By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 25 July 2020: More than 200,000 people have pledged their allegiance to Australia and become new citizens in the past 12 months. In the 2019-20 financial year, 204,817 people were conferred Australian citizenship – a 60 percent increase on the previous financial year and the highest number on record.
This includes 38,209 migrants from India, 8,821 from Pakistan, 6,195 from Sri Lanka, and 5,102 from Afghanistan. Others who took citizenship include 25,011 from the UK, 14,764 from China, 12,838 from the Philippines, 6,804 from Vietnam, 5,438 from South Africa, 5,367 from New Zealand, and 76,268 from other countries.
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said citizenship was an important part of Australia’s success as a socially cohesive, multicultural nation.
“Becoming an Australian citizen means more than just living and working here – it’s a pledge of allegiance to our nation, our people, and our values,” Mr. Tudge said.
“When someone becomes a citizen, they make a pledge to uphold Australia’s rights, liberties, laws, and democratic values. It represents a willingness to integrate into our successful multicultural nation.”
“Being an Australian citizen is an immense privilege, which brings both rights and responsibilities. I congratulate all those who have taken this important step.”
A media release from the office of Mr. Alan Tudge says, ” The Government moved quickly to start online ceremonies when COVID-19 restrictions forced in-person ceremonies to stop and to date, more than 60,000 people have been conferred citizenship in this way.
Small in-person ceremonies resumed on 3 June. Online ceremonies will also continue for the foreseeable future for councils unable to host in-person ceremonies in a COVID-safe way.
The Department of Home Affairs has also resumed citizenship interviews and testing, in line with COVID-19 health advice. Small numbers of appointments have begun in Perth and Sydney and more will be rolled out in other locations as soon as possible.”