Major Reforms of the 2017 Australian Citizenship Proposals
Proposed changes to Australian Citizenship will be going through Parliament at some stage, presumably after the June deadline for people to give their views.
Major changes are: Four Years as permanent Resident and only three attempts for the Citizenship test.
Residence Requirement for Australian Citizenship
Applicants will be required to demonstrate a minimum of four years in Australia as a permanent resident immediately prior to applying for citizenship, with a maximum of 12 months outside of Australia in this time period.
This represents a change from the current requirement which allows time spent in Australia as a temporary resident towards a four year qualifying period and only requires a minimum of 12 months spent as a permanent resident immediately prior to applying.
Increasing the minimum period of permanent residence required to qualify for citizenship will enable greater examination of an aspiring citizens’ integration with Australia.
Citizenship Test for Australian Citizenship
Applicants will have three attempts to pass the citizenship test, after three attempts their application will not be approved, and the test will need to be re-taken in Two Years time . Integrity measures will be adopted including the introduction of a two-year bar on making a new application after a previous application is refused.
The course-based test will no longer be offered to applicants who are unable to pass the standard or assisted citizenship test.
Revised Australian Citizenship Implementation
The Government will introduce new citizenship related legislation into the Parliament, informed by responses to this paper, by the end of 2017. The package of reforms will apply to applications received on or after the Government’s announcement on 20 April 2017.
The Australian Citizenship Reforms 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);
Introducing an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test.
Your Views on Australian Citizenship Reforms:
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.
You could also email the Immigration Minister at email@example.com
The Residence Requirement is not much of a change for someone arriving on a Skilled Permanent Visa, as the FOUR years is still the same for them. They arrive as PR, then apply for Citizenship after FOUR years, the same as before.
The main difference is for Partner Visas, where the partner needs TWO years on the Temporary Partner Visa, followed by about a ONE year wait before they get the Permanent Visa, and then another FOUR year wait before they can apply for Citizenship, a total of SEVEN years, an extra THREE year wait.