Australia yesterday hosted its annual Australia Day Celebrations, as Australians throughout the country and living abroad gathered to celebrate their national day in true Aussies fashion – namely barbecues and beers.
Held on 26th January every year, the day mark the arrival of the first fleet of British ships that arrived in the land today known as Australia in 1788 – and set the country on its path to becoming the nation it is today.
However, in recent years the day has become particularly special to some people for a new reason. Each year, more and more citizenship ceremonies are being held on Australia Day, as permanent residents take their citizenship oaths on their adopted home country’s national day.
Yesterday almost 16,000 people from 150 countries were sworn in at one of 33 ceremonies held throughout thejoin more than 4 million people who have become Australians since the first citizenship ceremony was held on Australia Day 66 years ago.
In order to become an Australian citizen, an immigrant must have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying, including one-year as a permanent resident. An applicant for citizenship will also need to sit, and pass, a citizenship test which assesses all would-be citizens on whether they have adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of being a citizen.