Russell Crowe Never Applied for Citizenship, Says Australia's Department of Immigration

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The New Zealand-born 'Gladiator' star recently claimed in an interview he had twice been rejected for Australian citizenship.

Russell Crowe's quest to become Australian took another twist when the country's Department of Immigration said the actor has never applied to become a citizen despite Crowe claiming this week he had twice been rejected, reports 9 News

Crowe said in an interview with the Radio Times that he had fallen foul of a change in the law for New Zealanders seeking a passport from their antipodean neighbors, something he tried for — and failed to get — in 2006 and 2013.

"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," he told Radio Times.

He added: "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, so … unreasonable."

However, the Australian Department of Immigration says it has no record of Crowe ever applying. 

A statement delivered to Fairfax media said: "According to Departmental records, Mr. Crowe has not submitted an application for a permanent visa or for Australian citizenship."

"Should Mr. Crowe apply for and be granted a permanent visa, there are a variety of options that he may use to meet the eligibility requirements, including the residence requirements."

The Oscar-winning actor was born in Wellington, New Zealand but moved to Sydney when he was four years old. Crowe spent some of his teenage years in NZ but moved back to Australia to pursue acting in his 20's.