The long road to becoming an Australian citizen
IMAGINE living in Bundaberg for 60 years before finding out you're not actually an Australian citizen.
Unfortunately, that's something migration agent Edyta Gradowska has experienced on many occasions with her clients.
"There are people that came (to Australia) when they were babies and suddenly they're over 60 years old and they figured out because their parents came on permanent visas they are not citizens,” Ms Gradowska said.
It's a long process to become a citizen and includes a test featuring 20 questions randomly selected from a pool of 80 questions on Australia.
Ms Gradowska was born in Poland and took the test herself last November while she was studying migration.
"Some questions in the citizenship test can be difficult,” she said.
"It's funny because I work in the field and I was actually studying migration law then, I had all the available resources to prepare for the test but I still made a mistake.”
She answered 19 out of the 20 questions correctly and is not sure which one she got wrong.
"I think the questions are much more based on history and government, which if you took the average Australian teenager I don't think they would be able to answer everything right,” she said.
Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre is holding a free citizenship test seminar to help educate locals who will soon be sitting the test
The neighbourhood centre's multicultural program co-ordinator, Michael Grebert, said his role was to help members of the community to become citizens of Australia.
That included giving advice on how to fill out the application form that has more than 25 pages and asks about the applicants details including history and family to find if they would make appropriate citizens.
"The test seminar is designed to help people get over that final hurdle to becoming an Australian citizen,” he said.
"You don't know what's coming up on the test but some of them are quite tricky, a lot of them relate to our parliamentary system and it would be interesting to see how many people from the wider community would pass as well.”
The seminar will be held at Bundaberg and District Neighbourhood Centre from 5.30pm on Thursday.
For more information, phone Michael on 4153 1614