Australia hosts special citizenship ceremony

Australia yesterday held a special citizenship ceremony at Canberra’s Manuka Oval during the women’s one-day international between Australia’s Southern Stars and India.

It is the third time a cricket match in the country has hosted a citizenship ceremony in the past few months. The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, presided over the citizenship ceremony and praised the efforts of Cricket Australia for hosting the ceremonies.

“From the WACA to the Adelaide Oval, and now here at Manuka, we have seen new Australians welcomed at iconic sporting venues across our nation,” the minister said.

The latest ceremony saw the nation’s capital welcome 20 new Australian citizens from 11 different countries. The captain of the ACT Meteors, Kris Britt, led the affirmation at the ceremony, while Minister Dutton took the opportunity to remind Australians to come together and stand united in the country’s democratic beliefs and values and acknowledge the importance of what it means to be an Australian citizen.

“Citizenship is the common bond uniting all Australians. Whether you are a citizen by birth or by pledge, we are reminded by the numbers of those affirming their loyalty to Australia and its people, that we truly do live in the ‘lucky country’,” Mr Dutton said.

Today’s new citizens, join more than 16,000 people from 154 countries who became Australians at almost 400 ceremonies nationwide on Australia Day.​​​

In order to qualify for citizenship, a non-Australian must have lived lawfully in Australia for a period of four years and lived as a permanent resident for at least 12 months. However, if you have spent more than 12 months in the last four years outside Australia or three months in the last 12 outside Australia, you will no longer meet the residence requirements for citizenship.