On the 20thApril The Department of Immigration and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull announced proposed changes to Citizenship policy and regulations.
These changes will impact anyone wishing to apply for Citizenship as they will be retrospective and effect any applications received on and after the 20th April 2017.
Applicants will be required to demonstrate a minimum of four years in Australia as a permanent resident immediately prior to applying for citizenship, with a maximum of 12 months residing outside of Australia in this four year period.
Currently, applicants for citizenship need to be resident in Australia for four years, but they only need to be a permanent resident for one year. Under the proposed change, applicants will need to have been permanent residents for four years.
This change will affect those who entered Australia on temporary work or humanitarian visas. These people will no longer be able to count this time as temporary residents towards the residence requirement for citizenship.
Applicants will need to demonstrate competent English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills before being able to sit the citizenship test;
Applicants will need to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community.
For example: documentation proving people who can work are in fact working, or are actively looking for work or seeking to educate themselves. Evidence that applicants are contributing to the community by being actively involved in community or voluntary organisations. Evidence that applicants are properly paying their taxes and ensuring their children are being educated as required. An applicants’ criminal records will also relevant.
There will be new test questions about Australian values, and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship added to the Citizenship test.
Citizenship application forms will include a reference to allegiance to Australia and require applicants to make an undertaking to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.
Applicants will have three attempts to pass the citizenship test, after their third attempt their application will rejected and a two-year bar on making a new application for Citizenship after a previous application is refused.
For assistance with your citizenship matter please contact us at PAX Migration and book your initial consultation today.