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Long waiting times for citizenship processing are 'unacceptable'

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.

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SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at
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