Australia has conferred 132,000 citizenships this year as compared to 70,000 last year.
As per the latest figures released by the Dept. of Home Affairs, there has been a significant rise in the number of citizenships granted in the past year. Wait times for citizenship approval has dropped and the backlog of applications has also reduced.
Nurse Harshdeep Singh Gill from Melbourne received his citizenship approval in less than 10 months. He had lodged his application in September 2018. Mr Gill said that he was able to move his test date which helped speed up his citizenship application process. He moved his citizenship test date from September 2019 to May 2019, as quoted by SBS News.
Mr Gill’s advice to citizenship applicants is to keep checking the citizenship test dates on the online portal. Wherever possible, it is best to apply for an earlier test date.
Australia has approved more than 132,000 citizenship applications between 1st July 2018 and 31st May 2019. In comparison, only 70,000 applications were approved during the same period last year. Citizenship approvals have risen by 88% in the past one year.
David Coleman, Immigration Minister, says that the increase in approvals can be attributed to the reforms implemented by the DHA.
The DHA had set up task forces to deal with complicated citizenship cases. The online systems were enhanced to automate the application process. The Govt. also invested $9 million in recruiting and training extra staff to make sure that the applications are handled more efficiently.
Mr Coleman said that the reforms implemented helped lower the backlog from 250,000 last year to almost 222,800. The backlog is expected to reduce further in the future.
As per the Dept. of Home Affairs, the wait time for 75% of the applications has dropped from 20 months in April 2019 to 16 months in June 2019.
Despite the increased number of approvals, there is still a long queue of people waiting for their citizenship approvals. As per the DHA, as of 31st May, 221,695 applications were still pending for approval.
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