On 26 January 2018, all Australia celebrated the 230th Australia Day. As a multicultural nation, the celebrations reflect our diversity, identity and our gratefulness to live in this lucky country. Statistics show that more than 16,000 people chose to attend the citizenship ceremony on Australia Day to become Australian citizens.
In 2017, the Australian government proposed controversial changes to the existing citizenship requirements. The most prominent proposed change was the requirement of “competent” English for Australian citizenship applicants. The proposed citizenship bill caused a huge public outrage and it was subsequently struck down by the Senate in October 2017.
However, the government has indicated that it will continue to pursue changes to Australian citizenship requirements. An updated bill will be brought before the parliament again in 2018 and subject to passage of the legislation, the following updated changes will be implemented on 1 July 2018.
increasing the general residence requirement
completing a separate English language test
strengthening the Australian values statement
strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions
a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community
strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia for all applicant aged 16 years and over
For Australian citizenship applications lodged on or after 20 April 2017, the applications will be assessed against the current eligibility criteria. It is strongly recommended that applicants who are eligible and wish to proceed with an Australian citizenship application should lodge their application prior to 1 July 2018.
At SCA Connect, our experienced agents can provide you with the latest updates and assist you in navigating through the complex Australian visa framework. To book a consultation with one of our qualified Migration Agents please click here.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.