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I am hoping those with experience in obtaining Australian passports can offer some advise, or even just encouragement to calm my nerves.
I received a etter confirming my citizenship was approved on 5th July. I am still waiting to hear when my citizenship ceremony is, however, and I can only apply for a passport after the ceremony.
There are only 2 ceremonies left in 2012, September 12 and November 21st, and I have just got off the phone with the immigration department and they said that have still not been told how many people they can allocate to the next ceremony.
I therefore am very doubtful I will get allocated to the September ceremony, but hope I may still get in to the November ceremony.
How long would it take to get Australian passports after this ceremony. I know they say about 2 weeks, but am worried with the lead up to Christmas that may take longer.
My cruise leaves on 30 December and need to travel on new Aussie passports to avoid the problem of getting visas.
I can't make any comment about the citizenship ceremonies. I see you live in Melbourne. You may be able to speed up the time it take to get a passport by delivering your application to the Passport Office and then picking the passport up. I know this usd to be an option, but I cannot guarantee that it is still available. Of course, this idea won't help if your citizenship ceremony hasn't been scheduled.
If you have a month between the November citizenship ceremony and your departure there shouldn't be a problem but I'm pretty sure you can ask for expedited issue if you can provide proof of your travel date. Make sure you have the necessary backup docs too, eg, birth certificate, existing passport, photos, citizenship certificate, etc so you can send off your application(s) immediately after you become citizens. All the info is at the Govt Immigration Dept website. The whole process is pretty straightforward so long as you follow the (easy) instructions to the letter.
If you are really stuck you can pay extra and get your Passport within 2 working days. Given you are in Melbourne you may be able to go and collect it as well. Good luck and congrats on the Citizenship. I hope the ceremony goes well.
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Firstly congratulations on becoming one of us - an Aussie .
Contact Passport issuing Office in Melbourne, make an appointment go in with proof of trip booking and ask them to expedite your naturalization and provision of Australian Passport . You will not be the first person with this problem . Passport issuance after initial interview at an official Post Office (not a PO Agency) is usually 14 days for a new Passport, and 10 days for re-issue of a current Passport . Save time by having your Passport photo taken NOW and have them with you .
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It would appear that you should have your Citizenship Ceremony well before your cruise. From the Dept. of Immigration and Citizenship website - 'Usually ceremonies are arranged by your local council within three months of your application being approved. You will receive a letter of invitation from either your local council or the department.'
Also from Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code on the same website -
In keeping with government policy that ceremonies be held at regular intervals, local government councils should hold ceremonies at least every two to three months, regardless of the number of candidates available to attend and more frequently if necessary. There is no maximum or minimum number of candidates prescribed for citizenship ceremonies.'
Perhaps you cou;d enquire about a special purpose ceremony -
'Special purpose ceremonies may only be arranged when a candidate requires urgent conferral of Australian citizenship'.
Hope this helps and good luck!
Pacific Dawn 9-15-2012 New Caledonia and Vanuatu
Pacific Pearl 4-7-2014 New Caledonia
Just to clarify my knowledge on this subject, I was the Mayor of Whyalla for 6 years and conducted far more private Citizenship Ceremonies than public ones. There was only one public ceremony per year for citizenship and that was on Australia Day where I would perform the ceremony for up to 50 applicants. I held the ceremonies in Mayor's Parlour, at my own home or in the Applicant's home if they so requested. Not all Mayors and Councils were as flexible as this but I am sure if you approached your local council and explained your situation something would be arranged fairly quickly.
And by the way, congratulations on becoming a citizen of the best country in the world.