Oscar-winner Russell Crowe denied Australian citizenship
News Limited Network
June 26, 2013 7:19PM
AUSTRALIA Post chose Russell Crowe as one of its local legends – alongside fellow Academy Award-winners Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett.
But it turns out the Kiwi actor has been rejected for citizenship due to an immigration loophole.
Crowe was out of the country on February 26, 2001- attending the BAFTA Awards – when the Australian Government changed the citizenship laws relating to New Zealand immigrants.
He was also out of the country for more than 12 months of the preceding two years – making and promoting Gladiator, for which he won the Oscar, and Beautiful Mind, for which he was also nominated for best actor the following year.
Because of this, he fails to meet the criteria for permanent citizenship under the Family and Community Services Legislation Ammendment (New Zealand citizens) Act 2001.
“Apparently I fall between the cracks,’ said Crowe this week when asked about his citizenship status during an interview to promote the hit new Superman movie The Man of Steel.
Crowe intended to become an Australian citizen in 2006 at an Australia Day concert on the lawns of Parliament House, which was to be telecast live on Channel 10.
But the ceremony was canned at the eleventh hour because “the Government wasn’t able to facilitate the process in time,” according to a Ten spokeswoman. “He’s keen but … there are obviously certain protocols that need to be adhered to.”
Seven years on, Crowe still hasn’t satisfied those protocols.
“It’s a very complicated situation,” he said.
“This 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.
“But 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 had children here, who bought their first houses 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 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.”
Crowe arrived in Australia in 1968. He has lived in Australia for 37 of his 49 years.
“As a young kid, I stood on the hustings at Watson’s Bay and gave out pamphlets on how to vote for Gough Whitlam at the polling booth.
“I got a (Centenary of) Federation medal (in 2003). I was made into a stamp. Until recently I had an Australian wife. I have two Australian children. But I still fall between the cracks.”
Crowe said while he identified as Australian, the most important reason for him to become a citizen was his two boys, Charles and Tennyson.
“If something goes down overseas we have to go to two embassies,” he said.
But the actor also admitted that despite throwing his support behind Julia Guillard via Twitter last week, his current immigration status meant that he would be unable to follow that up at the polling booth come election day, since only Australian citizens can vote.
Full Russell Crowe interview in Hit lift-out tomorrow in News Limited newspapers