Expat celebrate Australia Day by becoming citizens

Published:  27 Jan at 6 PM
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Almost 16,000 immigrants in Australia became citizens of the country on Australia Day, which was celebrated across the nation on 26 January.

As ceremonies took place all across the nation, Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke to one group of new nationals in the capital Canberra, telling them that by moving to the country they had voted with their feet on where they felt they would enjoy a more fruitful life. He assured them that their lives would be better in Australia and that Australia would become a better country as a result of their decisions.

Some 330 ceremonies welcoming new citizens were held across the nation, with expats from 152 countries present.

Australian Electoral Commission officials were helping the newly-announced nationals with their electoral role registration, which is compulsory in the country. Meanwhile, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said that Australia Day offered the perfect reminder to other citizens to check they are enrolled correctly to vote.

Generally, in order to become an Australian citizen, expats must attend a formal ceremony and make a pledge of allegiance to the country. Immigrants are usually invited to a ceremony in their local constituency within six months of being accepted. If they have not attended one within 12 months, their approval may be reviewed or cancelled.
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