Federal Court. Generally speaking, a person does not lose Australian citizenship by becoming a citizen of another country. However, there are exceptions. For instance, in some circumstances, a person who once was an Australian citizen is not an Australian citizen under the Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) if they became a citizen of PNG by reason of the PNG Constitution. In this particular decision, did the Applicant become a PNG citizen by reason of the PNG Constitution and therefore lose his Australian citizenship?
Question 1: Can it be said that "the applicant was, at Independence Day, “a naturalized Australian citizen” within s 65(4)(b) of the PNG Constitution", with the result that "s 65(1) had no application to him, and he did not become a citizen of PNG, and did not lose his Australian citizenship"?
Question 2: Alternatively, can it be said that the Applicant had, "within s 65(4)(a) of the PNG Constitution, “a right…to permanent residence in Australia”, and, accordingly, did not become a PNG citizen at Independence Day", with the result that he did not lose his Australian citizenship?
The FCA answered those questions as follows:
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