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Long waiting times for citizenship processing are 'unacceptable'

Cheti cha uraia na pasi ya Australia Source: SBS

Australia's migration sector has voiced concern as the processing times for Australian citizenship applications have become much longer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figures from the Department of Home Affairs show 75 percent of applications for citizenship by conferral from date of application to ceremony now take 23 months - up from 16 months last June.

Ninety percent of these applications to become Australian citizens now take 25 months compared to 20 months a year ago.

In a statement, a department spokesperson told SBS News the pandemic had affected processing.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all face-to-face citizenship appointments, such as interviews and citizenship tests, have been placed on hold. This has meant an increase in overall processing times. The department will recommence in-person interviews and citizenship tests when it is safe to do so," they said, adding that new applications are still being accepted.

To hear the full report click on the audio link above.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.
SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at
sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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