More than 12,000 people from more than 130 nations will recite the Australian citizenship pledge of commitment on Australia Day. Source: The Age.
Social distancing means this is about half the number of new citizens who received certificates on Australia Day 2020.
Citizenship tests were stopped from late March last year and ceremonies were paused from April to early June. Virtual ceremonies, particularly in hard-hit Melbourne, have largely taken their place, although some in-person ceremonies are set to return on Australia Day.
Despite the pandemic, Australia welcomed a record 205,000 new citizens in the 2019-2020 financial year, helping alleviate a backlog criticised by migrant advocates and the Labor opposition.
Almost 70,000 citizenships had been conferred in the current financial year as of December 31 and there were a further 160,000 applications “on hand”.
The Department of Home Affairs would not say if applications were again backing up on bureaucrats’ desks, but the number is significantly down on the 244,765 applications waiting to be processed as of July 2018.
‘Pure Aussie’: Citizenship dream for 12,000 Australia Day pledges (By Zach Hope,The Age)