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1 in 10 people waiting to become Australian citizens faces delays of more than two years

Written on 11 March 2022 BY

Applicants face an average 13-month wait as Covid impacts Australian citizenship processing times, latest figures show.

Prospective Australian citizens typically wait more than a year for their applications to be processed, with one in 10 experiencing delays of at least two years, latest figures show. 

A Home Office spokesperson said the average processing time for citizenship was 13 months from the date of application until a decision was made. 

The latest department figures show some of these applications take two years or more to complete, with 90% processed within 24 months. 

The department received 144,847 applications for Australian citizenship on its books last month, down from a peak of 163,000 in September 2020. 

During the pandemic, processing times have skyrocketed. In August 2020, 90% of Australian citizenship transfer applications were decided within 28 months, up from 21 months in early 2020. 

Processing times began to improve in early 2021, when data showed that 90% of applications were decided within 17 months. But from December 2021, that number has now increased again to 24 months. 

In addition to the disruption to civics exams caused by Covid-19, the Home Office believes factors that may affect processing times include how quickly applicants can respond to requests for further information. 

“The department continues to work on increasing citizenship test availability, to decrease the on-hand caseload and reduce processing times, while ensuring Covid-safe requirements are met,” the Home Office spokesperson said. 

If you have applied to Australia, reduce your uncertainty by adding your case to MyImmitracker, where you can see the dates when you can expect to get your status updates. Your case means a lot! 

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