The Australian Government will introduce the new legislation regarding Australian citizenship to Parliament this week. It is expected that the some of the key changes will include the following:
Residency: Applicants will be required to have lived in Australia as permanent resident for at least 4 years before applying for citizenship – significant increase from current arrangement of 1 year as a permanent resident before applying for citizenship;
English: A new stand-alone English language test is likely to be introduced which will require the applicants to demonstrate competent-level English language proficiency – equivalent to level 6 in the International English Language Testing System, or IELTS – which includes reading, writing, listening and speaking components;
Demonstration of “Integration” into Australian society: The proposed changes will also require the prospective Australian citizens to show that they have taken steps to integrate into the Australian society. Examples could include employment, active involvement in community or voluntary organisations and enrolment in Australian schools for their children.
The Government announced back on 20 April that “membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be granted to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia” and reason behind implementing the said new changes is aimed at “promoting integration into the Australian community and social cohesion”.
The Government has drafted new legislation following public consultation which was closed on 1 June 2017.
Due to the proposed changes, many migrants who consider becoming Australian citizens will have to wait longer to obtain their citizenship.
We will keep you posted upon receiving further updates from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
Contact SCA Connect today for an expert advice on strategic visa solutions to address the recent and upcoming legislative changes to migration.