The Australian government is set to change the requirements for permanent residents seeking to assume Australian citizenship.
The new reforms will ensure applicants are competent in English, have been a permanent resident for at least four years and commit to embracing Australian values.
“Australia is an immigration nation and we are the most successful multicultural society in the world,” said Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Prime Minister. “More than 130,000 people from around 210 countries are invited to become Australian citizens each year. We welcome the contribution, opportunities and energy they bring to our community.
“Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be granted to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia.”
The reforms for Australian citizenship will include:
– Requiring all applicants to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;
– Requiring applicants to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
– Strengthening the citizenship test itself with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – our shared values and responsibilities;
– Requiring applicants to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
– Limiting the number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test to three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test); and
– Introducing an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the Australian citizenship test.
More than 130,000 people from around 210 countries are currently invited to become Australian citizens each year.
Article published 20th April 2017