The Liberal government has released changes to the Australian Citizenship requirements and general eligibility to ‘strengthen Australian Citizenship by putting Australian values at the heart of citizenship processes and requirements.’
These new citizenship requirements are now published on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website and would be effective immediately as opposed to December 2017, as they were originally scheduled to come into effect on. Applications made on or after April 20, 2017 are subject to the rules below.
The new requirements includes:
Passing an English test that includes; reading, writing, listening and speaking (Possibly IELTS Level 6 but this has yet been clarified);
To have lived in Australia as a Permanent Resident for 4 years (as opposed to 1);
Passing the strengthened Citizenship test:
Demonstrate understanding of commitment and values of an Australian,
Limited to only 3 fails as opposed to unlimited attempts,
Automatic failure for those caught cheating;
Demonstrating Integration within Australia community and are contributing back:
Membership of community organisations, and/or
School enrolments for eligible children.
Other factors that contradict the consistency of Australian values will also be considered. (E.G. criminal activity, violence against women and children, involvement in gangs or organised crime.)
By choosing to become an Australian citizen you are choosing to make a solemn commitment to the Australian democracy and way of living. ‘In our democracy, the most important title is "Australian citizen". Citizenship brings with it great privileges and responsibilities and so deserves respect and commitment from those who seek it, as well as those who are granted it.’
I have lived in Australia for more than 1 year as a Permanent Resident, can I apply for Australian Citizenship now?
Although no official legislative changes have been made yet, the new Citizenship Applications (lodged on or after 20th April 2017) are not being processed until the new law has come out to back up the announcement of these changes (potentially December 2017). You can still, however, submit your applications. If by any chance these changes do not get approved and the new law does not pass, your applications would be considered.
How can I give my opinion about these changes?
You can access the full Discussion Paper released by Immigration here.
You may provide your views to Government via email to the citizenship submissions mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org You have until 1 June 2017 to provide your views.
Contact your trusted Registered Migration Agent Anna Molina (MARN 1461034) at email@example.com.