Changes made to Australian citizenship laws

New Australian citizenship laws have been introduced into parliament.

The new Bill puts into effect requirements that all citizenship applicants will pledge their allegiance to Australia and undertake to uphold Australian values and demonstrate their contribution to the Australian community.

Key changes to strengthen the requirements for Australian citizenship include:

– Increasing the general residence requirement as a permanent resident from one year at present to at least four years;

– Introducing a stand-alone English test involving competent reading, writing, listening and speaking;

– Strengthening the citizenship test itself with new questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – our shared values and responsibilities; and

– Applicants will be required to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community.

“Australian citizenship involves a commitment to this country and its people,” said Peter Dutton, Australia’s Immigration Minister. “It is a privilege which should not be taken lightly.”

In addition, to the citizenship changes, the Bill also has a range of amendments to strengthen the integrity of the citizenship programme.

Article published 16th June 2017