Australian citizenship - Ministerial Discretions - living overseas - Page 7

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Australian citizenship - Ministerial Discretions - living overseas - Page 7


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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2020, 09:23 AM
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Oh wow, congratulations!

I'm in a similar situation. My march ceremony got the corona treatment and I haven't heard much since. I sent an email to home affairs regarding virtual ceremonies and I got the following answer this wednesday (!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Email from Home Affairs
Due to these measures, at this stage we can only accommodate virtual ceremonies for clients who are currently in Australia. We are hoping that in the future it will become possible to include approved clients who are outside Australia, however there is currently no indication as to when this may occur.
Can you please confirm, that you had your online-ceremony while overseas? In that case I will definitely need to get in touch with Home Affairs again.


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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2020, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomberli View Post
Oh wow, congratulations!

I'm in a similar situation. My march ceremony got the corona treatment and I haven't heard much since. I sent an email to home affairs regarding virtual ceremonies and I got the following answer this wednesday (!)
Thanks, it feels amazing but honestly completely unreal since I it happened so fast and I have no physical proof and we will only move to Australia in a few months ... Passport is the next step now.

Oh OK I thought you were doing yours in Tasmania ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomberli View Post
Can you please confirm, that you had your online-ceremony while overseas? In that case I will definitely need to get in touch with Home Affairs again.
Yes, I am still outside Australia and I did the video ceremony across the world with a presiding officer in Sydney.

The video quality was shockingly good (I am also glad that I spent some time double-checking my video camera, the gain on my microphone as well as making sure that I downloaded the webex software that they recommend as well as make sure that I could sign to a webex account that I created with the same e-mail as the invite was sent to).

The only "hiccup" was that they wanted to see a letter/bill with my current address, which I was not prepared for. So make sure you have that !

It was OCU that reached out to me out of the blue (I come from a country where people wait in line, perhaps too patiently!), then virtual.ceremony.NSW sent the actual video invite.

When I replied to the invite to confirm, I also got an automated reply from virtual.ceremony.NSW saying that video ceremonies are only available to applicants inside Australia.

So obviously this must be something fairly new and I think you have to set it up via OCU.

Make sure to mention your current location + timezone clearly in every e-mail until you get the invite, I did this at first, then sent a follow-up e-mail without my location/timezone and then woke up to a reply from OCU with a question about my current timezone. The next round I woke up with the actual invite for later the same day.

I've noticed that OCU tends to only reply to e-mail sent during Australian business hours (so after 09:00 Sydney time).

The presiding officer could only tell me that the certificate may take a few months to arrive, and I have not received any tracking number.

I'll send you a private message with some more details.

tomberli likes this.

Last edited by MinisterialLongshot; 06-14-2020 at 04:02 PM.

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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Oh OK I thought you were doing yours in Tasmania ?
Yeah, that's what I though too. But we've got a baby and a toddler in tow and getting to Tasmania at the moment would involve 2x two weeks Quarantine, if rules were interpreted strictly (on arrival in Australia and when going to Tassie). After being in lockdown with kids for several weeks in a spacious house with a garden, I can't imagine doing so in a government-approved hotel chamber. So basically there's no way we're going to travel south before they lift restrictions. Apart from the fact that it's probably not a good idea to hop on any plane right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Yes, I am still outside Australia and I did the video ceremony across the world with a presiding officer in Sydney.

The only "hiccup" was that they wanted to see a letter/bill with my current address, which I was not prepared for. So make sure you have that !

It was OCU that reached out to me out of the blue (I come from a country where people wait in line, perhaps too patiently!), then virtual.ceremony.NSW sent the actual video invite.

When I replied to the invite to confirm, I also got an automated reply from virtual.ceremony.NSW saying that video ceremonies are only available to applicants inside Australia.

So obviously this must be something fairly new and I think you have to set it up via OCU.
Hm, strange that. Must be a very recent development then! Ah well, good news for us - I guess I'll have to shoot them another email and see what happens. It might even be different from state to state. The Tasmanians pointed out to me that the councils were going to have actual ceremonies again soon.

Thanks for the update anyway, good to hear that things are moving along!


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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 12:25 AM
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Hi Tomberli,
Glad to find this post, best of luck for your ceremony
I lived in Australia with my Aussie husband from January 2018 to October 2019, after which we moved to london in December 2019, we weren’t sure about for how long we will be away but were planning to visit Australia often as his whole family are in Australia, however now it became rather impossible since the outbreak of covid -19 (travel restrictions and quarantine etc) and we are unsure about when will we be able to visit Australia again in the foreseeable future (unless the travel ban to exit Aus being lifted), do you think I stand a chance to apply for the ministerial discretion when the time comes for citizenship? And if so, should I apply online? Or to London embassy directly?
Thanks tons for your help.


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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 06-24-2020, 12:26 AM
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Hi Tomberli, Glad to find this post, best of luck for your ceremony I lived in Australia with my Aussie husband from January 2018 to October 2019, after which we moved to london in December 2019, we weren’t sure about for how long we will be away but were planning to visit Australia often as his whole family are in Australia, however now it became rather impossible since the outbreak of covid -19 (travel restrictions and quarantine etc) and we are unsure about when will we be able to visit Australia again in the foreseeable future (unless the travel ban to exit Aus being lifted), do you think I stand a chance to apply for the ministerial discretion when the time comes for citizenship? And if so, should I apply online? Or to London embassy directly? Thanks tons for your help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomberli View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Oh OK I thought you were doing yours in Tasmania ?
Yeah, that's what I though too. But we've got a baby and a toddler in tow and getting to Tasmania at the moment would involve 2x two weeks Quarantine, if rules were interpreted strictly (on arrival in Australia and when going to Tassie). After being in lockdown with kids for several weeks in a spacious house with a garden, I can't imagine doing so in a government-approved hotel chamber. So basically there's no way we're going to travel south before they lift restrictions. Apart from the fact that it's probably not a good idea to hop on any plane right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MinisterialLongshot View Post
Yes, I am still outside Australia and I did the video ceremony across the world with a presiding officer in Sydney.

The only "hiccup" was that they wanted to see a letter/bill with my current address, which I was not prepared for. So make sure you have that !

It was OCU that reached out to me out of the blue (I come from a country where people wait in line, perhaps too patiently!), then virtual.ceremony.NSW sent the actual video invite.

When I replied to the invite to confirm, I also got an automated reply from virtual.ceremony.NSW saying that video ceremonies are only available to applicants inside Australia.

So obviously this must be something fairly new and I think you have to set it up via OCU.
Hm, strange that. Must be a very recent development then! Ah well, good news for us - I guess I'll have to shoot them another email and see what happens. It might even be different from state to state. The Tasmanians pointed out to me that the councils were going to have actual ceremonies again soon.

Thanks for the update anyway, good to hear that things are moving along!


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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2020, 11:28 PM
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So, after quite a bit of a wait, I got to have my Online Citizenship ceremony today though the London office and can officially call myself an Australian Citizen now. Wohoo!

The whole experience was rather strange. I got contacted by the High Commission in London back in June and given an invite for a ceremony in September. They were happy to bring it forward by a month as the September date may not have given me enough time to get a passport by Christmas.

Yeah, so apparently it takes 8 to 12 weeks for my Citizenship Certificate to arrive and only then can I apply for an Australian Passport, which may take another 4 to 6 weeks. In case anyone is wondering: One cannot travel to Australia on a foreign passport if you are a citizen as all my visas are now void and no visas can be issued to citizens. So in fact it has now temporarily gotten harder for me to get to Australia. (Not that it's a particularly good time to travel right now anyway...)


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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2020, 03:34 PM
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Nice!

That's great news, you are over the hurdle now !

And welcome to the rather exclusive club of offshore citizens that do not possess any physical proof whatsoever ; )

Did it really happen or was it just a dream ?

I have been wating 8 weeks for the certificate now, and I asked the officer during the ceremony if I could be given a tracking number but that was not possible. He did say that in case I haven't gotten it in 3 months, then reach out to OCU.

But you can actually travel to Australia without your AU passport. It's just a bit of a hassle.

First of all the online VEVO visa check for your old passport will now say "citizen". Before it said permanent resident.

And the airline staff can always call a gouvernment office and double-check before issuing boarding passes. This happened to me once when I had a new passport that was not automatically recognized (yes, even though I did submit the correct form to update months ahead).

And of course the embassy can issue an emergency one-time passport.

But yeah, I am also waiting for the certificate and on top of that I cannot trust the local postal service.

I've had tracking numbers before and then had to go down to the local distribution center and have them dig up the letter since they did not deliver it to the letter box for a few weeks (they had to "look for it" and the eventually "found it" so god knows what would have happened if I did not know 100% where it was ... now I have no tracking number at all so ...).

Anyway ... I am planning on traveling there in January so I've got plenty of time still but unfortunately it looks like the quarantine rules will be in place until at least the end of the year.


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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 08-15-2020, 09:59 AM
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Hi Kai_lk.
Sorry, I only just found this post. Don't check this too regularly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai_lk View Post
Hi Tomberli,
I lived in Australia with my Aussie husband from January 2018 to October 2019, after which we moved to london in December 2019, we weren’t sure about for how long we will be away but were planning to visit Australia often as his whole family are in Australia, however now it became rather impossible since the outbreak of covid -19 (travel restrictions and quarantine etc) and we are unsure about when will we be able to visit Australia again in the foreseeable future (unless the travel ban to exit Aus being lifted), do you think I stand a chance to apply for the ministerial discretion when the time comes for citizenship? And if so, should I apply online? Or to London embassy directly?
Thanks tons for your help.
Hard to say to be honest, there are very few references for comparison. If you're going to apply, go directly online. The Embassy will simply advise you to do the same I'm pretty sure. Am I correct in the assumption that you are on a permanent residency visa already? If not, then that would definitely have to be the first (and more complicated) step. As far as I know, only permanent visas can apply for citizenship.

If you are a permanent resident, then keep in mind the following:
- Normally, you can apply for citizenship after having lived in the county for at least four years continuously, at least one year of which as a PR. -> This does not appear to be the case for you
- Under ministerial discretion, the residence condition cannot be change, but "time spent outside of Australia" may be treated as "in Australia" as long as you lived together with an Australian citizen and maintained a "strong an ongoing relationship" with Australia. However, this applies only to the time you were on a permanent visa

So de facto this means:
- If you don't fulfill the normal residency period, you can apply for citizenship four years after having your Permanent Residency granted.
- You have to be able to prove, that you lived with your husband for this entire time
- You have to be able to prove, that you maintained a "strong and ongoing relationship with Australia". This is obviously a fairly lose clause and its hard to say where they draw the line. In our case, we have bank accounts, family, friends, university degrees, regular visits and our own wedding ceremony tying us to Australia. Obviously that was enough, but as said, i'm not sure how much (or how little) is needed to satisfy them. In my case, no-one ever questioned any of the evidence or demanded any clarification, it just took a long time. My interpretation is, that this was because of the circumstances, rather then the provided evidence though.

Feel free to PM me if you have more specific questions.


Last edited by tomberli; 08-15-2020 at 10:01 AM.

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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 09-20-2020, 12:48 PM
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ministerial discretion

I am an Australian citizen since 1995, I got married with my wife in 2003. I bought an apartment under my name in 2017 and pay vacant property tax since then, we bought a slot of land this year under joint ownership. My wife visited Australia for a few times since we got married and stayed for a couple of days each time. We have two children, one is 16, the other is 13, both are aussie citizen. My wife just applied for citizenship under ministerial discretion. What is the chance of approval ?


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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 09-20-2020, 12:59 PM
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ministerial discretion

I am an Australian citizen since 1995, I got married with my wife in 2003. I bought an apartment under my name in 2017 and pay vacant property tax since then, we bought a slot of land this year under joint ownership. My wife visited Australia for a few times since we got married and stayed for a couple of days each time. We have two children, one is 16, the other is 13, both are aussie citizen. My wife just applied for citizenship under ministerial discretion. What is the chance of approval ?


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