Monday, October 15, 2007

Australian Citizenship

It's a bit of a mouthful : "Australian Citizenship"

Try saying that after a few Cascade premium. I've had a good night, steak and "snags" on the old "barbie". Knocked back a couple of "cold ones" in my Aussie stubby holders. Whipped up a quick salad with a few "avos" thrown in for good measure. Sat the "relos" in front of the TV with a glass of fine Aussie red in their hands. C'mon. Give a "Sheila" a chance... Why is it so bloody hard to apply for Australian Citizenship? I'm doing my "true blue" best to assimilate myself into your culture? I've even read the "Guide to Common Aussie Slang" (as you might have noticed from my clever and copious use of it so far!)

There are a few good reasons for wanting to gain citizenship here. The first being that we would cement our Permanent residency visa into a truly watertight document. At the moment if we leave Australia for more than a certain amount of time in the next few years our Visas get taken back. Residency guarantees the right to come and go at any time in the future.

Another good reason would be the ability to vote. Always a good thing if you are paying taxes. Its good to be able to have a say how they get spent.

The rules for Citizenship have been shaken up here over the last few months. Generally it is becoming harder to qualify. Anyone arriving in the country prior to these changes is allowed to apply under the old rules. We tried applying for our citizenship on September 30th and took a while to work out why we were being turned down. We didn't qualify until October 5th, two years after our arrival here! Another big change is the Citizenship test. A written exam based on your knowledge of Australian Geography, History, Politics and beliefs. It was brought in on the 1st of October this year, five days before we were eligible to apply. If we could have applied before October 1st we would have paid $240 each. now the cost will be almost $600 each, Ouch!

OK. We know we need to sit the test, We know we need to get out a second mortgage to pay for it. Lets just do it....

Not so easy. Many phone calls later I was left frustrated by the lack of places to sit the test. It looks like for the foreseeable future we will have to travel to Sydney for the 20 minute exam. A general Election was called last night for November 24th and Mr B thinks it would be good to sit the exam asap before any further changes get made. So we are booked in for our exam in Sydney at the end of this month. All we need now is all the documents we used for our original Visa application. Passports, Birth certs, Marriage cert etc.

Not a problem. I have them all in front of me.... All except Mr B's birth cert...? Searched the house and it is no where to be seen....

Mr B if you dont hurry up and find it this "Sheila"s gonna "spit the dummy" and that's "Fair Dinkum"

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