Wait for citizenship

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the July 2 citizenship ceremony saw 88 people sworn in from 20 countries, with more than a third of those from the UK.

‘The Department of Immigration and Citizenship indicate that numbers will continue to increase over the coming years,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘With ceremonies held once a month there is currently a four to six-month waiting period for the City.

‘The highest numbers of new citizens come from the UK and South Africa, making up approximately 70 per cent.’

Mrs Roberts said 289 families were already scheduled to take part in the biggest annual ceremony next Australia Day, but they expected the figure to exceed 600 people.

As well as on Australia Day, the City holds ceremonies every four weeks, with the next one on July 30.

Numbers have increased each year, with 1004 people sworn in during 2011, then 1397 last year.

So far in 2013, 1158 residents within the City have become citizens, and the total should reach 1599 by the end of the year.

Two years ago, the monthly events involved an average of about 60 residents, but throughout 2013, there have been between 80 and 90 people adopting Australian nationality.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the increases reflected a trend around Australia, with applications for citizenships up by 40 per cent on last year’s figures.

He said applications in WA were up by 48 per cent, driving the need for more conferring ceremonies.

‘The City of Wanneroo is one of the biggest hosts of citizenship ceremonies in WA and one of the rapid growth areas in the State,’ the spokesman said.

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