21/04/17 - The Turnball Government's Citizenship Reform

The Turnball Government is reforming Australia’s Citizenship Laws and Regulations to ensure applicants are held to higher standard. As a result, the Government has advised a package of reform will be applied as effective on applications received ON or AFTER 20 April 2017. Such changes are in compliance with the recent 457 visa abolishment changes announced on the 18 April 2017 as a means to control and ensure high quality of migrant intake into Australia as well as to improve our successful multicultural society.

 

The proposed package of reforms include:

  • Higher-standard Stand Alone English Test for applicants to have an IELTS level 6 equivalent (prospective citizenships with a permanent or enduring incapacity, as well as those under the age of 16 would be exempted from examination) prior to sitting the citizenship test.
  • Applicants to have lived as permanent resident of Australia for a minimum of FOUR years as opposed to former one year requirement.
  • Strengthen the test for Australian Citizenship with the addition of new test questions that assess an applicant’s understanding about Australian values, privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship.
  • Applicants are required to integrate into the Australian community with a demand of evidence such as but not limited to employment, membership of community organisations, tax payment and school enrolment for children etc.
  • Applicants who fail THREE times at the citizenship test have a TWO year ban non applying for citizenship (currently there is no limit to the amount of times an applicant can fail the test)

The Government has also advised the new Citizenship legislation for these reforms will not be introduced immediately but will be introduced by the end of 2017. For more information about citizenship changes and updates, please speak to one of migration agents today below or follow us on our social for immediate updates.

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