian citizenship is imperative for my career.

“When I applied for my citizenship, I made sure I uploaded as many documents I could, relevant to establishing my identity, my clean character and my base here.

“I got my test date in a month after I applied.

“The day I gave my citizenship test, I came home and opened my computer and I had received my approval. It was magical.

“It all happened in less than three months. I am now waiting for ceremony and I am hoping my name will be on the list for the citizenship ceremonies scheduled in October.

“It has all happened very fast and I personally believe it is because my paperwork was in order,” Ms Seth said.

Gayatri Seth

For Melbourne-based Harshdeep Singh Gill, it was a small but an important step in the process that helped him get his citizenship in less than 10 months.

Mr Gill applied for citizenship in September 2018 and attended his citizenship ceremony in July 2019.

“My initial test date was September 2019 but I kept checking online and was able to move my test date to May 2019. I passed and my ceremony was in July," Mr Gill told SBS Hindi

"I encourage people to go on the online portal and keeping checking rescheduling test date and that might work in getting an earlier test date."

Seth and Gill are among thousands who have recently had their citizenship applications approved.

Harshdeep Singh

Australia has registered an 80 per cent increase in citizenship approvals in 2018-19 compared to 2017-18.

More than 145,000 migrants have had their citizenship by conferral applications approved in 2018-19, compared to 81,000 in 2017-18.

In addition to an 80 per cent increase in the number of people approved for Australian citizenship, the Government has also halved the time between an applicant attending a citizenship interview and the finalisation of their application.

David Coleman

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Mr David Coleman attributed the increase to improvements such as encouraging online lodgements and increasing the efficiency of citizenship processing.

“Australian citizenship is an immense privilege, and fundamental to our national identity,” Mr Coleman said.

“I have been working over the past 12 months to ensure citizenship applications are managed as efficiently as possible, while also maintaining the integrity of the program.

“We have invested $9 million into our systems and staff, established a task force to focus on complex cases, and increased the number of citizenship appointments available for applicants to attend interviews and sit the citizenship test.

“This investment is having a significant impact and I am confident we will see further improvements over the next 12 months.”

The number of people awaiting the outcome of their citizenship application has dropped too.

Compared to 221,695 applications pending outcome as of May 31 2019, there were 198,477 applications awaiting outcome as of July 31 2019.

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