Australian Citizenship: What’s new?

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill released by The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in April last year is back on track and will soon be applicable.

The Bill includes the implementation of a list of reforms designed to strengthen the requirements to become an Australian citizen, including in relation to residency, English language, Australian values, integration into the Australian community and good character. These new reforms will ensure applicants are competent in English, lived as a permanent resident for at least four years in the country and commit to embracing Australian values.

New Australian citizenship requirements

To ensure that the citizenship program is conducted in the Australian national interest, the reforms will include:

  • Requiring all applicants must pass a stand-alone English Language test that will include reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Requiring applicants must have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least 4 years.
  • Strengthening the citizenship test itself with new and more meaningful questions to ensure full understanding by the applicant of Australian shared values and responsibilities
  • Requiring applicants to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community such as evidence of employment, membership of community organisations or school enrolment for all eligible children.
  • Limiting the number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test to three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  • Introducing an automatic fail system for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test.

Current Eligibility Criteria for Australian Citizenship

Under current legislation migrants must have been living in Australia lawfully for 4 years immediately before applying for citizenship and meet the following residency requirements within the relevant 4-year period:

  • lived in Australia for at least 12 months as a permanent resident; and
  • have not been absent from Australia for more than 12 months, including no more than 90 days in the 12-month period immediately preceding the citizenship (Some exemptions and other pathways to Australian citizenship are available depending on the circumstances).

Perdaman Global Services: your trusted agent

To find out if you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, contact Perdaman Global Services. Our experienced team is looking forward to help, manage and submit your citizenship application so you can embark on the final step of your stress-free migration journey with maximum confidence. We believe in doing the best we can to help people achieve their life goals and always strive to provide excellent customer service.