The Department of Justice announced that almost 1,200 people have received citizenship since the opening in January 2021 of a temporary system for granting citizenship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The temporary system enables citizenship applicants to complete the naturalisation process by signing a statutory declaration of loyalty. The signed statutory declaration replaces the requirement for citizenship applicants to attend citizenship ceremonies which have been suspended temporarily during COVID-19.
Qualifying applicants are asked to complete a statutory declaration that is sent to them by email from the Citizenship Division of the Department of Justice. Applicants are required to bring the statutory declaration to one of the listed designated officials who must witness the applicant sign the document. An eTax clearance, an online payments facility and a Chatbot have also been introduced.
In January 2021, there were in excess of 24,000 citizenship applications on hand including approximately 4,000 that are ceremony ready or in the final processing stages.
See: Department of Justice media release January 2021