Australian Citizenship - Ministerial Discretion

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Australian Citizenship - Ministerial Discretion


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Old 08-25-2014, 04:25 AM
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Australian Citizenship - Ministerial Discretion

Hi guys,

I am a*PR*and who's considering applying for Australian citizenship. I'm thinking of applying for citizenship and requesting for the minister to exercise his discretion as I currently do not meet the residency requirements.*

A brief background of my immigration history:

2007 to 2012 - undergraduate in Australia (returned to home country during summer and winter breaks)
September 2012 - granted*PR
September 2012 - first entry into Australia as a*PR
July 2013 - formalised de facto partnership*
June 2014 - back in Australia for a week

I was checking out the Department's website under the Ministerial Discretion section it provided:

"If you have spent time outside Australia as a permanent resident with your spouse or partner, or are the surviving spouse or partner of an Australian citizen and have a close and continuing association with Australia, then that period of time may be treated as time spent in Australia."

Does this mean that time spent outside of Australia as by a permanent resident with his or her partner/spouse, regardless of the nationality of his or her partner/spouse, may may count towards time spent in Australia as long as there's a you close and continuing connection with Australia? In that case, does that mean also that I will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship in 2015 or 2016 if I can can show that I've been living overseas with my partner and have a close and continuing connection with Australia (I am also not very sure how the "not-absent-from-Australia-for-more-than-12-months" rule works)?*

Thanks so much!

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Old 08-25-2014, 04:36 AM
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I imagine it would have to be an Australian citizen spouse.

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Old 08-25-2014, 05:55 AM
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I was of the understanding the spouse had to be an Australian citizen and that there were only certain reasons for being overseas (e.g. in the armed forces), but I'm not sure.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:05 AM
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At the risk of sounding pedantic, I read the paragraph to mean that if you're a permanent resident who's residing outside of Australia with your partner/spouse and you maintain a close and continuing connection with Australia, you'd be able able to invoke the Minister's discretion. The requirement of your partner/spouse having to be an Australian citizen in order to invoke the Minister's discretion only applies if you're the "surviving" partner/spouse and your partner/spouse is deceased. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone gotten a response response from the Department on queries about discretion? Thanks so much.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:16 AM
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Sorry, but it is an Australian citizen spouse.

They spell it out better in the Australian Citizenship Instructions, found here:
http://www.citizenship.gov.au/_pdf/acis-july-2013.pdf

On Page 51, it states:

Quote:
Periods spent overseas by a permanent resident who is the spouse, de facto partner or surviving spouse or de facto partner of an Australian citizen at the time of making an application, can be counted as periods of permanent residence in Australia.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:20 AM
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Okay thanks, CollegeGirl. I'll go read up on the ACIS and see if anything else may be gleaned from there!


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Old 08-25-2014, 07:22 AM
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Just a general question though, has anyone applied applied for citizenship successfully without having to meet the residency requirements as a result of invoking ministerial discretion? Thanks, guys.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:45 AM
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Doubtful you're going to find anyone here who's done that. I've only seen it mentioned a handful of times on various forums, ALL of those people were married to Aussie citizens, and rarely do people come back and say whether they succeeded or not. I've maybe seen two people who came back to say they were successful (and they were married to Aussie citizens, for a long time).

I can tell you that agents on this board have reported that it is VERY difficult to get ministerial discretion in general right now with the current government. And you're not even married to a citizen.

I understand the desire to make it work, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree here.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:55 AM
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Citizenship is governed by the Citizenship Act. There are occasions where people can obtain citizenship without meeting the residency requirements, but they are usually limited to where people have provided considerable benefits to Australia and/or Australians.

For instance, the Western Australian Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, Pankaj Savara, is an Australian Citizen, but I don't think he has ever lived in Australia. I have had the pleasure of meeting him several times. He knows everyone involved with trade to Australia between Oman and Casablanca. He is an immense benefit to Western Australia and Australia.

Unless you have solid evidence that you are providing benefits to Australia by living overseas, then I doubt you will have any chance of being granted citizenship. From the notes you made above it looks as if you have not spent much time in Australia since Sept 2012. If that is the case then you will have a problem.

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Old 08-25-2014, 08:44 AM
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Thanks, guys for the advice - agree that ministerial discretion will be rather tough under the current government. I'm intending to move back Oz permanently sometime next year or in 2016. I just hoping to "fast-track" the naturalisation process. Guess I'll just have to wait to fulfil the residency requirements then. Thanks once again.

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