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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made a citizenship application - by descent - for my newborn son last year. He was born in May and I made the application in June (as soon as I could get the birth registration certificate, because the registry office was closed for Covid19!). My wife and I really want to go to Australia but can't until this is sorted.

I've noticed that home affairs inform us as to how many applications are received, and how many they have. Using the wayback machine I have been able to extract out how these figures have changed over time, and calculate how many they are therefore processing each month. (although the wayback machine missed some months, so admittedly the dataset is incomplete). But anyway, it is obvious that they are really not getting on top of the applications that continue to come in. (Unfortunately I couldn't link to a chart of this info as I am not allowed to post links to other sites, because I'm not an 'active member'.)

There are currently 6,690 applications, and last month they processed just 669. Pretty simple maths that it would take them 10 months at the current rate to get through all current applications, let alone new applications.

I have seen the expected processing time (90% of applications) go up from 4 months to 7, 8 and then a few days ago it went from 8 to 10! I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) this figure is based on average processing time for completed applications from December, so is not necessarily an indication of the expected processing time for visas still in process. I'm concerned that this expected processing time will continue to go up.

Does anyone know what is going on? Have all immigration officers who usually work in this area been put onto other tasks? if so, is there any expectation that they will return to work in this area? I'm just trying to work out a realistic expectation of when this (relatively straightforward) citizenship application might go through.
 

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Hi,i dont think it will take that long time to process the citizenship.My son that is born in philippines acquired his citizenship in less than 2 months i submit Oct.7 2020 then he acquired his australian citizen by descent November 12,2020,i just submit all supporting documents that we are in relationship with his father before he was born.
 

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Really,thats long wait,they contact me 2 weeks after i submitted my application they want to have a DNA test of my child and my partner because they are not satisfied with my evidence that i submitted to them but i dont reply to there email i just keep uploading all the documents i have lucky i get email it was already acquired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies. I see in the 'Become an Australian citizen by descent' page that:
"From 1 October 2020, some new Citizenship by descent applications lodged outside Australia will be processed in Australia instead of the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate"
Maybe your application was processed faster in Australia, and as I applied before 1 Oct and due to Covid19 mine was slowed down by being processed in the Embassy in London? All guesses!
 

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Hello, same problem here.

I applied in September and I believe that time it was about 3-4 months, then month later it moved to up to 6 months and now the time frame is up to 10 months!!!

We are waiting already 5 months so I am not sure how to check the process of the application if we can call some number or email what is going on with our application.

What a pain!!! As still need to apply for kids passports :((
 

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Have you tried to contact the Embassy? You could request an update of the application and explain the reason of your urgency. I did it for my client last week and got the citizenship approval in 2 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Laura, I contacted the embassy late last year, and told them my partner and I wanted to go to Australia, and they told me that there was nothing they could do as immigration was separate. I told them about the issue that in the UK you can't get NHS hospital treatment unless you have a visa to be in the country, and you can't get a visa without a passport, and you can't get a passport without getting citizenship, so basically this link on the chain was also holding up the possibility of getting hospital treatment if he needed it. Because of this duty of care argument, he said he would write to immigration and request a note to be put on our file. He also suggested I do the same. (which I did)

Several months later, still nothing has changed. I actually rang immigration to see if they could do anything about it because of this issue and they equally said nothing could be done. Also mentioned that there was no note on the file from the embassy. (sigh)

Have you tried to contact the Embassy? You could request an update of the application and explain the reason of your urgency. I did it for my client last week and got the citizenship approval in 2 days.
 

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It’s unclear to me who you mean when you say you called “the embassy” and “immigration”. The Australian High Commission in London is normally very efficient if there is an issue of this nature. I have seen this sorted out in a few days, particularly if there is imminent travel involved.

Presumably your child has at least one other nationality?
 

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Thanks Laura, I contacted the embassy late last year, and told them my partner and I wanted to go to Australia, and they told me that there was nothing they could do as immigration was separate. I told them about the issue that in the UK you can't get NHS hospital treatment unless you have a visa to be in the country, and you can't get a visa without a passport, and you can't get a passport without getting citizenship, so basically this link on the chain was also holding up the possibility of getting hospital treatment if he needed it. Because of this duty of care argument, he said he would write to immigration and request a note to be put on our file. He also suggested I do the same. (which I did)

Several months later, still nothing has changed. I actually rang immigration to see if they could do anything about it because of this issue and they equally said nothing could be done. Also mentioned that there was no note on the file from the embassy. (sigh)
Your child's Australian citizenship by descent is assessed by the Australian High Commission in London - and I agree with @Paul Hand about their efficiency.

When the embassy told you that "immigration is separate" they were probably referring to your partner and her visa pathway (if she is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, she will require a visa to enter Australia).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Laura and Paul for your replies.

Sorry Paul if I was using shorthand terminology, by the embassy I'm referring to the Australian High Commission in London. By 'immigration' I was referring to the Department of Home Affairs, Australia.

At the time of making the calls my son did not have another nationality. (He did not qualify for British nationality as we are not permanent residents). Since the call, we have been able to get him my wife's nationality - and a passport - so the issue of getting him a visa and qualifying for hospitalisation is no longer an issue. A bit of a joke really, he managed to get a birth certificate (which provides citizenship), passport (for my wife's nationality) and UK visa within 8 weeks total. Meanwhile, still waiting for Australian citizenship 8 MONTHS later...

You're right Laura, my wife's citizenship and visa pathway is another impediment to our travel, she is not Australian and is currently simultaneously awaiting both a partner visa and visitor visa to enable us to travel. However I didn't discuss my wife's situation when discussing the issue of my son's citizenship with both the high commission and dept of home affairs.

Your child's Australian citizenship by descent is assessed by the Australian High Commission in London - and I agree with @Paul Hand about their efficiency.

When the embassy told you that "immigration is separate" they were probably referring to your partner and her visa pathway (if she is not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, she will require a visa to enter Australia).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm reading between the lines of both of your comments Paul and Laura.
Correct me if I'm wrong but are you suggesting that:
1. Despite what I had been told, do you think it is within the High Commission's purview to manage citizenship applications?
2. Despite what I had been told, they should be able to assist in expediting citizenship applications if we are wanting to travel?

Do you have experience of the High Commission being efficient with such requests in recent times or is it more prior to the pandemic?
 

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I'm reading between the lines of both of your comments Paul and Laura.
Correct me if I'm wrong but are you suggesting that:
1. Despite what I had been told, do you think it is within the High Commission's purview to manage citizenship applications?
2. Despite what I had been told, they should be able to assist in expediting citizenship applications if we are wanting to travel?

Do you have experience of the High Commission being efficient with such requests in recent times or is it more prior to the pandemic?
I obviously don't know where your application is being handled specifically, but as I mentioned the AHC is often helpful with such urgent matters, even recently in covid times.
 
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Agree with Paul again.

My last experience with the High Commission in London was last week and got the citizenship (by descent) approval in 2 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
What? All I can say is :eek:

I'm going to have to call them again to see whether they can do anything for me.

I wonder if there is anything different with my situation or your client's situation that caused our applications to be treated with different priorities? Do you have any insights Laura?

Perhaps we were lower priority as we have a lease (not in a hotel), we don't have flights booked, or perhaps because my wife is not Australian? Just brain-storming.

We will be going to Aus as soon as we are permitted, but apparently there's currently a 7-8 month wait on my wife's visitor visa, which will be our next impediment!

EDIT: Another question for you Laura (or Paul) - which number for the High Commission are you calling? It's just that I see that in the contact details page they seem to discourage any calls on citizenship ("The consular line/inbox cannot advise on ANY matter relating to...citizenship applications", "Please note that the General Enquiries inbox cannot advise on ANY matter relating to...citizenship"), and seem to direct you to the "Global Service Center" ("...queries related to Australian citizenship... please call +61 2 6196 0196"), which if I'm not mistaken is just the international phone number for the Department of Home Affairs.

Agree with Paul again.

My last experience with the High Commission in London was last week and got the citizenship (by descent) approval in 2 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Laura and Paul might be busy. They both suggested that contacting the High Commission produced results in expediting a citizenship application, and I trust their advice as migration agents, but I'm also confused as the High Commission webpage seems to discourage calling them regarding citizenship applications.

Does anyone else have insights into this? Or perhaps how best to contact them to get results?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
STOP PRESS: one week shy of 8 months after applying, I just received an email letting me know that my son's citizenship application has been approved. Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice, case closed, and I'm very happy.

Now on to working out how to get him a passport when the passport office is closed!
 

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STOP PRESS: one week shy of 8 months after applying, I just received an email letting me know that my son's citizenship application has been approved. Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice, case closed, and I'm very happy.

Now on to working out how to get him a passport when the passport office is closed!
Hi Craigg, apologies for having missed your previous post.
Congratulations for your son's citizenship!! I am very happy for you!
 

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STOP PRESS: one week shy of 8 months after applying, I just received an email letting me know that my son's citizenship application has been approved. Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice, case closed, and I'm very happy.

Now on to working out how to get him a passport when the passport office is closed!
Congratulations! Glad to see this thread, we applied for my sons in July and haven't heard anything. I applied for my 309 in Sept and it's been granted, never expected that to be granted before my sons citizenship via descent!

Would love to know how you're getting on with the passport application?
 
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