The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 is set to make a comeback. The Bill has been assigned a ‘‘priority status’ by previous Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s department and will be introduced to the Parliament.

The initial proposed changes were scheduled on 20 April 2017 and to have them take effect on the same date. A Bill was required to be drafted and passed for the proposed changes via Parliament; however this fell through on 18 October 2017 as the Government missed the deadline in the Senate.

However, this hasn’t put a stop on the proposed changes as the Government is still keen to implement and have these changes finally introduced into Australian law.

The proposed changes will require the applicant to meet the following criteria:

  • Have lived in Australia as an Australian permanent resident for at least 4 years

  • Pass an English language test. The recommended pass level for Australian citizenship was Competent English which is an overall score of 6 in IELTS. (Other test may be accepted)

  • Pass a new citizenship test. This will be a `strengthened' version of the current test and is designed to assess the applicant's understanding of, and commitment to, Australian values

  • Complete the citizenship test only once. This means applicants must pass the higher level test on the first attempt

  • Prove their integration and contribution to the Australian community

If the above come into effect, the process to acquire Australian citizenship will become longer and more difficult for applicants.

If you meet the current Australian citizenship requirements, we strongly encourage you to consider lodging your application soon to avoid any necessary changes.

Contact one of our Immigration Lawyers/Agents to discuss your eligibility to apply for Australia citizenship or ant visa related matters.

Telephone: +61 3 9614 7111

Email: Melbourne@nevettford.com.au