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Tribunal: Member Colin Edwardes

A delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection refused the applicant’s citizenship application.

The applicant arrived in Australia from Sudan on a Refugee and Humanitarian visa as a woman at risk in 2012 and she applied for citizenship on 28 June 2016.

The Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Citizenship Act) states the Minister (or a delegate) must not approve a person becoming an Australian citizen unless satisfied of the person’s identity.[1]

The Department requested a birth certificate from the applicant or another document that would establish her identity.

The applicant claimed she never received a birth certificate because of the circumstances of her birth in Sudan. She provided an expired “Document for travel to Australia” as evidence of her identity. The Department was not satisfied of the applicant’s identity and refused the citizenship application.

The applicant applied for a review of this decision to the Tribunal. The applicant submitted additional evidence during the review to prove her identity. This included a statement by her mother, an Australian school record, an Australian driver’s license, and an Australian Health Card among others.

During a hearing, the applicant stated she was born in a refugee camp in a conflict area and she assumed her birth was not reported, but she had not made further enquiries.

The Tribunal considered a country information report prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The report provided the following:

In reality, it is unlikely that all births are registered, particularly in rural and conflict-affected areas. DFAT understands that less than 40 per cent of births are actually registered.[2]

The Tribunal accepted the applicant’s reasons for not being able to produce official documentation in terms of her birth. The Tribunal found that the applicant came across as truthful, honest and responsible. The Tribunal stated there was no evidence to indicate the applicant provided false information in her citizenship application, or any evidence to suggest that the applicant had previously been involved in unlawful activity.

After considering all the evidence, the Tribunal was satisfied with the applicant’s identity and remitted the matter to the Department with this recommendation.

Read the full written decision on AustLII.