citizenship

Becoming an Australian citizen

This information is for people who want to apply to become an Australian citizen.

 

Delays in citizenship applications for Permanent Refugee Visa holders

This information is for people who have already applied, but have been waiting a long time for a decision. It includes template letters you can use to write to the Department of Immigration about your citizenship application.

On 16 December 2016 the Federal Court of Australia handed down a decision in BMF16 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCA 1530. The court found that there were unreasonable delays in making citizenship decisions for the two refugees who were part of the court case and ordered that new decisions for the two applicants be made by 28 February 2017.

This decision is very important and is the first step towards a resolution for all the people of refugee background who have faced long waiting times for citizenship. However, it is not clear at this stage how the decision will affect the large number of citizenship applications that are already experiencing processing delays.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), who brought the Federal Court case with pro bono support. They have further information for people waiting for Australian citizenship on their website.

You may be interested in our most recent fact sheet about citizenship application delays.

We will also update our resources as we receive further updates from RCOA.