Proposed changes to Australian Citizenship requirements

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Changes to the current Australian Citizenship requirements have been proposed in the coming spring session of the Australian Parliament. The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 has been prioritized for introduction in the coming spring session in 2018.

The process for the grant of Australian citizenship differs based on the eligibility parameters. The application options are varied with their own set of eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a Permanent Resident of Australia, you would need to apply for Citizenship of Australia via Conferral. People who are Australian by descent or have been adopted by a citizen of Australia get automatic citizenship.

Below are the expected new requirements for applicants applying for Citizenship:

  • Applicants will need to appear for an English Test which would involve sections in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. A score of 5 on IELTS or equivalent will be required.
  • Applicants would be required to live as Permanent Residents of Australia for at least 4 years prior to applying. Currently, the requirement is 1 year, as per The Australian.
  • New questions will be added to the Citizenship test which will assess the applicant’s understanding of and commitment to Australia’s responsibilities and values.
  • Applicants will need to provide evidence of measures they have taken to integrate into the Australian society and their contribution towards it. For example, applicants would be required to provide proof of employment, proof of enrolment in schools for eligible children and be a member of the community organization in their locality.
  • Applicants who fail the Citizenship test would only be able to take a maximum of 3 attempts. At present, an applicant who fails the test can take an unlimited number of attempts at the test.
  • Applicants who are found cheating during the Citizenship test would be failed automatically.

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