Thursday, 11 August 2011

New Aussie

It is finally done.  After 16 years I've finally took the plunge and did the affirmation last night.  The process is much easier then becoming a citizen of the USA.  First was all the paperwork.  Mostly this consisted of gathering documentation that proved I am who I say I am.  After providing them with my passport, the visa information I entered the country on, my drivers licence, and various letters and bills to my current address they still wanted a "Proof of identity declaration" which isn't me say I'm me but someone else saying that I am me.  My friend Kylie happens to be a CPA so qualifies as someone responsible enough to verify that someone is who they say they are.  It helps that I've known her for a dozen years I suppose.

  The next step is a test.  They set me a letter telling me where and when my test was being held and I had to bring in all my supporting documents.  Thoughtfully I took a day of holiday to do this step.  Showed up at 10:30 to see 2 other people in the waiting lounge to be told "Your appointment was at 10:00".  Whoops! She quickly said "Take a seat, we'll get to you soon." and I replied "Well take care of these people first.  I don't want to hold them up because I was late.".  I barely sat down before the lady called me up by say "Wayne Francis?" while looking around.  Which was puzzling because she never lost line of sight from me and I was never more then 3 metres from her.  Showed her all my documents and she gave me a slip of paper to take into the testing room with me.

Now I've been in the office for a whopping 10 minutes now and I'm about to take my 45 minute test.  2 Other people are in the room taking their tests.  The lady sets up the machine and walks away and I start my test.  First question "What are the colours on the Aboriginal flag?"  Easy question. Second question "What are the colours on the Torres Strait Islands flag?" Another easy one, still had these 2 flags in my memory from browsing the pamphlet the night before.  All is smooth until I come to "How many states and in-land territories are there?" and I count on my fingers while thinking to myself "Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Whales, Queens Land, Australian capital territory and Northern Territory" then I that is wrong....I forgot Tasmania!  So a recount on my fingers and I thought I selected the answer of 6 and 2.  The only other question that I had to pause on what "Which of the following is not elected by the people?".  The answers where basically "A) Representatives B) Prime Minister C) Governor General".  This had me stumped for a minute because I thought to myself "Well the Governor General is put into power by the Queen of England but technically here in Australia you don't elect the Prime Minister, The PM is put in power by the representatives of the controlling party."  I opted for C even though technically B & C would both are correct.

  All in all the test took 4 minutes and 21 seconds.  Considering that it took me probably 60-90 seconds to answer the last 2 question mentioned above this means I did 18 questions in about 3 minutes or roughly 10 seconds per question.  The lady looked at me and asked if some thing was wrong.  In the end I did get 1 wrong.  I guess, in hind sight I could have reviewed what I answered but 19 out of 20 question correct is still good enough.

  So within 15 minutes of getting to my appointment 1/2 hour late I was wrapping everything up.  The lady said I should receive a letter in about 4 weeks after the police check goes through and I was on my way home.

  I got the letter about 5 weeks later then another week or 2 I got the letter telling me my ceremony was to be held on the 10th of August.

 It's official I'm now a citizen of the USA and AUS...must be something about the letters A S & U :P

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