On the 20th of April 2017, the Australian Government introduced a package of reforms strengthening the requirements to become an Australian citizen.
The key changes to note are:
- Increased general residence period which requires applicants for Australian citizenship to demonstrate a minimum of four years permanent residence.
- New English language test which requires applicants to demonstrate competent English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills before being able to sit the citizenship test.
- New requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australia community.
- Revised test for Australian citizenship including the addition of new test questions on Australian values, the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship.
- Australian Values Statement with applicants to make an undertaking to integrate into, and contribute to the Australian community
- Extended requirement for applicants aged 16 years and over to make the Pledge of Commitment to all streams of citizenship by application.
The Government also noted that they will introduce new citizenship related legislations into the Parliament by the end of 2017.
All new citizenship applications lodged on or after 20 April 2017 will be subject to the new reforms.
If you are seeking to become and Australian citizen, Koffels can assist prospective applicants with assessing their eligibility under the different streams of citizenship application. Ross Koffel is a licenced Immigration Agent (No.0006391)