NSW Eligibility to apply for an exemption to the citizenship requirements

Discussion in 'Immigration Law Forum' started by Gerald, 21 March 2019.

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  1. Gerald

    Gerald Member

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    Eligibility to apply for an exemption to the citizenship requirements

    I have been lawful in Australia since April 2014 (almost 15 years). I came here staying on a working holiday visa first and then changed to a 457 Visa which I reapplied for once expired or when I changed my employer. Since December 2011 I’m a permanent resident (for 7 years and 5 months now).

    I want to apply for Citizenship as quick as possible. I’m originally from Germany and have a German Citizenship. I have applied with the German government for the right to retain my German Citizenship while Dual Citizenship in Germany is not automatically accepted. To retain the German Citizenship I need to have the certificate of the retention of the German Citizenship which I’m currently waiting for (expecting to receive the certificate in 3 months). I can only apply for an Australian Citizenship once I have received the certificate to avoid losing my German Citizenship.

    Last year in July 2018, my mother got diagnosed with a severe kind of cancer. She had to undergo a severe surgery and chemotherapy. In order to support my parents (I am the only child and my parents are at retirement age 68 years old), I relocated back to Germany temporarily for 3.5 months from July 2018 to November 2018. During that time I was working part-time (about 15 to 20 hours weekly) for my Sydney based employer remotely from Germany while living at my parents' place.

    In November 2018 I returned back to Australia and worked full time for one month until I returned back to Germany temporarily for 1.5 months from the middle of December 2018 to end of January 2019 working part-time and remotely again. Since I returned to Australia in January I’m working full time again. In June 2018 I was on holidays away from Australia, just before my mum got sick not knowingly that this would happen.

    My question:

    Am I eligible to apply for an exemption to the residence requirements or am I eligible under the special residence requirement? My absence from Australia in the last years before I’m going to apply for citizenship was in total roughly 6 months exceeding the general residence requirement to be not away from Australia for more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months. However, I have been not away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years (in my case roughly 345 days outside of Australia).

    The long absence in the last year before applying for Citizenship was an emergency in my case. It was necessary to look after my parents while I was in Germany. I still kept a close and continuing link to Australia while I spent time away from Australia in 2018 and 2019. I kept renting my Apartment in Sydney. I was working for my Sydney based employer (more than 5 years, since January 2014), have a bank account in Australia and paid income tax in Australia while away from Australia.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Ynah Claire David

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    Just my two cents, I think you should be eligible to apply for an exemption to the residency requirements. Although yours is a special case, you have a history of being a good and efficient part of the Australian economy. You pay your taxes, and adhere to the law. In my experience, cases such as this sometimes depends on who is handling your application. It is best to get real-time legal counsel from an immigration lawyer. If you're in Sydney, Executive Legal would be your best bet. If I am not mistaken, you can chat them up on Facebook, too. Who knows, you might get the clarity and peace of mind you need.
     
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