01 July 2013

Russell Crowe denied Australian citizenship

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Kiwi actor Russell Crowe has been denied Australian citizenship for the second time, despite having spent most of his life in the country.

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Russell Crowe has been denied Australian citizenship for a second time.

Russell Crowe is one of cinema's biggest names, starring in Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man, among others, and has won many accolades for his performances, including an Academy Award. However, despite his fame, he is routinely assumed to be Australian.

Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand but moved to Sydney when he was four years old and has since spent 37 years in the last 45 living in Australia, yet his application for Australian citizenship has been denied for the second time.

Citizenship criteria for Kiwi immigration was updated in 2001, just when Crowe was attending the BAFTA Awards in London, this combined with the fact he had spent more than 12 months out of Australia in the preceding two years - filming and promoting his biggest hit Gladiator - meant Crowe was ineligible for Australian citizenship.

The actor first applied in 2006 and was meant to commemorate the occasion with a ceremony on the lawns of Parliament House during the Australia Day celebrations but the event was cancelled at the last minute.

Crowe, who has been awarded a Centenary of Federation medal, has featured on a stamp and has Australian children, is becoming frustrated over the delay.

"Apparently I [still] fall between the cracks," he said during a promotional event for his latest film, Man of Steel.

"It's a very complication situation. [Australia] is the country I choose to live in, this is the country in which I spent my formative years, so it's kind of frustrating."

The Hollywood hard-man admitted that he was not the only one in his situation and appreciated that his star status shouldn't except him from the rules.

"I am not the only person in that boat - there's a whole bunch of New Zealanders who have committed to a life here...who have been productive, taxpaying members of society.

"I know why the rules are in place and I understand and respect that but there has some to be some form of arbitration where you can sit down and state your case.

"These rules are not big enough to engage with the complexity of people's lives."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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