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Australian citizenship: Waiting time drops and approvals double

Over 220,000 applicants are still waiting for the outcome of their citizenship application in Australia despite a reduction in waiting times.

The number of migrants granted Australian citizenship has doubled compared to last year and the waiting time has dropped according to the Department of Home Affairs.

The latest figures released by the department reveal the waiting time for Australian citizenship has dropped by ten per cent.

The time period from lodgement to citizenship ceremony (by conferral) has dropped for 75 per cent of applications from 20 months to 18 months.

For 90 per cent of applications, though, it remains unchanged at 23 months.

Australian Citizenship May 2019
Department of Home Affairs

The Department attributed the reduction in waiting time to a range of reforms implemented to streamline the process.

“There is no greater privilege than Australian Citizenship and the Department takes its responsibility to efficiently and effectively process applications within the law very seriously.

“The number of people approved as Australian Citizens between 1 July 2018 and 30 April 2019 is around double the number approved in the same period last year.

“This follows from the implementation of a range of reforms that seek to streamline Departmental processes as much as possible without compromising on national security or program integrity,” a spokesperson of the Department told SBS Hindi.

Seema Rani received her citizenship certificate in a ceremony at Parramatta
Seema Rani received her citizenship certificate in a ceremony at Parramatta
Gaurav Vaishnava

“Long queue will continue to reduce”

Despite the drop in the waiting time and an increase in the number of approvals, the long queue of people awaiting the outcome of their citizenship application is still well above 200,000.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, there were 221,859 applications in the queue as of May 26th 2019.

The department, however, states the number of applications in the queue has significantly reduced compared to over 250,000 last year.

A spokesperson for the Department said with a high level of focus on the Australian Citizenship program, the number of applications waiting for an outcome is expected to continue to reduce.

“The Department is placing a high level of focus on the Australian Citizenship program.

“As a consequence of these measures, the number of Citizenship by conferral applications on-hand with the Department is reducing and is expected to continue to reduce.

“The improvement has occurred against a backdrop of a record number of applications and an increase in complex cases in recent years,” it said.

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