This week has been full of upheaval, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement of the reformation of employer sponsored visa programmes and the changes in the occupation lists.
Today, Australia received another unexpected announcement; the Australian citizenship application now has higher requirements; the new requirements will apply to all new applications for Australian citizenship.
The new requirements include:
- The applicant must have been a permanent resident for at least four years before they can apply (previously one year permanent residency and total four years residence)
- The applicant must meet a minimum competent level English language ability
- A new citizenship test with questions aiming to judge the applicant’s understanding of and commitment to Australia’s values and responsibilities. The applicant has a maximum of three tries to pass this test (previously unlimited tries)
- The applicant must show how they have integrated into and contribute to the Australian community (e.g. evidence of employment, membership of community organisation and school enrolment for all eligible children
- Introducing an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test
English exemptions will apply for those with permanent or enduring incapacity and those those under 16 years of age.
The questions on the citizenship test have yet to be set, and a discussion paper is in motion.
Affirmed regulations are not out yet and we advise worried parties to contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). In the meantime, keep following us – we will surely keep you up to date on the latest in news.
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