One day after restructuring the 457 visa program, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a joint media release with the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, has announced changes will be made to the Australian citizenship process and requirements.
Mr Turnbull said: "Changes to citizenship will also enable our migration program to contribute still further to our social cohesion while enhancing our security. Australia must continue to attract people who will embrace our values and positively contribute, regardless of nationality or religious belief"
In summary, the proposed changes include:
Requiring all applicants to pass a stand-alone English test
Requiring applicants to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years
Strengthening the citizenship test
Requiring applicants to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.
Limiting the number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test to three
Introducing an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test
DIBP are advising, subject to the passage of legislation required to enact some of the measures, the changes will come into effect, and apply to applications made from the date of the Government's announcement on 20 April 2017.
Once we have further information regarding the changes to Citizenship, we will be providing further updates.