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Why become an Australian citizen

Attracted to a country that offers a safe environment with equal business and employment opportunities and ample access to first world facilities are given as the main reasons for the decision to immigrate to the country considered the second most liveable country in the world – as reported by Time Magazine late last year.

Why Become An Australian Citizen

According to the online expat magazine The South African, “According to the latest statistics (June 2009), there were roughly 149,020 South African-born expatriates living in Australia.

“The year-on-year increment has doubled between 2006/07 and 2009/10, with a little under 12,000 new permanent additions granted Australian visas (majority via the skilled route, 89% to be precise) in 2009/10.”

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Unfortunately officially updated figures are still being compiled but if it is assumed that the trend continued or evened out it is possible that around 400 000 South Africans now call Australia home and many of them have been granted citizenship.

New World Immigration looked into the reasons so many people apply to become Australian citizens.

The Australian government porthole for immigration and citizenship says, “Australian citizenship is an important step in your migration story. Becoming an Australian citizen means that you are making an ongoing commitment to Australia and all that the country stands for. It is also the beginning of your formal membership of the Australian community. It is the step that will enable you to say 'I am Australian'.”

The site goes on to say that Australian citizenship is a privilege that offers enormous rewards. By becoming an Australian citizen, you are joining a unique national community. Australia has been built on the combined contributions of our Indigenous people and those who came later from all over the world. The country celebrates this diversity and at the same time, strives for a unified and harmonious nation.

Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship

As a permanent resident of Australia, you have already enjoyed living in a free and democratic society. When you become an Australian citizen, you will have new responsibilities. You will also have a range of new benefits.

Responsibilities – what you will give Australia

As an Australian citizen you must:
• obey the law
• defend Australia should the need arise
• serve on a jury if called to do so
• vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum

Privileges – what Australia will give you

As an Australian citizen you have the right to:
• vote in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
• apply for work in the Australian Public Service or in the Australian Defence Force
• seek election to parliament
• apply for an Australian passport and re-enter Australia freely
• receive help from an Australian official while overseas
• register children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent.

Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

At the citizenship ceremony, you pledge that you share Australia's democratic beliefs and that you respect the rights and liberties of the people of Australia.

Australia’s democratic beliefs
• Parliamentary democracy
• The rule of law
• Living peacefully
• Respect for all individuals regardless of background
• Compassion for those in need

Australian freedoms
• Freedom of speech and freedom of expression
• Freedom of association
• Freedom of religion and secular government

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Australia believes in equality
Equality of men and women
Equality of race and religion
Equality of opportunity

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