Say what you like about Russell Crowe, he’s nothing if not persistent.
New Zealand’s most famous non-Middle Earth export has revealed that he twice applied for Australian citizenship, and was rejected both times.
In an interview with British magazine Radio Times, 50-year-old Crowe revealed that he applied to become a real Aussie in 2006 and 2013, but a clause in immigration law relating to New Zealand citizens meant that he was ineligible.
“No matter how long you’d been in the country, if you weren’t in Australia for the majority of 2000 to 2002, when I was particularly busy filming overseas, you can’t become a citizen,” Crowe said.
In order for a Kiwi on a Special Class Visa (or SCV) to qualify for Australian citizenship, they must have been in Australia on February 26, 2001, or for a total 12 months in the two years prior to that date. Crowe was overseas for most of those periods making films including Mystery, Alaska, and Gladiator, for which he won an Oscar in 2001.
Crowe moved to Australia with his parents at the age of 4, and considers himself a proud Australian, despite only holding New Zealand citizenship.
“I’ve been voted one of Australia’s 50 national treasures, I’ve even had my face on an Australian stamp, the only non-Australian to do so, apart from the Queen, of course… It’s so unreasonable.”
Perhaps it’s time to give the Immigration Minister a call?
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