Mis-communication cost the family Australian Citizenship

Published on July 02, 2011, By admin

Singaporean documentary maker Khee Jin Ng, his wife May Leng Teo and their four children were from Western Australia (Dalkeith), but had their Australian citizenship cancelled after they did not take the oath. The tribunal had ruled that they have to start the process again from the beginning. Meaning they also have to prepare and sit for the Australian citizenship test.


They were granted Australian citizenship in September 2009 but three months later, they returned to Singapore because of "a sudden change in work circumstances".


The Ng family argued that their Australian citizenship should not be cancelled because they had built up many relationships since they moved to Australia in September 2004.


In supporting the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC) decision to cancel their Australian citizenship, the tribunal "strongly recommended" that the department tell applicants in their acceptance letter that by law, they had only 12 months to pledge their oath.


The Ng family said they told the City of Nedlands, the local authority responsible for their Australian citizenship ceremony, about their relocation.


While they redirected their mail for two months, they did not receive the department's letters asking why they had not pledged the oath until some months after they were sent, when a friend took their mail to them in Singapore.


But the tribunal said the department took appropriate steps to notify the family. It found the family was not aware of the 12-month timeframe in which to take the oath but that would not have been the case if they had give the department their new address.


The Ng family could not be contacted. The family still had the right to re-enter and leave Australia as often as they wanted before their residency visas expired in mid-2013.


But to apply for Australian citizenship again they must meet the minimum requirement of residing in Australia continuously for four years and also passing the Australian citizenship test.


By Ozihelp Admin


Sources: thewest.com.au