Indian immigrants have emerged as the top source of citizenship by conferral in Australia during 2017-18, overtaking the United Kingdom.
Since 2012-13, more than 118,000 Indian migrants have pledged allegiance to Australia by becoming Australian citizens.
In 2017-18, a total of 80,649 people become Australian citizens by conferral from at least 180 different countries. Indians top the chart with a number of 17,756 followed by United Kingdom as a total of 13,874 UK nationals received Australian citizenship status. Migrants from Philippines, South Africa and Sri Lanka also managed to score positions in the list of top 5 countries with a number of 4,925, 3,368 and 3,264 respectively.
Over 5 million people have received Australian citizenship since its introduction in 1949.
Australian Citizenship conferrals lowest in 15 years
However, the number of Australian citizenship conferrals have plunged a 15-year low in 2017-18 as less than 81,000 migrants received the Australian citizenship by conferral – the lowest number since 2002-03.
Besides, mounting backlogs of citizenship applications awaiting approval and increasing waiting times are also a matter of concern for applicants.
Nevertheless, the Australian Department of Home Affairs ascribed the long processing times to “greater national security threats” and government’s efforts to ensure the safety of all Australian residents by taking additional integrity measures to authenticate the identity and good character of applicants.
Despite of a slashed migration intake, Australia is still one of the most sought-after destinations for immigrants as their human capital characteristics are currently best rewarded in the Australian labour market. Over the past decade, the country has become the leading immigration destination for the migrants seeking permanent residency from all over the world.
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