Wallaby hero gets his prize
WALLABY hero Quade Cooper says being an Australian is about “more than a piece of paper” but was incredibly grateful his long battle for citizenship was nearly over.
Two days after Cooper kicked the Wallabies to victory over South Africa a significant rule change to immigration laws was announced to expedite the cases of “exceptional people” seeking citizenship. Cooper (pictured), who was born in New Zealand but has now played
71 tests for the Wallabies since 2008, has had four attempts at getting citizenship blocked because he didn’t meet residency requirements.
Current rules dictate that an aspiring Australian citizen cannot be absent from Australia for more than 12 months in the four years prior to lodging their application. Cooper, who returned to the Wallabies for the first time since 2017 to kick the winning penalty goal against the Springboks on the Gold Coast, has been out of Australia playing in Japan.
But on Tuesday morning, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced changes for the “most talented prospective Australians”, opening the citizenship door for Cooper.