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Tribunal: Senior Member Chris Puplick AM

On 17 July 2012 Ms Sun Yong Park, a citizen of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) made an application for Australian citizenship, which was granted on 6 August 2012. In order to complete the citizenship process Ms Park had to make a pledge of commitment[1]. The pledge is usually made at ceremonies, however it can also be made in other circumstances or places, including being made at one of Australia’s overseas diplomatic missions such as in Seoul. Ms Park was invited to ceremonies to make the pledge but she failed to attend any. Ms Park moved from Australia back to Korea on or about 8 April 2013 making occasional return visits and on 14 March 2015, she departed Australia and had not returned since at the time of this review.

The Department for Immigration and Border Protection may cancel a citizenship approval if satisfied the applicant is not a permanent resident or has failed to make the pledge of commitment within a twelve-month period[2].

The Department issued Ms Park a notice of its intention to consider cancellation of her citizenship approval because she had failed to make the pledge of commitment. Ms Park did not respond to the notice and the Department cancelled the citizenship approval on 7 December 2017.

Ms Park appealed to the AAT for a review of the decision. Such applications must be made within 28 days of receipt of the notice of the decision that is sought to be reviewed [3]. Ms Park did not make an application for review within that period but she applied for an extension of time to lodge such an appeal.

The AAT concluded that Ms Park should be granted an extension of time to lodge an application. The AAT came to this decision because there was evidence that clearly demonstrated that the Department had sent relevant notifications or invitations to citizenship ceremonies to an incorrect address. Given the failures of the Department to provide proper notifications to Ms Park, the AAT found she would have a real prospect of success on the merits.

The AAT concluded that the best way to resolve the matter was for it to come before the AAT in order to sort out exactly what had occurred based upon an examination of all the relevant submissions and documents. The AAT stated that it would be unjust to deny her the opportunity to press her case.

Read the full written decision on AustLII.


[1] Section 20(b) and 26 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007

[2] Section 25(2)(b) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007

[3] Section 29(2) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975