Citizenship Application: It Is Still Possible for Applicants Who Had Criminal Records and Used Fraudulent Passport to Be Granted Australian Citizenship

What Happened in the Case of Anderson [1] ?


Mr Robert Peter Anderson (the Applicant), a citizen of New Zealand. His deceased parents were Australian citizens at the time of his birth, and he wished to be granted Australian citizenship by descent. Mr Anderson was a member of a life and motorcycle club and was charged with taking part in a conspiracy for the supply of a prohibited drug in 1991. Apart from that, Mr Anderson returned to Australia using a fraudulently-obtained passport, which caused the Department to cancel his visa on 4 August 2016. However, on 8 December 2017, Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia overturned the Minister’s cancellation decision.


On 27 July 2017 the Applicant applied for citizenship, which was formally refused by the Delegate of the Minister on 4 July 2018 on the basis of section 16(2)(c) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) (the Citizenship Act). Subsequently, Mr Anderson sought a review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review the delegate’s decision.


The Minister’s Reason


When reviewing the case, the Tribunal considered that Mr Anderson had not been convicted of a crime, not even a road traffic offence after serving four and a half years of his sentence of imprisonment.


Since Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia overturned the Minister’s cancellation decision, in the meantime, Mr Anderson expressed sorrow and remorse for using a fraudulent passport when returning to Australia. Thus, the Tribunal accepted that Mr Anderson was genuinely remorseful for his conduct.


The Tribunal also considered that Mr Anderson had shown himself to be a person with good character. Over 20 years, he had formed a close bond with his step-children, had become a committed Christian and assisted with church activities and had seriously taken his obligations as a resident and employee.


In a nutshell, the decision under review is set aside and the matter is remitted for reconsideration in accordance with the following direction that the Tribunal was of the view that the applicant is a person of good character.


Contact Us


If you had previous criminal records or had provided false identity documents, it is still possible for you to be granted Australian Citizenship. Please call one of our highly trained immigration lawyers at Agape Henry Crux. They can be contacted on 02-27007200 or email us to book in a time at

We speak fluent English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Indonesian and Malay. If these aren’t your language, we can also help you arrange an interpreter



[1] Anderson and Minister for Home Affairs (Citizenship) [2019] AATA 229 (25 February 2019)


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