There are a number of avenues to becoming an Australian citizen. The one thing they all have in common is that an applicant cannot leave Australia for more than 12 months in the four years prior to lodging their application and an applicant must be in Australia when the determination is made.
It was recently announced by the Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that changes to citizenship rules are on foot for “exceptional people”. This announcement came after public pressure on the Minister in the wake of Wallabies Quade Cooper’s game-winning kick. Quade Cooper is a New Zealand citizen who moved to Australia at the age of 14. He had reportedly applied for citizenship previously.
The Minister’s reasoning for this rule amendment is that “exceptional people” such as athletes are often required to leave Australia in pursuit of their craft. Therefore, they are disadvantaged while representing the county.
While it is admirable that the Immigration Minister wants to acknowledge the contributions of these “exceptional people”, one can’t help but wonder what wonderful contributions Australia is missing out on from those who don’t make the sports page of the newspaper.
If you are planning on applying for Australian citizenship, contact our Immigration team for a free initial consultation.