The Australian government has announced that reforms would be introduced to strengthen the Australian citizenship, and put the Australian values and Australian national interest at the heart of the process.
What has changed?
- Applicants are required to have lived as a permanent resident in Australia for a minimum of four years (instead of the previous one year requirement)
- Applicants must pass a stand-alone English test, with reading, writing, speaking and listening sections
- Citizenship test will be modified and strengthened to better represent shared Australian values and responsibilities, and the applicant’s commitment to and understanding of these Australian values
- Applicants must show that they have taken reasonable steps to integrate into the Australian Community, and positively contribute to this – this could include showing proof of gainful employment, membership of community organizations, or active volunteer work at registered charities. Proof of school enrollment for any school-aged children must be provided as well.
- Applicants cannot fail the citizenship more than three times (at present, there is no limit to the amount of times an applicant can re-take the citizenship test), and any applicant caught cheating will be automatically failed.
The new rules will apply to all applications received on or after the government announcement on April 20, 2017.
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