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In order to establish a member of the forces of a Commonwealth country or allied country eligibility to benefits, domicile must be established. Below are details of how to establish domicile if a claimant states that it has changed.
The onus is on the claimant to prove changed domicile. If he or she was born in Australia or is shown to have acquired Australian domicile, the Department will require strong evidence to refute such a claim. Similarly a person born, or previously domiciled, overseas will need to provide conclusive evidence of the acquisition of an Australian domicile.
The following information, as appropriate, should be sought when investigating a person's domicile:
- the date and place of the person's birth;
- if not Australian-born, the date of arrival in Australia, with the name of the vessel (or airline) and place of disembarkation or deplaning;
- prior to 1 July 1982, if the person was under 21 years at the time of enlistment, the place of residence and domicile of his or her father at that time, or if over 21 years at the time, his or her own place of residence and domicile;
- other places of residence and employment prior to enlistment, and the periods spent at each;
- reasons for leaving Australia and the name of the vessel and place of embarkation (or airline and place of emplaning);
- the person's intentions at the time of leaving Australia with regard to returning;
- service details (dates and places of enlistment and discharge etc.);
- the date of return to Australia, method of transport (name of vessel or airline) and place of disembarkation or deplaning;
- the reason for the delay in returning, if more than 12 months after discharge from the forces;
- places of residence and employment since return and the periods spent in each; and
- prior to 1 July 1982, if a female person was married at any time prior to her enlistment, the date of marriage and the domicile of her husband must be established.
Verification of information supplied in support of the claim should be obtained wherever possible. Some sources of information relating to domicile are:
- supportive statements (if possible in the form of Statutory Declaration) by the person's relatives, friends, employers or business associates;
- documents such as:
- newspaper cuttings of the time
- reports or souvenirs of farewell functions;
- entries in official membership records of social, professional or trade associations or societies;
- testimonials and introductory letters;
- electoral records in Australia; and
- evidence of continued or discontinued domestic, social or financial ties with Australia by the person while absent from Australia.
A Commonwealth country is a country, other than Australia that is, or was at the relevant time, a part of the Dominions of the Crown.
An allied country is a country, other than Australia or a Commonwealth country, whose forces were engaged in an operational area against an enemy, at the relevant time, which was also engaged against forces of the Commonwealth.