Australian citizenship - Ministerial Discretions - living overseas - Page 5

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Australian citizenship - Ministerial Discretions - living overseas - Page 5


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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2019, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Hi all ! : )

We are at the same step tomberli ! So cool !


After 14 months of waiting, I suddenly got an invitation to bring my identity documents (only identity documents like passport/birth certificate, apparently they do not want the other original documents in the applications) to an interview at the embassy and to also sit the test.

This all seems pretty positive and a "normal flow" for citizenship applications.

They also reminded me that I can sit the test as long as my current PR/RRV is valid (i.e. it has to be valid on the day of the test) so I've made sure that is the case.

Question1: tomberli, did they ask you to bring other documents than passport/birth certificate/utility bill? It seems to me that the test is just a required formality now and we have essentially passed the most difficult part ? I would have expected that if they did not want to give me the "ministerial discretion", they would have outright just refused the application without even scheduling the citizenship test and waste the embassy personels time.

Question2: Do you guys think I should get and upload a new police clearance certificat ? I've read that sometimes they come back and ask for an updated one and it does take some time to get it. The previous one is 14+ months old now.

Hi MinisterialLongshot and thanks for the update - its good to see others in a similar situation. Will you also do the test / interview in London?

Yes, I have been told that I will need to bring documents to London, but not yet which ones. The department contacted me "unofficially" a couple of months before the date so I can arrange travel to London (from Europe). They said I'll get an official invite with a list of documents to bring closer to the date.

I was asked in September or so to get my RRV renewed (even though it was still valid) so they can process the citizenship application further. I also suspect that the "ministerial discretion" has essentially passed and the rest is not just formalities.
I also had to provide a new (overseas) police check since the olf one was 20 months old. They didn't want an Australian one, even though I have been in and out of the country. Curious to see what happens next, my test is on 18th December.


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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tomberli View Post
Hi MinisterialLongshot and thanks for the update - its good to see others in a similar situation. Will you also do the test / interview in London?

Yes, I have been told that I will need to bring documents to London, but not yet which ones. The department contacted me "unofficially" a couple of months before the date so I can arrange travel to London (from Europe). They said I'll get an official invite with a list of documents to bring closer to the date.

I was asked in September or so to get my RRV renewed (even though it was still valid) so they can process the citizenship application further. I also suspect that the "ministerial discretion" has essentially passed and the rest is not just formalities.
I also had to provide a new (overseas) police check since the olf one was 20 months old. They didn't want an Australian one, even though I have been in and out of the country. Curious to see what happens next, my test is on 18th December.
They can actually ask the AU federal police themselves so people applying from inside the country that have lived the last 5 years in AU do not need to supply any police certificate. I think.

I actually got the invite from the embassy first and it was more or less a copy/paste e-mail about scheduling a date of my choosing and making sure to bring the identity documents.

Then a day later I got a more personal e-mail from Sydney about making sure the RRV did not expire.

I already went and requested another overseas police certificate yesterday, it takes a few weeks to arrive and I want my file to be 100% complete and up to date when the test results are added.

I haven't yet decided if I should upload it before they ask or keep it as dry powder : ) The current one is "only" 14 months old, not 20 like yours was.

I'm on a different continent, not Europe.

If I were you, I would contact the embassy directly 2 weeks before the test in case you have not heard anything directly from them before then. They told me that any appointments here need to be scheduled 2 weeks in advance, maybe the rules over there are different. I'm sure you are OK though, you have a date, it's just that you need to know which documents they want.

From other threads and this one, it seems that cases can become sort of "dormant" after passing the test and a little nudge (FOI request or simply e-mail) may push it all the way across the finishing line.

In case the embassy has a computerized test system (which I assume/hope that they do), I would think the results gets uploaded almost immediately to DIAC/HA/DIBP and then the case is complete for final approval.

My test is 2 weeks before yours so I'll update as things move along.


Last edited by MinisterialLongshot; 11-01-2019 at 08:49 PM.

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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2019, 11:27 AM
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I actually got the invite from the embassy first and it was more or less a copy/paste e-mail about scheduling a date of my choosing and making sure to bring the identity documents.

Then a day later I got a more personal e-mail from Sydney about making sure the RRV did not expire.
Same for me. I got an email from an embassy staffer - clearly not an automated one. They then told me that I should update the RRV. Do you remember when you got contacted by the embassy? What I found interesting was that it was the SAME DAY that the ABC and various media reported on the case of the Tamil family where the minister refused to intervene and grant his discretion. The same morning I woke up that the ABC push update and my email from the embassy after 18 months or so. Maybe my view is abit too simplistic, but it does seem like the minister actually sat down at his desk to tackle a large proportion of "complicated" cases and decided to sign some but not others...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
In case the embassy has a computerized test system (which I assume/hope that they do), I would think the results gets uploaded almost immediately to DIAC/HA/DIBP and then the case is complete for final approval.

My test is 2 weeks before yours so I'll update as things move along.
I0m kind of expecting that things shouldn't drag out too much longer after this, since I'm already beyond their own published guidelines. So hopefully there is some system to alert them to this and process the last buts quickly.
They already told me that the London embassy would do the test computerised. Apparently they handle ALL citizenship manners for all of Europe.

I'd be curious to get an update after your test!


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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:30 PM
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I'd be curious to get an update after your test!
Will do.

I got my first response e-mail (from the embassy) about 1 month ago and so I am still sort of within the timelines (14 month to response).

I read somewhere that the minister actually delegates the "power of discretion" to the department, that's why they have published internal guidelines. There is a special "overseas" department within HA that handles these cases.

I would imagine that the minister himself only gets directly involved in cases where it is ... let's say ... politically beneficial to do so ; )


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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2019, 06:50 PM
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So I've sat the test now.

It is a fairly straightforward affair, first someone checks the documents to verify your identity and then you do the test on a computer.

The staff is lovely and I passed 100% in less than 5 minutes.

This result is then uploaded straight away into your citizenship application so the people in Australia can take it further.

It was one of the larger embassies yet apparently they only do about 12-20 of these per year.

I was told the embassy typically does ceremonies twice per year but unofficially they can arrange it anytime in case you have compelling reasons (need it faster for travel for example). They do not advertise this ...

Also, the embassy cannot help with getting the final approval from the department of home affairs however I was told in case I did not hear back for a few months they could send an internal "nudge nudge" e-mail on my behalf via their internal systems to get things moving along. But of course there are no promises on timelines.

Now I have to wait for the final approval before the ceremony can be scheduled.


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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2019, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
So I've sat the test now.

It is a fairly straightforward affair, first someone checks the documents to verify your identity and then you do the test on a computer.

The staff is lovely and I passed 100% in less than 5 minutes.

This result is then uploaded straight away into your citizenship application so the people in Australia can take it further.

It was one of the larger embassies yet apparently they only do about 12-20 of these per year.
Thanks for the update. I was wondering how often they have cases like ours. I'll be flying to London for my test tomorrow too. Have you heard anything more about the process of your application since?


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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
I was told the embassy typically does ceremonies twice per year but unofficially they can arrange it anytime in case you have compelling reasons (need it faster for travel for example). They do not advertise this ...

Now I have to wait for the final approval before the ceremony can be scheduled.
Hm, so you can have the ceremony at the embassy also in that case. We'll be flying to Australia next year, so it would be nice to do it down there - but its good to know that they can do it in embassies also.


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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2019, 12:50 PM
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Hi,

Have fun in London! hope the weather is alright.

No, I have not heard anything back. I'll give it a few more weeks then start chasing it up.

I've read about people starting the application offshore and then onshoring it to do the test and/or ceremony however this must be arranged by the HA. The onshore and offshore are different pipelines and are handled by different departments within HA.

I suppose after the test or after being approved you could e-mail the Overseas Citizenship Unit or your Case Officer to arrange this.

It all depends when you are planning to go back to Australia.

What many do not know is this : It is possible to do the ceremony at the embassy and then immediately apply for a passport, in order to avoid having to go to the embassy twice.


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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 12-19-2019, 11:29 PM
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Hi,

Have fun in London! hope the weather is alright.
Thank you - Windy, cold and overcast it was, but no rain. So quite good for London I guess.

Yeah, was kind of bizarre, flying across the continent in order to complete a test that literally took me about 7mins (full points). Not the most carbon friendly process. There was three of us - Sweden, Switzerland and UK. Apparently they test around 5 to 10 people a month. Oh and also no-one ever failed yet (with this officer in the last two years).

At least I manged to get a few pieces of information out of them - much easier that from the department where you never get any update ever.

- If you're applying under Ministerial Discretion, the citizenship test is that lest assessment step. Assuming you pass that, it is now just a formality to be invited to the next ceremony.

- They only do ceremonies twice a year in London (and therefore all of Europe). January & September

- It is possible to re-schedule the ceremony to any council in Australia - given enough availability and time. So I'll be looking into that.

- They also said that the results should go to the Department immediately and then show up in my Immi account the same day. This hasn't happened yet however.I'll give them a few days before I stat chasing them up about it.


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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 12-20-2019, 01:17 PM
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Hi!

Cool!

Sound good, it's just a waiting game now. I've already e-mailed OCU once after the test and no answer.

At the embassy, they told me that the next step is for HA to reach out back to the embassy and then the embassy schedules the ceremony and then they reach out to me. But I hope OCU would also reach out to me directly.

Last time I did not hear anything from the time of lodging to when I was invited to the test. Then I got 2 e-mails on the same day, one from OCU and one from the embassy.

Anyway ... I'm not sure where the results would show up in the immi account ?

My embassy person sort of hinted that there is an internal account system (she said something about putting a note there) so I think that is where the test is recorded but we do not have access to it. Unless we send in a Freedom Of Information request to get a copy I think.

My immi account still just says "received" ...

So I'm not sure that you will be able to see the test results online.

Nevertheless, if you've done it one a computer it's recorded in real time (that's why the website was so slow, it's connected all the way down under : )

I did the test 2 weeks ago and have not heard anything. Of course, next week is Christmas so unless santa himself gets involved I'll hear something early next year maybe ...


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Old 12-21-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post

Sound good, it's just a waiting game now. I've already e-mailed OCU once after the test and no answer.

At the embassy, they told me that the next step is for HA to reach out back to the embassy and then the embassy schedules the ceremony and then they reach out to me. But I hope OCU would also reach out to me directly.

Last time I did not hear anything from the time of lodging to when I was invited to the test. Then I got 2 e-mails on the same day, one from OCU and one from the embassy.
Interestingly the embassy staff told me to get in touch with the council, if I want the ceremony to be re-scheduled. I've already written to them to ask what dates the ceremonies will be at in 2020, but they clearly told me that they get the lists from the department of Home Affairs, so I would have to get in touch with them for a different ceremony date / location. So bascially the info from the embassy already turned out to be incorrect.

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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Anyway ... I'm not sure where the results would show up in the immi account ?

My immi account still just says "received" ...
So I'm not sure that you will be able to see the test results online.
Hey, no I wasn't trying to suggest that you could see your results online. Mine still says "received" also (with no update in the immi account since 21st January 2018). But I would expect that it would show up as "Approved" at some stage soon. I applied for citizenship for both of my kids (much easier as they got it by descent). In both cases the Immi-account switched from "received" to "approved" before I got an email or heard anything official from them.


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Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
I did the test 2 weeks ago and have not heard anything. Of course, next week is Christmas so unless santa himself gets involved I'll hear something early next year maybe ...
Yeah, realistically I think it will be some time next year before I get an update. I might start hassling them when my timeline clicks over to two years since application in mid January if I haven't got an update until then...


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