Resettled Bhutanese in Australia become citizens


At least four residents of Albury in New South Wales who were resettled through the ongoing third country resettlement program overseen by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have become Australian citizens.

Bom Bahadur and Albury City Mayor

One of new citizens, Bom Bahadur Bhattarai (68), was very excited to become an Australian.

“The Australian citizenship has made me to forget the bygone days of refugee camps in Nepal. I have become citizens of two countries – Bhutan and Australia,” Bhattarai said.

Albury Mayor Cr Alice Glachan granted the citizenship certificates to him, wife Lilawati and eldest son Purna amidst a ceremony on November 26.

“What a proud moment to get identity after  22 years!,” said his youngest son Buddha, who awaits the citizenship ceremony.

Another fellow Bhutanese Krishna Bahadur Chouhan was also granted citizenship during the ceremony.

Local MPs representing legislature assemble from Albury, councilors, TAFE teachers and volunteers were also present to see joys on eyes of new citizens.

Krishna and Purna passed the citizenship test conducted by the Albury City Council, while the Bhattarai couple qualified through other eligibilities provisioned by law of the land.

A group of 20 Bhutanese including the Bhattarai family had reached Albury on October 8, 2008. Of them six were children.

Meanwhile, at least five residents from Adelaide of South Australia belonging to one Adhikari and another Yogi families have obtained Australian citizenship.

“Several have given the citizenship test. They are awaiting the results and citizenship ceremony,” a permanent resident told BNS.

The legal provision is that people born in Australia of Australian parents become Australian citizens by birth.  People who migrate to Australia, including refugees, can acquire citizenship by grant.

Generally, refugees are eligible for Australian citizenship when they have been present in Australia as a permanent resident for four years.

Local councils organize citizenship ceremonies and every aspiring citizen must make a pledge of commitment during the ceremonies.

Australian citizens are legally allowed to hold the citizenship of another country (dual citizenship) or more than two countries (plural citizenship).

Bhim Bhattarai from Albury and Bikram Adhikari from Adelaide contributed to this news report while  the pictures used are by Bhim Bhattarai and Krishna Chouhan.


  1. Thanks Australian Government.
    Congratulations to those families who were able to obtained
    Citizenship. well done! Please serve the nation with utmost dedications and prove yourself as loyal citizen of your new home. This is what my organisation, Bhutanese Refugees Durable Solution Coordination committee (BRDSCC) was dreaming since the begining of our resettlement.

  2. Infact, there is no point to be so excited getting citizenship of Australia or America; afterall a migrant will always be a migrant in the eyes of the people of the respective countries. After living a century other than the native land u will still be a strange foreigner and so will be u r generations. No need to be so proud of.
    Another point is: citizenship is only a paper and being so proud of the thinnest paper does not make u a good citizen what worth value is u r behaviour and appreciation to others.
    Any way congratulation to those who got it but still in the way to unknown harbour with modern but old system gprs….
    Thank you

  3. It is irony that a country which hype to be the happiest nation on earth made its own 1/6 people refugee. And now we who feel we have still lots to reform from freedom to human rights are making a fellow brothers and sister our citizen with in 4-5 years.

    Only my opinion!

    Lastly, Well come to all fellow Bhutanese to your new home.

  4. God save Australia and keep the Australians United, Contented and Happy. Shame to the hypocrite nation that boasts of happiness in exploiting, robbing and expelling the loyal citizens for unknown fears while paying attention to the voice of the prince of India….

  5. Congratulation! to all who received australian citizenship. We were deprived from our national identity almost for 2o years, we have enough experiences,what would happen and how people behave without having identity. And I believe, we should not forget our fellow bhutanese who are still lingering in the camp and who are still deprived from basic human rights in Bhutan.

  6. fools. dont u know bhutanese law dont allow duel citizenship. by becoming an australian citizen u have forefeited ur right to be bhutanese.
    however u could just well be an indain or nepalese who cme here under fake bhutanese brought from corrupt UNHCR in which case congrats.

  7. Hey Chirang and dorji tamu , I know how much fired are you guys with these peoples success and progress. Remember haters, my grand-grand pa was born in Bhutan but my dad was considered illegal by your so called king(absolute monarch).

    And today, you crooks feel akward and shamed to see how international communities are celebrating and supporting these Bhutanese Refugee. Be happy with your absolute government who hold the generational power, and be a slave for ever in the isolated jungle.

    Other wise, if you could not celebrate the joy of these people who got respect and human treatment from international communities, take a gun and go to hunt monkeys in the farm. These people are now granted every single rights as a native of these country, that is what makes me and all proud of.


  8. Congratulation to those bravo famalies who’ve already obtained the citizenship and to others on the pipeline(these ‘re the people who dared to walk the bumped roads of publicly expressing their willingness to get resettled then,when there was adverse environment created in the camps against resettlement).
    I think this is the event of celebration for the resettled folks at large and especially who are now in mid thirties who never had any privilege to be citizen of any nation of the world until this age.
    My humble respect to the mum in the picture above for I believe she did a great job of morally punching a big blow to the Royal Government of Bhutan who imposes people use so call National Dress for any official appearence.She Obtained Australian citizenship wearing our own typical dress.Good job mum!

  9. The sharp enmity against this community that sacrificed their rights fought and brought liberation to the common Bhutanese erstwhile held as SLAVES WITHOUT ANY RIGHTS, is evident. The quarter from where such venom spews out is evidence of the source of the problem the people of intelligence can trace. The Australian Citizenship received officially by some recently resettled Bhutanese in that good nation is ridiculed being just “a piece of paper”, mere nothing in other words.
    But that paper was so much in demand at home and so much restricted against the needy! Would any sane person/party consider blocking it against the needy if that were so cheap? This was considered as POWER OF A STATE to randomly oppress the voice of dissent from any quarter by tyrannical forces that corrupt themselves in exercising the power of deciding who should be Bhutanese and who should not and fragmenting the citizenry into seven diverse categories!! Many went to jail with long sentences just coveting for this “piece of paper” and availing through un-official channels. It was not considered as “just a piece of paper” to be exempted any reprimands but were found as criminals to be punished by the state laws. “Just a piece of paper” eh?.
    How cheap people make themselves by their controversial statements! This is POWER OF THE DRAGON that seduces and deceives the world against the welfare of the Bhutanese at home.