Applying for citizenship can be a difficult task, particularly for those who have limited English language skills.
For refugees, this means support is often needed to help with understanding citizenship requirements and processes and to submit an application.
Our Settlement Engagement and Transition Support (SETS) program recently hosted an online citizenship information session for refugees, in collaboration with presenter Betty Huang from the Migrant Resource Centre North West Region.
Image: Betty Huang from the Migrant Resource Centre presenting the online citizenship information session for refugees.
41 refugees attended the two-and-a-half-hour online Zoom session on Wednesday 25 August with two of our SETS Settlement Support Workers, Lulu and Salai, translating the information to Burmese and Karen languages for refugee participants.
“It was a good information session for the participants and Betty was also very happy to be able to help the community with information,” says Salai.
Participants learnt about the personal requirements and preparation needed to apply for citizenship, how to accurately answer questions on the citizenship application form, and how to effectively communicate with the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs when needed, along with other relevant topics.
Following the presentation, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions with the support of Lulu and Salai as translators.
“Participants asked questions about how to report changes to personal details in their citizenship application, the cost of application, the different application forms depending on age of the applicant, and more! They learnt a lot,” says Lulu.
“We’re really grateful for Betty’s collaboration for this online session,” added Salai.
What does applying for citizenship look like in Australia?
There are a range of steps required in applying for an Australian citizenship, and the first is to identify which type of citizenship to apply for.
The three types of applications are for ‘Permanent residents or New Zealand citizens’, ‘Persons 60 years or over’, and ‘Persons who were born overseas and had a parent who was an Australian citizen at the time’.
After identifying which type of citizenship to apply for, the applicant must then create an online ImmiAccount, lodge an application form, and pay an application fee.
Applicants are then required to participate in an interview and complete the citizenship test. People aged under 18 years old or aged 60 or over at the time they applied for citizenship are not required to sit this test.
The citizenship test assesses the English language abilities of the applicant and checks whether they have adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges associated with being an Australian citizen. They are also asked questions on Australian history, values and society.
Applicants have the option of asking for an assisted test if they cannot read English. Additional time to complete the test is given to those taking the assisted test.
If the applicant passes the test, the processing of their application will continue. If their application is approved, they will then be invited to participate in an Australian citizenship ceremony.
For those who fail the test, they may resit the test at no charge.
DISCLAIMER: The information above is general information only and is not immigration advice. For more information please visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.
Refugees needing support with applying for an Australian citizenship can contact our Settlement Engagement and Transition Support service by calling our Dandenong, Epping or Footscray office. Learn more about the SETS service on our webpage here:
Settlement Engagement & Transition Support service
Liz Gellel | Marketing Coordinator – Digital Lead