In the case of Jamishi and Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs (Citizenship)  AATA 3094, the Department decided to cancel a citizenship approval. The citizenship cancellation was appealed to Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and the decision was ultimately overturned.
In December 2021, an applicant’s long-awaited dream of Australian citizenship approval was realized. However, just a year later, in December 2022, a delegate of the Minister sought to cancel this approval under s 25 of the Australian Citizenship Act. This section empowers authorities to revoke citizenship approval under specific circumstances, including the question of ‘good character‘. This is possible even after the citizenship is approved, as long as the applicant had not completed his pledge of commitment.
The Minister’s case that the applicant was not a person of good character revolved around two major factors. First, the assertion that the applicant had provided false information during a citizenship test, particularly regarding an intervention order. Second, there were intervention orders in place against the applicant based on allegations of physical and emotional abuse. The Minister argued that these events demonstrated a character misaligned with the standards expected for citizenship approval.
The AAT was responsible for reviewing the citizenship cancellation decision and was tasked with evaluating ‘good character’ based on those 2 major allegations. It found no conclusive evidence to support the Minister’s case. The false information might have resulted from a language barrier, and the intervention orders, while granted, were made by consent without admissions of guilt. The AAT determined that they are not sufficient to reflect an absence of the applicant’s enduring moral qualities.
Despite these adverse events, the AAT concluded that the applicant’s character remained untarnished. It held that it is not a matter of reputation or other’s feelings towards the applicant. This case is of significant because it highlights the importance of an intervention order that was entered into by consent and without any admission of guilt. This meant the AAT was unable to use these alleged conduct against the applicant to lead to a decision of citizenship cancellation.
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