Citizenship ceremonies mark Australia Day

Tomorrow is Australia Day. A day that Australians throughout the country and living abroad gather to celebrate their national day in true Aussies fashion – namely barbecues and beers.

Held on 26th January every year, the day mark the arrival of the first fleet of British ships that arrived in the land today known as Australia in 1788 – and set the country on its path to becoming the nation it is today.

However, in recent years the day has become particularly special to some people for a new reason. Each year, more and more citizenship ceremonies are being held on Australia Day, as permanent residents take their citizenship oaths on their adopted home country’s national day.

The number of migrants becoming Australian citizens continues to rise, with an 83 per cent increase in citizenship applications finalised in the last six months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.

Between July and December 2018, almost 73,000 citizenship applications were finalised. This is compared to almost 40,000 during the same period in 2017.

“Australia Day is by far the most popular day to become a citizen and we are expecting more than 16,200 people to participate in ceremonies on Australia Day this year,” said Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman.

“This is an increase of more than 4,000 people compared with Australia Day in 2018, reflecting our commitment to ensure citizenship is at the forefront of our national celebrations.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for all Australians, whether they are citizens by birth or by choice, to unite as a nation and celebrate what’s great about Australia.”

A task force has been established within the Department of Home Affairs to focus on complex citizenship cases and AUS$9 million is being invested in the recruitment and training of extra staff to ensure citizenship applications are managed as efficiently as possible.

All citizenship applications are processed against a range of strengthened integrity measures, introduced from 2015.

“Australian citizenship is the common bond that unites all Australians while respecting diversity,” Mr Coleman said.

“It is a great privilege granted to those who support our democratic values, respect our laws and want to contribute to an even better Australia.”

We at Emigrate2 would like to wish all our Australian readers a Happy Australia Day.

25th January 2019