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Australian Citizenship: I Passed the Test!

Normally 10am would find me sitting in front of my computer at work, sipping a cup of tea and digging in to my work for the day. Yesterday at 10am, I was sitting in the waiting room of the Immigration Office in Brisbane, waiting for my citizenship interview.

What did I expect from this interview? Well, I thought it would take up a good portion of my work day…or at least until lunch time. I thought that I would be sitting down and talking to an interviewer for up to thirty minutes, while she quizzed me on the finer points of why I wanted to be an Australian citizen. I’d heard that I might be asked about my “dedication to Australia,” so I thought I might have to talk about the things tying me to Australia, like my job, my boyfriend, and the fact that I’ve built up a life for myself here.

Dedication to Australia

My life is in Australia now. I even have a cat that hugs koalas when he sleeps. Now that's dedication to Australia.

What actually happened in the interview? I was called up to the counter at 10 o’clock on the dot, where I was asked for my completed identity declaration and the originals of the documents I provided in the application (my passport, my driver’s license, and my birth certificate, which show my nationality, my arrival in Australia, my address, and my place of birth).

I asked if it was going to cause problems for the citizenship grant (since you have to be onshore when it is granted). She said that the onshore police check is usually what takes a while so she would start that process; a few seconds later, my record came back clean. Talk about efficient!

She then said that, provided I passed the test, she would review my file and grant citizenship the same afternoon. I was a bit shocked, to be honest. Sure, one of my work visas only took two days to grant, but on the other side, they’ve taken over two years to process my friend’s permanent residency visa.

She handed me my identification number and that was the end of the ‘interview.’ There were no hardball questions about why I wanted to be a citizen, no real questions at all. I guess it really was just an appointment rather than an interview.

The Wallabies and All Blacks flags.

The Australians love their rugby. They don't love being reminded that the Kiwis have beaten them in the Bledisloe Cup for 10 years running.

In the testing room, a quiet room filled with computers and only a few other potential citizens, I entered my number into a computer and began the test — a 20 question multiple choice affair that you are given 45 minutes to complete.

I hadn’t been very studious about this test, to be honest. I knew it was coming up, but as usual I procrastinated so I ended up reading the booklet provided by the immigration department the night before. Fortunately that booklet is the only source of material for the test and nearly everything it covered were facts that you would know from having lived in Australia for the required four years. For example:

On which day do Australians celebrate Anzac Day? January 1, January 26, or April 25?

Even though this test seemed incredibly easy to me, I can see how it would be challenging to someone who was not immersed in Australian society — and this is the main point of the test. Aside from making sure you have a basic knowledge of English, Australia wants to know if you understand some of the basic building blocks that the country is built on. And while some of the multiple-choice answers seemed laughable to me, they were often things that had been featured in the study booklet in some way.

Anzac Day in Kings Park

An Anzac Day dawn service in Kings Park -- a time to remember those that have defended their country.

I finished the test in 1 minute and 37 seconds and got 100%. It was probably the fastest test I’ve ever taken (except for that Calculus III final that I walked out of because I had no idea how to do any of the problems. Needless to say, I didn’t get 100% on that one).

And with that, I was done. I was one step closer to being an Australian citizen and the major hurdle had been crossed. I haven’t received the official citizenship grant yet, but I am hoping to soon. Then I’ll only have one final step: the citizenship ceremony. Until then, even though I will have had citizenship officially granted, I will not be a citizen…although at this point, that’s a very good thing. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have time to apply for an Australian passport to get back into the country after my European trip that starts next week!

In any case, I’m nearly there!

UPDATE (1 September): I received the citizenship grant in the mail this morning, dated the same day as my interview & test. I can’t believe how quick that was!

Have you ever had an experience with immigration that was significantly easier than you thought it would be?

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202 Responses to Australian Citizenship: I Passed the Test!

  1. Heather August 30, 2012 at 10:56 pm Reply

    SO, so happy for you! I wish I could be there to celebrate 🙂

    We recently learned that Gav’s “interview” will be more like an appointment as well. There will probably be a few questions, but it’s really just standing at a counter and relatively informal.

    • Kristin September 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Heather! I wish you could be here to celebrate too but there’s definitely some important things keeping you in America! Next time we see each other we’ll just have to have a big celebration of all the important milestones we’ve hit recently 🙂

      That’s great to hear that Gav’s interview should be pretty informal. I know US immigration can sometimes be a royal pain with those things (my mom definitely has some stories to tell from getting her green card in the 70s), so anything that smooths the process is a good thing! I hear he’s getting his medical done next week as well, so it sounds like the ball is finally rolling. I’m really excited for you guys!

  2. Ben Pillai March 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin!

    My wife and I just sat for our test today and I know exactly what you meant! I finished my test in 2 minutes and was actually surprised that I had already completed 20 questions! LOL

    I have a curious question though.. Once you have your ceremony (not sure if you’ve had yours yet) but when they say you’re allowed to apply for an Australian passport after the ceremony, does that mean you have to pay another $240?? Or does the amount I paid to apply for citizenship already cover that?

    (dont mean to look like a stalker but kinda found your blog when I was trying to find an answer!)

    Ben

    • Kristin March 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm Reply

      Hi Ben! It’s crazy how quick that citizenship test goes. It makes you think twice before you hit the final button because you think you’ve missed something!

      I did my ceremony on Australia Day (my post about it is at http://www.bootsandabackpack.com/aussie-aussie-aussie/), and I hope you’re able to get in to one soon! I think they do them every 4 months or so, depending on the council.

      Unfortunately the amount you pay for citizenship is just for the citizenship grant. You’ll have to apply for your passport afterwards and pay the passport fee as well. I believe I paid about $315 but that was for an expedited passport as I was leaving the country soon. It’s $100 cheaper to get a passport in the normal timeframe, which is about 2 weeks turnaround (fantastic, considering I’m used to months in America). The expedited service only took 2 days though!

      Hope that helps, and feel free to give me a buzz if you have any other questions about citizenship. And by the way, congratulations! You’ll be an Aussie soon 🙂

  3. Mellisa June 3, 2013 at 1:03 am Reply

    Hi!
    Aww… cute cat! He has a mustache as well.. lol Your cat is really similar with Mr. Flip. A cat in Youtube that I subscribed. Check MrFlipTheVideoCat channel. I even checked it just to make sure Mr Flip is your cat or not. XD
    Mr Flip might be your cat brother or cousin. 😀

    I have question regarding the passport. This morning at Jun 3, I will be attending the test! yikes!!
    I’m nervous but your post somewhat relaxed me.

    So the citizenship can be granted before we attend the ceremony? And we can officially be citizen & can apply for Australian passport although we haven’t attended the ceremony yet?
    I am confused about when we can apply for the Australian passport since I will need the Australian passport in the end of October, what if the ceremony take place next year.. ughh… now I’m worried.

    Thanks.

    • Kristin June 3, 2013 at 8:26 am Reply

      LOL, I’ll have to check out MrFlip. As far as I know, my cat doesn’t have a YouTube channel though. He is adorable when he wants to be 🙂

      Good luck with your test — I’m sure you’ll do great. Like I said, it was pretty straightforward for anyone that’s lived in Australia for a while! Anyway, it’s a really weird distinction between citizenship being granted and actually being able to apply for your passport. I was “granted” citizenship on the day I took my test, but I wasn’t officially a citizen until I did the ceremony on Australia Day. So what they mean by “grant” is that you’re eligible to be given citizenship at the next ceremony. The grant is not enough to apply for a passport — you can only do that once you’re given a certificate at the ceremony.

      Annoyingly, the ceremony dates are up to the city councils to decide, and the citizenship office will only let you attend a ceremony hosted by the city council that you live in. I didn’t receive a letter for ages about when my ceremony was, but I was able to call up the immigration office and prod them into telling me when I was scheduled. I was told that I could petition to have an individual ceremony at City Hall, but my reasons (wanting to leave the country to spend time with an ailing family member) were deemed “probably not” good enough to have that petition granted.

      Anyway, long story short, you have to wait to apply for your Aussie passport until after the ceremony and you have to do a ceremony within a year of the grant otherwise it’s invalid. In the meantime, you can travel on your other passport with no issues; it’s only once you have done the ceremony that you must travel in and out of Australia on an Australian passport.

      • Mellisa June 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm Reply

        Thanks for replying my post. I see… Ughh… After checking I need to go by the end of Sept not Oct, which means I might have to make sure I got the passport at least by early Sept. I am worried that the ceremony will take place much later than Sept.
        The lady in IMMI told me that she cant granted that the ceremony might take place before that. :'(
        I wish I can tell them to hurry up! X(

        • Kristin June 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm Reply

          Hi Mellisa, do you definitely need the passport to travel in September? Will your current passport not give you the same visas, etc? I think if you’re just taking the test now it will be very iffy whether you get your citizenship by September. It really depends on how many ceremonies your city has and how many people they can fit into each of them. I believe a lot of cities do a ceremony on “Citizenship Day” on September 17, so I recommend calling up Immigration every so often to find out whether they’ve scheduled you for that one.

          Once you do get citizenship, however, the passport is a really quick process. I applied at a post office on a Tuesday and picked up the passport from the passport office on Friday morning. I had to pay an extra $100 on top of the normal (already steep) passport fee, but I was leaving the country shortly and the piece of mind afforded by a 2 day processing time rather than 2 weeks was priceless.

          • Mellisa June 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

            Hi Kristin! Guess what? Yesterday I got a letter of approval of Aussie citizenship!! YAY!

            Yes. I cant just travel only with my current passport. Since I’m from Indonesia I need visa for travel to some countries like US. I will be going to US for my sister marriage. I dont want the troublesome asking for US visa to go to US. I had never needed visa to go to US before since I had greencard. My greencard was expired & I dont want to renew it anymore since I want to live in Aussie. I love California, but I chose to move & live in Aussie. I still miss LA though.

            If I manage to get Aussie pasp before Sept it will be much easier. Maybe next Monday I will call the immigration to check for the ceremony date. X(

            Have you seen Mr. Flip yet? 😀

  4. joyce July 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm Reply

    hi, i’m preparing for my citizenship application together with my husband, how long is the appointment set for after submitting the application form? would it be possible to expedite the application as we are planning to go overseas to our birth country for this Christmas? thanks.

    • Kristin August 4, 2013 at 1:44 am Reply

      Hi Joyce, so sorry for not replying sooner. Anyway, my appointment was set for roughly 2 months after I submitted the application form. That was in the middle of last year, so I’m not sure if processing times would have changed much in that timeframe. Unfortunately it’s not possible to expedite the application — I tried to do so as I was planning to go abroad to spend time with family this year.

      My application was approved on the day of my appointment, but it took them another 6 months to fit me into a ceremony. Each city is different, and from discussions with immigration, some cities make it possible to have an expedited ceremony on your own in City Hall. However, I was told that I would have to prove extenuating circumstances to do so.

      You will still be able to travel to your home country at Christmas even if your application is still being processed or if you are still waiting for a ceremony — just do so on your own passport. It’s once you’ve done the ceremony that you’ll need to have an Australian passport to leave or enter Australia.

      Hope that helps and please let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Tony August 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply

    Hi All ..
    i have applied for my citizenship test online on 18/07/2013 and have not heard back from the immigration.. how long you guys had to wait after lodging your test application online?? is it normal to wait over 1 month to get a respond

    • Kristin November 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm Reply

      Hi Tony — apologies for not replying sooner. I certainly hope you have received your citizenship test appointment, have taken the test, and that you’re scheduled for a citizenship ceremony now!

      • Amarpreet kaur December 5, 2016 at 9:36 pm Reply

        Hi Kristin… My name is amarpreet kaur. I got the same problem. I have applied my citizenship application on 31 Oct and still I didn’t get any response from immi. Could you tell me what’s the maximum period of time immi takes to send you test & interview date? I am going overseas on 21 dec till Feb 10. Should i have to inform immi abt this? Thanku

        • Kristin December 6, 2016 at 9:02 am Reply

          Hi Amarpreet, unfortunately I do not know what the current processing times are for citizenship applications. I can tell you that it was about 2 months in between applying and doing my citizenship interview, but that was back in 2013. If you are concerned, you need to call immigration and get an idea of their current timeframes, and I would definitely recommend advising them that you are going overseas so you do not get mailed a notification of your appt and miss it because you are unable to pick up your mail. Good luck!

  6. Abhi M September 11, 2013 at 2:26 am Reply

    Hi Kristin,
    It was really informative going through your post on the Aussie citizenship process. As for me I intend to apply for it next year (ha ha I will put my application in the day my 1 year residence requirement finishes). So basically you just have to fill in that 1300 something form isnt it and pay your citizenship fees isnt it? And once that is approved I would then be invited for the citizenship test right? After I pass the test (which seems piss easy tbh), I can then schedule a ceremony (as I live around Parramatta area, the ceremony would be scheduled there as well yeah?). Thanks for your help
    Regards
    Abhi

    • Kristin September 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Hi Abhi, I’m glad you found my post useful! I don’t blame you for applying as soon as you are eligible — I applied on the day I was eligible as well! Essentially, you have to fill out the citizenship form online (the equivalent to the paper 1300t form) and then attach all of the relevant documents (which include 3 personal documents like passports & birth certificates as well as police check consents and proof of when you arrived in Australia the first time). At the time of application, you’ll have to pay the application fee as well.

      Like you said, once your application has been reviewed and is determined to be valid, they’ll invite you to a citizenship interview and test. The interview was nothing but a document check followed by the test (on a computer in the next room). It took them about 2 months to fit me in for an appointment from the date of application. Unfortunately, from there, you don’t actually get the flexibility of scheduling your own ceremony. Immigration notifies your city council that you are eligible for a ceremony, and then they fit you in to the next one possible. This could be the next ceremony, or if its full, one much later in the year. It was about 5 months between my citizenship being granted (post-interview and test) and actually having the ceremony on Australia Day this year. You can call up immigration and enquire about when you are scheduled, but you have to call your city council if you want to make any changes. I tried to get an expedited ceremony to no avail — it’s something that’s very hard to get approval for apparently.

      Anyway, good luck and I hope the process goes quickly & smoothly for you! Please let me know if you have any other questions along the way.

  7. Mark October 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm Reply

    Hi Kristen,

    A bit late but congrats. I have a quick question I applied for citizenship on 29 September 2013 to the Brisbane office and was wondering how long after you applied for citizenship did you receive you test confirmation letter?

    Thank you in advance

    • Kristin October 9, 2013 at 8:45 am Reply

      Hi Mark, it took me about a month to receive my confirmation letter, which scheduled my test for a month after that. I’d definitely expect yours to take another few weeks at least. Hopefully they’ll be able to fit you in for the test before Christmas because then they might still be able to fit you into the Australia Day ceremony next year.

      Good luck and I hope your letter comes soon!

    • anon October 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm Reply

      I just thought people should know that it could be much quicker. I mailed my application on the earlier this month to the Brisbane office and then I received my confirmation email today after 5 business days notifying me that I have my test in 4 weeks. I’m really impressed how smooth and quick everything was!

      Hopefully the test is just as smooth. Thanks for this post 😀

      • Mark Fivaz October 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm Reply

        Thank you I’m still waiting been about 2 weeks so hopefully should hear soon

        • Kristin November 7, 2013 at 10:45 pm Reply

          Hi Mark, I hope you hear soon as well. It seems like processing times have sped up so hopefully, at the very least, your appointment time is in the mail 🙂

      • Kristin November 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply

        Glad to hear that everything is going smoothly and that they are processing applications slightly more quickly than they did when I went through the process. Hopefully everything gets sorted in time so you can take part in the Australia Day ceremony in your city!

  8. sammy October 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm Reply

    hi guy! i submit my paper application on last monday ( 14/10/2013),u recon
    how long it takes to heard for immi ,it was in melbourne.

    • Kristin November 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm Reply

      Hi Sammy, apologies for not replying sooner. By the sounds of it, someone else who applied on the same day as you has recently heard that their test is scheduled for early next month. Hopefully you’ve heard from immigration as well by now.

  9. Mian October 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Hi there

    does anyone help me regarding my citizenship application which I posted on the 14th of October 2013 and they debited my card on the 16th of October, my question is that when will they call me for test, will they email me or it come through post. I m living in lake Macquarie area, in between Gosford and Newcastle.

    may thanks

    • Aly November 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm Reply

      @Mian
      Did Immigration Contacted you regarding citizenship test if Yes how long after u submitted application???

  10. Hasin7 Thompson November 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm Reply

    The most happiest moments will be once we have passed Australian citizenship test as we desire to attain Australian citizenship status.

    • Kristin November 7, 2013 at 8:05 am Reply

      I hope you are able to take the test soon so you can be closer to your dream of obtaining citizenship! Good luck.

  11. Anjum Shakeel November 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply

    Hi Guys

    I got email from the department saying that my test is booked for the 6th of December 2013

    Applied for citizenship paper application on the 14th of October 2013

    my credit card charged on the 16th of October 2013

    email received on the 22th of October 2013 regarding my citizenship test for the 6th of December 2013

    • Kristin November 7, 2013 at 8:06 am Reply

      Hi Anjum, thanks for supplying that information — it’s really helpful to know what the current processing times are. It sounds like you’re having to wait less time than I did which is good. Hopefully everything will be processed so you’ll be able to take part in an Australia Day ceremony!

      • Aly November 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm Reply

        @kristin
        quick question:) Practice question on the website still valid? Is the same questions would be asked during test or these are just examples??

        • Kristin November 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm Reply

          Hi Aly, the practice questions on the website are still valid questions, but they are not guaranteed to be the ones that show up on your test. The only way to know what will definitely be on the test is to study the “testable section” of the citizenship booklet (which can be ordered for free from the website, and there is also a downloadable PDF).

          • Aly November 14, 2013 at 1:10 am

            Thank you Kristin, i downloaded the testable portion..Many thanks

          • Kristin November 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

            No worries Aly — good luck with the test and I hope you’re able to be part of the Australia Day ceremony next year 🙂

          • Aly November 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

            @kristin
            Thank You. Would be great if they invite me for Australian day citizenship ceremony 🙂

          • Aly December 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm

            @kristin

            Sorry for bothering you again, just wondering, how long u got letter from Immigration after citizenship test, do they mention who to contact regarding ceremony?
            cheers

          • Kristin December 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

            Hi Aly, I don’t remember having a direct Brisbane City Council contact on my citizenship ceremony letter. It actually took quite a while to receive it — I think I got it a bit over a month before the actual ceremony and I was approved for citizenship nearly 4 months before that. It might be worth your time trying to contact immigration — who told me when my scheduled ceremony was before I received the letter — and then BCC after that to see if you can get a ceremony scheduled sooner. Good luck though — I tried to move mine forward but didn’t have any other option but to wait in the end.

          • Deep March 5, 2017 at 10:04 pm

            Hi kristin hi my citizenship appointment in July 2017 can I call everyday to change my test date for earlier.is it ok to call them frequently.thanks

          • Kristin March 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

            Hi Deep, I can’t make the call on how often is too often to call immigration! It’s worth checking every once in a while but I imagine you’ll spend a lot of time on hold if you call every day.

          • Mavis .baea May 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

            Hi Kirstin, my name is Mavis and apply for the citizenship test papers by posting them about 3 wks now and haven’t got a respond from immigration yet?

          • Kristin May 8, 2015 at 7:24 am

            Hi Mavis, unfortunately I do not know what the processing time is for citizenship applications currently. I would expect that it’s completely normal to not hear anything for at least a month afterwards, but if you’re concerned, you can call the citizenship phoneline at immigration and they may be able to tell you more.

    • Mark November 7, 2013 at 8:38 am Reply

      Hi Anjum

      Can you please advise me which office/State you applied too?

      • Anjum November 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm Reply

        Hi

        Thank you very much Kristin, I m really happy to know that they booked me in on 6th of December 2013 for the citizenship test and I wish to get my certificate on the 26th of January 2014.

        I posted my application to Sydney office and my test is booked at Newcastle centreline

        I am living in regional area and our union council called lake Macquarie council, is anyone from this area?

        Thanks

  12. Aly November 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm Reply

    I got my appointment letter today which states my citizenship test would be on 2nd December 2013. I wasn’t expecting that quick responses regarding my application as I submitted my application on 29/10/2013 AND i received my appointment letter today which is 8/11/2013, which literally took 11 days to respond me. Am grateful to citizenship office for that quick services, keep it up and much much appreciated

    • Aly November 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Still dont believe, just took 11 days……………………:)))))))))))

  13. Stella Williams November 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply

    Hi Aly,
    Good luck for your Australian citizenship test on December 6th 2013. There are many sites that are offering you online practice tests which help us to perform and score well.

    • Aly November 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm Reply

      @stella williams

      Thanks

  14. Edwin November 21, 2013 at 11:50 am Reply

    Hi Kristin,
    My wife and i sat the test last week and both passed, the next day, i received confirmation of my grant thru the website e-bussiness and told me to wait for the innigration letter which i received after 3 days but as for my wife she haven’t received any confirmation or lette yet. is this normal? Thanks and Cheers

    • Kristin November 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm Reply

      Hi Edwin, I believe it is normal to not hear at the same time as you could have had your applications assigned to different case officers who process applications at a different rate. I don’t think there is cause for concern yet. I hope you hear from them soon!

      • Edwin November 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm Reply

        Thanks Kristin, by the way good job on your website.

        • Kristin November 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm Reply

          Thanks very much Edwin! Let me know if you have any other questions I can help you with.

  15. Aly November 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply

    @ Kristin
    How many question need to be correct out of 20 to pass the test?

    • Kristin November 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm Reply

      Hi Aly, you need to get 15/20 questions (or 75%) correct to pass the test.

      • Aly November 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm Reply

        Thank you Kristin

  16. Aly December 2, 2013 at 11:55 am Reply

    Had test today 10.30 at Brisbane office and taking credit for getting 100 % marks in citizenship test. But the lady who was confirming my identity and checking my original documents, told me that ceremony would be in September next year which is not a good news for me as it gona take longer than i expected but will try to contact Brisbane council. finger crossed

    • Mian December 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply

      Hi Aly

      congratulation for that and its pity that they arranged your ceremony in September 2014. I m going for my test on the 6th of December at Newcastle centre link and would love to know that what kind of question were asked in the test

      regards

      Mian

      • Aly December 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm Reply

        @Mian
        They didnt invited me for the ceremony yet but the lady at the office was telling me the criteria and time frame. we all knows that council is responsible for the arrangment of ceremonies once they got confirmation from DIAC. Now let me ans ur question. The best way to prepare as i did ,read the testable portion , dont only just watch it on youtube as u may skip things. Trust me i Read twice the testable portion and got 100 %. few question from practice section which is on Immigration website, but mostly pretty straight forward if u read through that testable portion. M sure u will get 100 %.
        Dont waste ur time by searching different websites who provides free sample of questions…Read it twice and u done. Trust me
        Best of luck for your test

      • Kristin December 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm Reply

        Hi Mian, good luck with your test tomorrow! I agree with Aly that the best way to study for the test is to read through the testable section twice. That is the only thing they can test you on so it’s the best way to know exactly what’s on the test, since the questions alternate between tests.

        • Mian December 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm Reply

          Hi Kristin and aly

          thank you for your guidance, I passed the citizenship test and got 100%. I been told by the staff that they will take 4 to 6 weeks to finalised the application. i hope they put me in for the Australian day.

          • Aly December 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm

            @Mian
            Best of luck and congrats for passing the test

          • Kristin December 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

            Congratulations on getting 100% Mian and I hope you get into a ceremony soon!

    • Kristin December 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm Reply

      Hi Aly — that’s unfortunate that they say you won’t get a ceremony until next September! I had to wait about 5 months for mine but nearly 10 months is an awful long time, especially for a council as large as BCC. I’d definitely try to see if you could get into the Australia Day ceremony (although it may be full already).

      • Aly December 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply

        @kristin

        Thanks for the reply. My ceremony is not finalize yet but the lady was just saying that could be in September but m just waiting if i can hear from Brisbane council but am thinking i should contact council rather than waiting for their response so that i can plan my trip. Let see what they says. yes i will try if i can get invited for Australian Day , that would be sweet enough

        • Kristin December 8, 2013 at 8:46 am Reply

          Hi Aly, yes, if you can get on to Brisbane City Council that would be best, since immigration doesn’t actually handle any of the scheduling issues around ceremonies. You may be able to explain your situation and see if they can do anything for you. I hope you have better luck than I did!

          • Aly December 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm

            @Kristin

            yes that what m Doing Now and thanks for the suggestion

      • Mian December 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm Reply

        Hi Kristin and Aly,

        My Application for citizenship is approved on the 9th of December 2013 and received letter yesterday, now I m looking forward to hear from our local council. Do you guys think can they put me in for Australia day or is it too early

        thanks
        Mian

        • Aly December 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm Reply

          @ Mian

          congrats, not quite sure but i heard that Australian Day is the biggest even and around 500 People participate as New Australian citizen. Finger crossed, m hoping for 26 January to be called In, Please inform me when u get invitation letter for the ceremony.

          cheers

          • Kristin December 15, 2013 at 6:03 pm

            Hi Aly, actually, a lot more than 500 people participate in the Australia Day ceremonies. Last year there were 1200 in Brisbane alone (the largest ceremony in the country because BCC is the largest city council in the country) and a whopping 17000 people Australia-wide who received citizenship.

        • Kristin December 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm Reply

          Hi Mian, it will be very close as to whether you’ll be able to be in the Australia Day ceremony. Usually these ceremonies cater for a large number of people, but they may have already reached that limit by the time your application was approved, so you may automatically be placed in the next ceremony (which could be any time in the next 6 months). I’d definitely recommend calling your council to find out if it’s possible to be in that ceremony — however, it’s likely that you won’t be able to speak to the right person/they won’t be able to do any more for you than what they’ve already scheduled you in for.

          Good luck and I hope you’re able to officially become a citizen soon!

          • Aly December 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

            @ kristin
            am hoping i will get place on Australian day ceremony
            finger crossed

          • mian December 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

            Hi Aly and Kristin,

            Guess what I spoke to the lady at our local council and asked that if my name is on the list for Australian day ceremony and she said yes and I m receiving letter this week. I am so excited. Aly I wish you all best and hope your name be there for Australian day ceremony

          • Kristin December 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

            Hi Mian, that’s fantastic to hear! I hope you have a lovely ceremony on Australia Day. They really do well with the ceremonies and it will definitely be a memorable day! Congratulations again.

          • Aly December 16, 2013 at 10:27 pm

            @ mian
            wow..lucky man..best of luck…..and thanks for the updates, will update as well if i heard them

          • Mark December 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm

            Hi Kristin

            Sat the test today and got 100% thanks for your asvice

          • Kristin December 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

            Congratulations Mark! So glad you did well on the test. I hope you’re able to have your ceremony soon!

  17. Aly December 23, 2013 at 2:28 am Reply

    @ Mian

    Have you received invitation letter for the ceremony to attend one on 26th Jan ? Please update
    cheers

    • mian December 23, 2013 at 8:20 am Reply

      Hi Aly,

      yes i did receive the invitation letter from our local council to attend the citizenship ceremony on 26th of January 2014. I live in regional and not many people around who needed a citizenship.

      i hope you get one soon

      regards

      • Aly December 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm Reply

        @ Mian
        congrats and best of luck for getting ceremony on Australian day. I dont think i will be invited as no chance in Brisbane on Australian day, its simply Pain in ass. am been told that no spot available For Australian Day. It sucks, I have to wait for next call. Dont know when is next Ceremony after Australian Day. You are lucky

  18. Charlie January 19, 2014 at 11:26 pm Reply

    Hi there 🙂 thank you for this post! it’s been very informative and helpful in helping me understand the application process and how fast it can all go (especially all the comments!) i’ve a quick question to ask and hopefully someone may be able to help me.. i’ve got to sit for my test and interview in about ten days time now and i just wanted to know how long it usually takes for them to get back to me with the outcome of the interview and test ? 🙂 might anyone be able to share their experience? also, i havent beenback to my home country in the last two years since waiting to apply for my aus citizenship and i just wanted to head back for a few days to settle some loose ends.. might anyone know if i would be able to leave the country after my interview and test (before they get the results back to me) ? thank you so much!! ive been scouring the internet for answers but to no avail. thanks! – charlie

    • Mark Fivaz February 4, 2014 at 7:15 am Reply

      Charlie

      The results of your interview and test are given to you on the same day.

      What usually happens is you arrive at the department of immigration have a seat wait for your name to be called present the required ID documents sign the criminal history check if all a good with your docs you are given a login code for the test and sent to the test room.

      The examiner will explain how the rest works and what’s required to pass and depending on yourself the test can take a couple of minutes if you pass they send you on your way and depending on your case office you can receive your approval letter in a few days to a couple of months.

      I sat the test completed it in a couple of minutes and 2 days later had my approval letter been waiting since December 2013 for a ceremony in Brsibane.

      Best if luck with it all let us know how you go

    • Kristin February 6, 2014 at 9:51 pm Reply

      Thanks to Mark for answering your questions pretty thoroughly — and it sounds like you will have already taken the test so I hope that went well for you. Like Mark said, it can take anywhere up to a few months to get the decision after the test, but as long as you pass the test and the criminal history check it will come through fairly quickly. What did they tell you on the day?

      Also, as for travelling, you are able to travel up until the point that you do your ceremony, provided you still have valid travel documents from your home country. It’s only once you receive the citizenship certificate that you have to wait until your Australian passport is issued to leave again. Hope that helps and I hope you’re able to go back to your home country soon!

  19. Axatag March 3, 2014 at 6:23 pm Reply

    Hi. I am going to apply for the test. Could anyone tell me about National Police Check? Do I just fill in the form and bring it to the appointment or have to send it to the Police to be checked? I am going to apply online. Thanks.

    • Kristin March 18, 2014 at 11:04 pm Reply

      Hi Axatag, you actually don’t have to fill in a form at all for the National Police Check (unlike when you did your permanent residency). They just ran a check on me through the computer during my citizenship interview.

  20. Annie Li March 5, 2014 at 7:25 pm Reply

    Hello Kristin, I wanted to ask the question about my IDENTITY DECLARATION as it needs to be one of the professions from that list and I do not know one that is more than a year and is in that list…..what should I do?

    • Kristin April 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm Reply

      Hi Annie, sorry for not replying sooner. I hope you’ve been able to find someone to sign your declaration or have talked to immigration about what your options are. I’m actually really not sure what to do in that case since I don’t remember it saying that a justice of the peace could sign the document. Good luck and I hope you’re able to apply for citizenship soon!

    • Helen O August 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply

      A JP who has known you for a year can sign the identity declaration. (Hint: Always go to the same JP when getting your seven million documents certified, for your permanent residency and for your citizenship, and they’ll be quite sure they know your identity by the time the identity declaration comes up. 😉

      The only people I know, whose occupations are on the list, are coworkers at work, and the JP who has been with me every step of the way that’s required a certified document, during the permanent residency process. The JP did it, no worries, after reading that JP is on the list of professions that can complete the identity declaration.

      Apparently JP’s were not on this list at some point, but as of mid-2014 they are.

      • Kristin August 24, 2014 at 8:27 pm Reply

        Hi Helen, that’s really good to know. I believe you’re right that JPs were not on the list pre-mid-2014, as I distinctly remember wondering what you would do if you didn’t know anyone in any of those professions when I did my citizenship application in 2012. Anyway, I hope Annie was able to find a JP or otherwise so she could finish her application.

  21. Aj April 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin,
    Read your posts, it was very helpful.

    Are there any travel restriction after getting citizenship?

    I have a quick question. After getting my citizenship, is there a rule that I have to wait for 1 year to travel overseas on a work visa( I want to go to US on E3 visa which is like 457 of Australia).

    Thank you,
    Would greatly appreciate your help.

    Regards,
    Aj

    • Kristin April 29, 2014 at 7:39 pm Reply

      Hi Aj, glad you found the post helpful! Once you receive citizenship there are no travel restrictions. I actually received my citizenship and then left the country 3 weeks later for 6 months, so it shouldn’t be a problem if you want to try to get a work visa in America afterwards.

  22. Amer April 18, 2014 at 8:00 am Reply

    Hi guys,
    I done my test 18 of March and still till today I don’t received a litter of approval is that’s normal and how long will take??

    • Kristin April 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm Reply

      Hi Amer, I’m not certain what the current processing time for the citizenship approvals is, although it sounded like at the end of last year it was about a week. I’d call immigration and see if you can at least get a timeframe on the acceptance or to find out if any one piece of paperwork is holding it up. Good luck!

  23. barry June 16, 2014 at 9:25 am Reply

    Hi Kristin , first of all i would like to thank you immensely for this blog post ,its very informative and a treasure for those who are in the similar process for australian citizenship. I have applied for citizenship online , gave my test and got my approval letter in the mail stating to wait for my ceremony date. Will i be able to travel out of the country for several weeks and come back to attend my ceremony , since my application has already been approved for citizenship.

    • Kristin June 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm Reply

      Hi Barry, great to hear that this post has been useful to you! Congratulations on getting your approval letter as well. You can travel out of the country while you are waiting on your ceremony on your old passport. I did this with no issues at all. It’s only once your citizenship is granted that your permanent residency ceases and you have to have an Australian passport to travel. Hope that helps and have a great trip!

  24. Claire July 2, 2014 at 10:17 am Reply

    Hi, I have my test on Monday and I had a question. Providing I pass the test, do I get a letter to say I’m a citizen? Ive been accepted onto a uni course and need proof of citizenship to get help with the fees.

    • Kristin July 3, 2014 at 7:49 am Reply

      Hi Claire, unfortunately you do not receive proof of citizenship until after you have done your ceremony, which can be up to 6 months after your approval date. Until then, you are considered approved for citizenship but not actually an Australian citizen. I know that doesn’t help with uni, but unfortunately that’s how they do it. Good luck!

    • Mark Fivaz July 3, 2014 at 8:18 am Reply

      Hi Claire

      In response to your question the simple answer is no you will not receive a letter confirming citizenship, once you have passed the test your application undergoes one final assessment and this can take a few days to a couple of weeks (I’m in Brisbane and I got confirmation of being eligible to attend a citizenship ceremony. After receiving the letter you will have to wait any where from a few days to months depending what state and city your in

  25. ravi July 16, 2014 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin,

    Your Blog has got useful information and its gr8 helping others .

    I had my citizenship exam 26th May and it got approved June 11th .Still waiting for ceremony .Is there anyone from Parramatta council who got their ceremony over there .Just to know the waiting period for ceremony .

    rgds,
    ravi

    • Kristin July 21, 2014 at 9:07 pm Reply

      Hi Ravi, great to hear that this blog has helped you out! Unfortunately I don’t know anyone in Parramatta council but hopefully someone will stop by that has more information for you. Good luck and I hope you don’t have to wait too long!

  26. Swathi October 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm Reply

    Hello Kristin,

    Thanks a lot for this blog and appreciate your prompt reply for every query. This has a lots of useful info.

    Coming to my case, my husband is already working for a foreign project. And he has to be now in the customer site (outside of australia). But some how he got approval to work from australia only for the sake of satisfying residence criteria for citizenship.

    Now in the citizenship test/interview, can my husband request to travel out of australia before we get the citizenship grant?

    And in other case can I travel out of country once I receive the citizenship approval letter and return to australia whenever my ceremony is scheduled to.
    And there is any other means to know the date of citizenship ceremony other than the paper mail in our postbox?

    Regards
    Swathi

    • Kristin December 17, 2014 at 11:04 am Reply

      Hi Swathi, apologies for not replying sooner and I hope you were able to get the information you needed. When I was waiting for my citizenship grant, I told immigration that I would not be in the country for a specific period of time and they ensured the citizenship would not be granted while I was out of the country (even though they said it would be fine if that had happened).

      You are allowed to travel out of the country once you receive the citizenship letter as you are not officially an Australian citizen until after the ceremony, which means entering on your permanent residency visa on your current passport is still valid.

      The main way to find out the ceremony time is through the letter sent to you; however, in some cases you can call the immigration office and they will tell you when you are scheduled (although they often refuse to give you any information, referring you to your local council).

  27. Nasru December 10, 2014 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin,

    This is such an inspirational blog. I was a bit nervous to attend my citizenship test and then I stumbled upon your blog. You made me feel proud and happy for the opportunity I have been offered. I thought I was dividing my loyalty to my birth country. After reading through what you had to say, I held my head high and realised I love both my countries just like you. I set the test yesterday and got 100% under one minute! Now waiting for the invitation letter to attend the ceremony.

    • Kristin December 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm Reply

      Hi Nasru, thanks so much for your comment — it really made me smile. I am so glad to hear that reading my blog made you feel so proud of the opportunities you’ve been offered. It really is amazing to be able to be a citizen of multiple countries, especially since you love one as your birth country and one as your chosen home. Congratulations on passing your citizenship test and I hope you are scheduled into a ceremony soon!

  28. thao February 9, 2015 at 9:32 pm Reply

    hey i just done Australian citizenship test and how long you have to wait to go ceremony and can you call them up to make it schedule because i need to apply for university.

    • Kristin February 10, 2015 at 7:57 pm Reply

      Hi Thao, unfortunately it’s very difficult to say how long it will be before you receive notification and are scheduled for a ceremony. It depends very much on the city council that will be managing your ceremony. You may be able to call them up and get details on their ceremony schedule but some councils are not very forthcoming with that information.

  29. Dose February 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm Reply

    Hello kristin
    How are you ? Hope well…
    My question is

    I applied citizship application on 04-02-15.

    then got e-mail From IMMI on 10-02-15.
    Citizship test is- 18-02-15.
    I prepared citizship test already..
    So I just want to know when I passed a test then what happen?
    How IMMI notify me, you get approval of citizship? Thru the e-mail or post a letter? Or on the spot, after I passed a citizship test? Please help me out..
    Many thanks:)

    • Kristin February 16, 2015 at 7:37 am Reply

      Hi Dose, once you pass the citizenship test you will receive a letter in the mail approving you for citizenship. This letter should arrive within about a month of passing the test. You will then receive a letter informing you of your citizenship ceremony date, and this one can take much longer to receive depending on your local council’s timing of their ceremonies.

  30. Dose February 18, 2015 at 1:13 pm Reply

    Hello kristin
    Thanks for reply me,,,:)
    Much appreciated..
    Sorry,,,,,I ask one more thing, there is any other way to check Application Status On-line, it’s approved or not yet?
    Thanks u,, waiting ur reply
    (God bless you & your family, you doing very good job online as volunteer, you helping people without expecting anything in return, helping out the people, who are helpless, confused, seared from their visa, etc)

    • Kristin February 18, 2015 at 10:21 pm Reply

      Hi Dose, I really appreciate your comments. It’s great to hear that other people are benefitting from the information I’m putting out there!

      Unfortunately, as far as I know there is no way you can check your visa status online. As far as I know, it’s still a rather antiquated process hasn’t even caught up to email, much less an online system! I resorted to calling immigration’s citizenship line when I needed information, which sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t, and always involved a long wait time.

      • Dose February 19, 2015 at 12:46 pm Reply

        Thanks u kristin for your kind information gave to me… See you later, take care,,,, thanks again

  31. Hanan February 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin,

    I was reading your article and it is really so helpful. Congratulations, even though it has been so long now.
    Well, I guess you were so lucky and the process was so quick, as for me I did my citizenship test 2 weeks ago, and till now did not receive any email from the immigration. I have sent 2 mails so far and still no reply. Every morning I check my mail and hope to find any news but there is none…I hope that the pledge won’t take that long too….

    • Kristin February 19, 2015 at 9:48 pm Reply

      Hi Hanan, just to let you know, the official notification doesn’t usually happen so quickly — I just got lucky and happened to ask the right questions during the interview to speed it up. I think it is usually more like a month before you hear, and then you have to wait again to find out when your ceremony is scheduled. Good luck and don’t stress too much — it will come through soon!

  32. Frederick Benny February 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm Reply

    Wow Kristin, you’re still getting questions about this post haha. It must be a distant memory by now hey?

    I wen through all the comments and your responses and I gotta say the Immigration department ought to link your blog on their website. This serves better than most FAQs! 🙂

    I’m Indian and looking to switch to the Aussie citizenship soon. Im planning on a very strategic approach to hop between the US and Australia (since my wife lives in the US), while making sure I don’t cross the 90 day limit for the citizenship.

    The only question that I had unanswered was the means the letters come to you through.
    1) Letter notifying the citizenship test date
    2) Citizenship grant letter after the test/interview
    3) Ceremony invitation letter

    From my understanding, the first is via email and the other two via post. Would this be correct?

    Again, thanks for being so dedicated in answering the questions. You’re a life saver to many!

    Cheers,
    Fred

    • Kristin February 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm Reply

      Hi Fred! So glad you find this post useful — and yes, it is a bit of a distant memory now! I had no idea that me writing about passing the test would become this popular either!

      As for the citizenship notification letters, as far as I remember, all of them came via normal post. This may have changed since I did my application process in 2012, but the only email I actually have from immigration regarding my citizenship application was the email with my rescheduled appointment date (since I couldn’t make it to the original date and had to call and change it).

      Good luck with the process and hope it goes as smoothly as possible!

  33. Dose March 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm Reply

    Hello kristin, how are you?
    I like to ask you one more question.
    I already passed a citizenship test on 18-02-2015, & haven’t receive letter from IMMI. I’m living in regional area. I want to move to city, Sydney.
    Is that alright, if I change my address and notify to IMMI?
    Thanks you

    • Kristin March 16, 2015 at 8:06 am Reply

      Hi Dose, yes, you should be able to call immigration and verify whether you can change your address over the phone or submit a form to do so. Either way it shouldn’t be a problem.

  34. Dose March 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm Reply

    Thanks very much kristin..:)
    Much appreciated

  35. Nicola April 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm Reply

    Hi,

    Just wondering if you did your application online, and if so, did your test results show up online?

    I sat my test yesterday and passed, all correct, was out of there (the test room) in less than a couple of minutes. It was SO quick i am convinced i forgot to do something, submit something. I remember it came up with a congratulations message that i’d passed and i hit submit. the last screen i obviously read at the time but now i seem to have convinced myself i missed some final step.

    Don’t s’pose you remember the steps after answering all the questions/final window ?(hope that makes sense)

    • Kristin April 24, 2015 at 2:14 pm Reply

      Hi Nicola, I did do my citizenship application online, but I did not receive my results online. The only notification of results was the one I saw on the computer screen once the test was done.

      I know it seems a bit weird that you just finish the test and then walk out without talking to anyone else, but don’t worry, that’s all you have to do. Your results are automatically submitted and you should receive notification of grant of citizenship in the mail. I hope that helps you feel a bit more at ease!

  36. sammu June 13, 2015 at 9:13 pm Reply

    Hay hi

    Can some tell me i had my test on 10 march than department asked me more document i submitted that on 14 may 15 do any one know how long does it take submitted the documants.

    Thank you
    Sammy

    • Kristin June 22, 2015 at 5:03 pm Reply

      Hi Sammy, unfortunately I do not know how long it takes once you submit extra documents as I did not have to do that with my application. Good luck and I hope it all comes through for you soon!

  37. parvez July 4, 2015 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Hi kristin how ru ? I gave my test on 3rd of july 2015 passed with 90% , wanted to know how long untill i get letter saying its been approved .

    • Kristin July 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm Reply

      Hi Parvez, unfortunately I don’t know the current wait times. In my case, it took less than a week to receive the citizenship grant letter, but that was because I specifically asked for it to be rushed so I could leave the country the following week. I believe the normal wait time used to be around a month but that could have drastically changed in the last three years. I hope it arrives soon!

      • parvez July 7, 2015 at 9:50 am Reply

        Thanks Kristin , One more question , what if i have to travel before my ceremony , should i have to inform immigration?

        • Kristin July 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm Reply

          Hi Parvez, you don’t have to inform immigration if you travel before your ceremony. As your permanent residency is still valid on your original passport, you can come and go as you want. Things only change once you become a citizen because then your permanent residency ceases and you need an Australian passport to re-enter the country.

  38. Demian July 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm Reply

    Kristin, I have to agree with previous commenters: This is better than any govt FAQ page! Thanks from a fellow American for putting it up and being so generous with your time in answering followup questions.

    • Kristin July 29, 2015 at 9:33 pm Reply

      No worries at all Demian! I’m glad so many people have found this page helpful too. Good luck with the process and hopefully you’ll be an Aussie-merican soon too 🙂

  39. Alex August 3, 2015 at 11:58 pm Reply

    Hi
    I’m going to apply for the citizenship next month.
    Which way is faster online or send by post?
    Thanks

    • Kristin August 9, 2015 at 5:39 am Reply

      Hi Alex, unfortunately I don’t have any experience with applying by post, but I can imagine online will be faster because you won’t have to deal with postal times or processing within immigration (to send it to the correct department, etc) once it gets there. Good luck!

  40. Dose August 22, 2015 at 4:33 am Reply

    Hello Kristin, how are you? I hope, Well
    I am name is Dose. I applied citizenship application on 04-02-15. Got approval on 20-02-15..
    Still wanting for my ceremony letter.. It’s already 6+ months over… So please can you give me advice what should i do now?
    On 5th month i call to IMMI and asked for when is my ceremony letter coming? Then they said its take 3-6 months wait,,,
    Thank you:)

    • Kristin August 31, 2015 at 5:31 am Reply

      Hi Dose, that’s unfortunate that you’ve had to wait so long for your ceremony letter! Some councils take much longer than others so it really depends on where you live as to when you get invited to a ceremony. If immigration cannot give you any more information, I recommend trying to call the city council of the area in which you live to see if they know of upcoming ceremony dates. Good luck and I hope you hear soon!

      • Dose September 9, 2015 at 5:01 pm Reply

        Thanks for your help mu friend… I really appreciated…:)

  41. Panky G September 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm Reply

    Dear Kristin,

    Thanks a lot for all your great posts.

    I am in a situation. I am eligible for Australian citizenship now. I am planning for apply for it. However i am planning to go to US for 6 months in April 2016. I already have 10 yr US Visa(B1), on my indian passport. I can easily go to US on that.

    If I apply for Australian citizenship now and get the Australian passport before my departure date ( April 2016), i have to submit my indian passport and get a new B1/B2 visa on Australian passport, which will be annoying and time consuming.

    If i pass the test but haven’t attended the citizen ceremony before my departure date, can in still fly out and fly in on my indian passport ? If they schedule me for ceremony at the time when i am in US, can i delay the ceremony and for how long ?

    Would be very grateful for your answers.

    Thanks

    • Kristin September 20, 2015 at 5:11 am Reply

      Hi Panky, if you do not attend the citizenship ceremony before your departure date, you will not officially be an Australian citizen and will therefore still need to use your Indian passport. However, I do not know how long you can put off the citizenship ceremony before you have to reapply again (in which case you would not qualify to apply for at least another 9 months after your return, since the residence requirement states that you have “not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year before applying.”). I would definitely call immigration and get a definitive answer on this before you try to depart the country.

  42. Sarah October 10, 2015 at 11:46 pm Reply

    Hi kristen
    Ive been googling and cant seem to get my answer and then i came across your awesome blogpost!
    I just wanted to check if you have any info on this:
    my hubby got his citizenship last mth, ceremony n cert done etc
    But yet to apply passport. he was told by some friends that even after being granted aus citizenship, you cant travel with your new aus passport for TWO YEARS.
    I find that to be totally nonsensical ! Do you know if this is true?

    • Kristin October 11, 2015 at 12:35 am Reply

      Hi Sarah! You’re right — your husband’s friends are talking nonsense. I was given citizenship on Jan 26, 2013, was issued my passport within a week, and then flew out of the country on that passport on Feb 17 — so less than 3 weeks passed before I used it. I had no issues at all leaving Australia or using it to enter multiple European countries. Hope that helps set your mind at ease! Tell your husband congrats as well 🙂

  43. Vick November 19, 2015 at 1:37 am Reply

    Hello Kristin how you going thanks for all your helpfull posts here just want to ask I am going to sit for citizen test in two days but In my case I need overseas police check done too which I haven’t done yet because they usually take your passport for police check which I might not get back couple of weeks and I need the passport for the test so do you think it’s still gonna be ok for me to sit in test without police check done thanks

    • Kristin November 20, 2015 at 7:25 am Reply

      Hi Vick, unfortunately I am not sure on whether it is ok or not. Usually they want all of your documentation when you go to the interview prior to the test. You might as well go in and talk to them about it during your scheduled appointment, but they may turn you away as police checks can take quite some time to process.

      • Vick November 20, 2015 at 5:01 pm Reply

        Thanks for your reply Kristin.Everything went well in the test got 100% out of it pretty happy about it looking forward to attend ceremony soon could be on Australia Day or Anzac Day ☺️☺️

        • Kristin November 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm Reply

          Hi Vick, I’m glad to hear it! Congratulations 🙂

  44. Zlikha January 4, 2016 at 10:41 am Reply

    Hi my name is Zlikha i did the test and i pass in 14th of October 2015 i want to know how long to get the citizenship or the letter to approve???

    • Kristin January 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm Reply

      Hi Zlikha, unfortunately I do not know the current processing times for citizenship approval. I’d recommend calling immigration to get a better timeframe, as my knowledge of the process is from 2012. Sorry about that!

    • Zlikha January 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm Reply

      Kristen thanks alot honey i have to wait when they call or send a messege for me

      • Charly March 2, 2016 at 2:10 am Reply

        Hey Zlikha did u receive your approval letter or not yet ? If yes can you advice how long it take after the test
        Thanks

        • Zlikha March 2, 2016 at 7:43 am Reply

          No i didn’t received the letter or any thing i don’t know why

          • Charly March 2, 2016 at 12:20 pm

            Did you call them to get some information or you still don’t know yet why the delay for?

          • Zlikha March 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

            Yes i called many times they said you have to wait 6 months….

          • Charly March 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            What office did u apply for?

          • Zlikha March 2, 2016 at 2:53 pm

            I did the test in parramatta nsw

          • Charly March 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm

            Me too the same I did my test on 1 November 2015 at parramatta office and still no answer…

          • Zlikha March 2, 2016 at 7:14 pm

            Did u call them????

          • Charly March 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

            Yes I called them around 6 times and they told me to wait but they did not advise me for a waiting time period….I really don’t know what’s happening some friends told me that parramatta office changing workers and maybe that’s the reason of delay

          • Zlikha March 4, 2016 at 8:33 am

            We have to wait from the test six months they said that every time when i call them

          • Charly March 29, 2016 at 10:44 am

            Zilkha did u receive your approval yet ?

  45. Sen January 22, 2016 at 8:59 pm Reply

    Hello Kristin,

    Thank you for your dedication to this blog. So many useful posts. I applied for my citizenship test in July 2015 and I went to Thailand for 2 and a half months. I only got a date for my citizenship test today. It took months for me to hear about the test. May be because I was overseas, but they didn’t tell me that’s the reason for the delay when I called the office. Anyway my Test is gong to be 3rd March.

    1. Will it affect my interview if I go overseas again for a month and come back before the test date?

    2. With regards to Police checks it says that if had lived overseas in one single country longer than 90 days you have to get a clearance certificate from that country. Does this mean 90 days in one go or accumulation of all my visits not to exceed 90 days?

    3. Will it affect my citizenship interview since I have been overseas over 3 months ? My understanding was, it is a condition before applying.

    Aplologies for asking so many questions.

    Thanks.

    Sen

    • Kristin January 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm Reply

      Hi Sen, glad to hear you finally got a date for your test! I believe these are all questions that you need to verify with immigration as I am not an expert — just someone that has gone through the process myself. As far as I am aware, it shouldn’t affect your interview if you go abroad in the meantime (but again, I would get that verified). Unfortunately I don’t know the answers to your other questions. Good luck with it!

  46. Zlikha March 10, 2016 at 10:27 am Reply

    did they said any thing about your citizenship?????

    • Charly March 11, 2016 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Did u receive approval zilkha or not yet ?

      • Kristin March 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply

        Hi Zlikha and Charly, I do hope that you hear about your citizenship applications soon. However, I’d appreciate if you could move this discussion to email as there is a lot of back-and-forth and it’s not relevant to most people reading this article. Thanks and good luck!

        • Zlikha March 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm Reply

          Hello Kristen don’t worry honey thanks alot

      • Zlikha March 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply

        No i didn’t received any thing to 4th of this month 5 months from the test and nothing and u?

        • Charly March 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm Reply

          Nothing yet

          • Zlikha March 29, 2016 at 11:00 am

            No

          • Charly April 11, 2016 at 12:29 am

            Hey zilkha you’ve been 6 months nothing yet ?

          • Zlikha April 11, 2016 at 12:32 am

            Hi nothing yet the same i don’t know why?

  47. Taha March 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm Reply

    Hi kristin,
    I’m Taha from Sydney I did test on 11/06/2015 I have not receive approval letter until now I’ve call them about that the say you still in process I don’t know what to do. Can you advice me about it?
    Thanks

    • Kristin March 30, 2016 at 4:10 pm Reply

      Hi Taha, unfortunately I cannot advise on when you will receive the approval letter. From the comments on this blog, it sounds like some people that have recently taken the test have had to wait quite some time to get their letter. My only recommendation is to continue calling immigration to get updates. I’m sorry I can’t help further!

    • Charly March 31, 2016 at 11:07 am Reply

      Hey Taha u did ur test on 11 June 2015 or 06 November 2015?

      • Taha March 31, 2016 at 11:15 am Reply

        Hey Charly I did the test on June

      • Zlikha April 11, 2016 at 12:55 am Reply

        Do you want sent me an email to this email [email protected]

  48. Zlikha April 11, 2016 at 12:35 am Reply

    Charly how can we talk me and you not here? How can i give u my email????

  49. Habii May 3, 2016 at 2:32 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin.
    Im going to attend the test on 8/6/2016, as i already read all the comments above, if i pass the test, i’ll have the “grant” citizenship not the official citizenship until i get the certificate from the ceremony. So with the “grant” citizenship, is it possible for me to apply for Education Loan program at uni (for example: UNISA). im looking forward to see you reply. Thank you

    • Kristin May 5, 2016 at 7:30 am Reply

      Hi Habil, unfortunately I have no knowledge in this area. However, if they require you to be an Australian citizen, you will need a citizenship certificate rather than just the grant. As I am no expert, it is well worth getting clarification around this from the university.

    • Aly May 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm Reply

      Hi Habbi

      How much was the waiting time between applying and sitting in the test ?

  50. gen May 4, 2016 at 6:03 pm Reply

    hi kristin
    we applied feb 15 2016 until now we don’t receive any notification.just wondering if we had chance to travel overseas while waiting for the schedule of our test

    • Kristin May 5, 2016 at 7:28 am Reply

      Hi Gen, you are able to travel overseas on your current passport until you attend a citizenship ceremony. However, if you are overseas when you get the notification and still overseas on the day of your test, I imagine that you would have to wait for a rescheduled appointment, which may take quite a while. When I did the test, I had about a month’s notice though.

  51. Zlikha May 5, 2016 at 11:38 am Reply

    Hi Kristen i was call to immigration last Friday and they said we sent you a letter on 16 of March at another post and i didn’t received that because no one tell me she said we sent you another letter on two days you receive it yesterday i was call them she said no thats wrong we put note and then they sent to you between two or three weeks i don’t know who talk right things what can i doing????

    • Kristin May 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm Reply

      Hi Zlikha, unfortunately I cannot really help in this case. It sounds like there is an issue in communication between you and the office. I would call immigration and verify that the address they have for you is definitely correct. Good luck!

  52. Zlikha May 20, 2016 at 8:48 am Reply

    Hi Kristen i received the letter from 16th of March they sent it to me but i didn’t take early i took from two weeks another one i want to know when the ceremony of citizenship? the question is i have to call the council or immigration?

    • Kristin May 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm Reply

      Hello Zlikha. Generally, immigration will refer you to the local council to find out the dates of possible ceremonies.

  53. ali shah May 21, 2016 at 2:16 am Reply

    Hi there…
    I am going to apply for my citizenship appointment in coming september…
    as i read all the blogs,it seems that it will take time to sit in the test.
    Can we arrange all the things like police check before time so that we can submit everything online with your application on the day when u become eligible ?

    And after applying for citizenship test,I have to travel to home country for 3 months..Can I do that ?
    what if miss the test date when i am overseas,how can you ask them to postpone the test when u are overseas ?
    i hope i dont have to complete 1 more year after coming back.
    thanking you in anticipation 🙂

    • Kristin May 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm Reply

      Hi Ali, yes, I applied for my police check prior to becoming eligible so I could have it ready for applying on that day. As for travelling, as long as you are at home to receive the notification of your appointment, you can call the office and postpone it — however, it may take quite a while for them to schedule you back in again. As for the period of time you will be away, I cannot answer whether that would cause problems — that’s something best discussed with immigration. Good luck!

      • Aly May 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm Reply

        Thanks Kristin for replying..
        May I know your timeline ? Or you are still in process ?

        • Kristin May 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm Reply

          Hi Ali, I finished the process three years ago. I applied in June, took the test in August, was notified in September, and had my ceremony the following January.

  54. Zlikha May 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm Reply

    Hi i want to ask how many ceremony for citizenship the council do every month? Because i asked the council in Canterbury they said every month they do that?????

    • Kristin May 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm Reply

      It depends. Every council is different – Brisbane City Council, for instance, waits and does larger ceremonies rather than doing small ceremonies monthly — but the only one that matters is the one you are in. I hope you find out soon.

  55. Zlikha May 21, 2016 at 6:26 pm Reply

    Thank you Kristen i hope they sent me for the ceremony soon.

  56. Sandeep August 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin I done my citizenship test on 28May 2016. But still I didn’t receive my approval letter , any idea how long it will take thanks

    • Kristin September 17, 2016 at 5:02 am Reply

      Hi Sandeep. Apologies for the delayed reply, but I do hope you have received your approval letter by now.

  57. Freddy September 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm Reply

    Hi there,
    I have passed my citezenship test on September last year but still never had any response about the invitation of the ceremony, is there anyone there can tell me how the process takes now.
    Thank you

    • Kristin September 17, 2016 at 4:55 am Reply

      Hi Freddy, unfortunately I do not know what the current waiting time is for a ceremony, but a year seems like an awful long time. I would recommend calling your local council (as they organise the citizenship ceremonies) and finding out when the next ceremony is and if you’re on the list to attend. Good luck!

  58. NOk October 14, 2016 at 3:48 am Reply

    Hi Kristin,

    I really enjoin reading your blog and I absolutely love that cat picture!! Thank you for sharing/Nok

    • Kristin October 18, 2016 at 5:36 am Reply

      Hi Nok, great to hear you’re enjoying the blog. Wolverine is really cute isn’t he?!

  59. Hameed December 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin, wonderful how helpful you are to everyone at this blog, I have only one concern about my citizenship “under-process” The department asked me by phone to provide NIC on late October though I have not received such request by email so I called the IMMI to ask for email address and sent my NIC on November 1st and received an auto-reply confirming my email has been received by the citizenship department, Since then I have contact few times by email and phone havn’t heard a welcoming response, yet waiting to receive my approval latter atleast to assure me they have got my NIC which I sent feeling “disappointed”. From my experience I can clearly say there is a big difference while processing citizenship from Eastern Countries national other than those of Europe etc.
    Applied citizenship by post: 10 Jun, 2016
    Received Citizenship Test: 18 Aug, 2016
    Passed Citizenship Test: 15 Sep, 2016
    Asked for extra document: 25 Oct, 2016
    Until today as of December 15 which completes exactly 3 months yet waiting for a decision prior to my file.
    Dear Kristin, continue the lovely work and pray for me.

  60. mimi December 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm Reply

    Hi Kristin,

    First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you for your dedication to this post. You are such an inspiration! I too am about ready to apply for Aus citizenship in January. Thus I came upon this post. It is so extremely helpful! And I can’t believe this post is still alive after 4 years, I am sure it is distant memory. 🙂

    Kristin, thanks so much again for the generosity of your time!

  61. Aaron Bath January 25, 2017 at 10:28 am Reply

    This is a bit late, but hey Congratulations on your citizenship! Thanks for this wonderful and informative post! – From Assurance Trees Group

  62. Vanessa March 16, 2017 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Hey hi,
    Just found your post and found it very helpful.
    I will be eligible for citizenship this 31st october, where i live (coffs harbour) they do the ceremony on australia day.
    Do you think i have any chance to make it in time?
    Im stressing out because i have my next course starting in february 2018 and i cant enroll to it if im not citizen cause of extremely expensive fees so i need my citizenship finalized by then.
    Pretty much 4 months to do it all.
    Am i hoping the impossible?

    Vanessa

    • Kristin March 22, 2017 at 9:29 am Reply

      Hi Vanessa, that is quite a short timeline, but it really depends on how many people are in the Coffs Harbour ceremony/how quickly it fills up. I definitely recommend getting your documents in on the day, and when you do your interview, they may be able to expedite the grant of the citizenship (I know they did that with me because I was leaving the country shortly afterwards). However, then it’s up to the council, so you’ll have to call them and discuss your options. Good luck!

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