Citizenship Refusals – Most Common Reasons

When applying for Citizenship, it is the first step of officially becoming an Australian. However, one single mistake can put your future plans, hopes and dreams on pause. For many, this will be the most important application in their lifetimes. This is why it is important to mitigate any and all risks before, during and after you lodge a Citizenship Application. The most common reasons for Citizenship application refusals include the following:

1. Failing the Citizenship Test (by Conferral)

Every year, an average of 2,000 applicants were refused for failing the Citizenship Test. Considering you will need to get 75% on the test to pass, it is highly advisable that you study the official materials that are available for applicants.

2. Failing to meet the General Residency Requirements (by Conferral)

At the time you apply you must have been:

  • living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years
  • a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months
  • away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months

There are very few ways to get an exemption for any of the abovementioned. Many applicants apply even if they don’t meet one of the requirements. This will lead to a refusal. If you think you may be eligible for a exemption, please contact our Office and organise a consultation.

3. Failing to meet Character Requirements (by Conferral or by Descent)

You must be of “good character” if you are 18 years or over. Good character is the ‘enduring moral qualities of a person’. Ongoing court cases, previous convictions, your associations and other matters may affect your Citizenship application.

You must disclose everything when applying for Citizenship. Not disclosing prior convictions to the Department of Home Affairs will lead to a refusal, and the possibility of losing your Permanent Residency if you’re made any misleading submissions.

4. Failing to show you were the Child of an Australian Citizen at Birth (by Descent)

Providing evidence that at least one of your parents was an Australian Citizen on the day you were born is imperative. You must also show the link between you and your Parent. If you don’t provide the right Birth Certificates, Citizenship Certificates and/or Passports, there is a high likelihood of refusal.

What happens if I get a Refusal?

In most cases, you have the right to appeal – if you do, it will state it on your Refusal Letter under the “Review Rights” heading, along with how many days you have to appeal.

Depending on the reasons for refusal, you may have a chance of getting the decision overturned at the Administration Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

If you wish to book and appointment with one of our Registered Migration Agents, please call Gold Migration Lawyers on 1300 320 300 today.

This article does not constitute legal advice or create a Migration Agent-Client relationship. Please consult a Registered Migration Agent for up-to-date information.

Relevant Links

  • For more details on Citizenship by Conferral, please click here
  • For more details on Citizenship by Descent, please click here