Wrong Answers To Hide Criminal Conduct


An applicant who gave false answers on his application for citizenship was found to be of bad character. In Lung [2003] AATA 211 (5.3.03), the AAT found:

The tribunal finds that the applicant failed to correctly respond to the question posed in..question 37(e), in that he was aware of proceedings pending against him for offences and the question is straightforward. The tribunal is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the applicant deliberately responded “No” to question 37(e) to hide the fact of the criminal charges from his mother. The tribunal notes that s 50(1) of the Act provides for a penalty of 12 months imprisonment for a person who makes a false representation for a purpose, or in connection with, the Act. An obligation of candour in citizenship applications is apparently a fundamental requirement of good character. The tribunal notes the language barrier that the applicant experiences, as well as his relatively young age and general naivety at the time of committing the offences in considering this application. However, the criminal conduct engaged in by the applicant was deceptive and this conduct was perpetuated by the false statements made on the application form. It is difficult to accept that the applicant gave an answer not knowing it to be false when it was an answer that was clearly a serious part of the process of achieving a grant of citizenship.

  1. The tribunal finds that the error on the applicant’s part in answering question 37 is sufficient to cause the tribunal to harbour doubts as to the applicant’s good character at this time.
Barbara Davidson