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Indian migrants top source of citizenship in Australia

An Indian migrant at a citizenship ceremony on the Australia Day. Source: Supplied

India has emerged as the top source of Australian citizenship, overtaking the United Kingdom, with over 118,000 Indian-born migrants pledging allegiance to Australia over the last five years.

Indian migrants have emerged as the top source of citizenship by conferral in Australia during the last five years, overtaking the United Kingdom, according to information released to the Federal Parliament on Monday.

Since 2012-13, over 118,000 people born in India have pledged allegiance to Australia by becoming Australian citizens.

Indian-born applicants also top the list of visa recipients by country under Australia’s annual immigration program.

Responding to questions in Parliament on Monday by Victorian Labor MP Julian Hill, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, revealed the country-wide break up of citizenship statistics for the 2017-2018 period.

Of 54,419 citizenship applications approved as of 28th February:

  • 10,168 - India
  • 9,195   - United Kingdom
  • 2,617   - South Africa
  • 2,399   - Philippines.
  • 1,996   - Australia
  • 1,962   - Sri Lanka
  • 1,731   - Republic of Ireland
  • 1,559   - Peoples Republic of China
  • 1,200   - South Korea
  • 1,193   - Malaysia
  • 20,399 - Other countries

In 2016/17, 22,006 Indians pledged allegiance to Australia, while 19,617 people from the UK became Australian citizens. 

Citizenship figures presented in the Federal Parliament on 18th June.
SBS Punjabi

Indian-born migrants have been at the top of the citizenship ladder since 2013-14 when 26,040 Indian-born migrants were granted Australian citizenship. UK-born migrants have been at number two, closely behind India.  

Mounting backlog

However, there are concerns about the mounting backlog of citizenship applications, causing increased waiting periods for the processing of applications.

The Department of Home Affairs last month told the Federal Parliament that over 200,000 people were awaiting the outcome of their citizenship applicants as of April 30 this year.

Luke Mansfield, a Home Affairs official told a Senate Estimates hearing in May that an increasing number of applications plus the tightened national security requirements had led to an increase in processing time of citizenship applications.

The relatively low number of citizenship grants is attributed the period of April- October 2017 when the Department held on to new applications after announcing the citizenship reforms that sought to increase the general residence requirement and introduce a standalone English language test.

The Government is planning to bring back a reworked version of the Bill after its proposed law was defeated the Senate.

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