Filipinos applying for Australian Citizenship must understand that…

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Filipinos applying for Australian Citizenship must understand that…


Moral qualities?

The Australian Citizenship Act requires that applicants aged 18 and over, who seek to become Australian citizens, be of “good character”.

Good character is not defined in the Australian Citizenship Act but detailed policy provisions are found in the Australian Citizenship Instructions.

Character considerations under the Migration Act are not the same and it is possible for an applicant to pass the migration character test but will still not be regarded as being of good character under the Australian Citizenship Act.

Below are extracts from the Australian Citizenship Instructions:
‘Good character’ refers to the enduring moral qualities of a person, and is an indication of whether an applicant is likely to uphold and obey the laws of Australia and the other commitments made through the pledge should they be approved for citizenship .
10.4 Relationship between Citizenship and Migration legislation
10.4.1 Character assessments under both Acts If a person applies for temporary or permanent residence in Australia, an assessment is made as to whether the applicant passes the character test as outlined in s501 of the Migration Act. This test is strictly defined and if a visa applicant’s circumstances are not prescribed in the Migration Act, the applicant passes the character test. The matters taken into account in s501 assessment are not the same as those considered under the Citizenship Act and the good character requirement for citizenship is broader than the Migration Act character test.
Migration/citizenship case studies.An Applicant A committed fraud on her application to migrate to Australia, falsifying her IELTS exam results and her professional qualifications. Her visa was considered for cancellation under s109 of the Migration Act, but was not cancelled because her visa could have been granted even if she did not have the IELTS results or the particular qualifications she claimed. However, she was not of good character for the purposes of the Citizenship Act because she committed fraud and deceived the Australian government.

Applicant B also committed fraud on his application for a permanent visa. The fraud was picked up and his visa was refused. He subsequently applied for a different visa and did not rely on the previously submitted fraudulent information. This visa was granted. When he applied for citizenship, the decision maker was able to look back at his behaviour with his first visa application and to decide, after weighing other factors that he was not of good character as he had deliberately attempted to deceive the Australian government, despite being granted a subsequent visa.
And below is an Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision where the applicant successfully appealed against a finding that he did not satisfy the character requirement.

Bhatia and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Citizenship) [2016] AATA 192 (31 March 2016)

February 17, 2016