The Australian Government is strengthening the requirements to become an Australian citizen. See the media release available at Minister for Immigration and Border Protection website.
- Increasing the general residence requirement, which means an applicant for Australian citizenship will need to demonstrate a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship
- Introducing an English language test, which means applicants will need to demonstrate competent English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills before being able to sit the citizenship test
- Strengthening the Australian Values Statement to include reference to allegiance to Australia and require applicants to make an undertaking to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community
- Strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions about Australian values, and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship
- Introducing a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community
- Strengthening the Pledge of commitment as a citizen of the Commonwealth of Australia in the
Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to refer to allegiance to Australia; and extending the requirement for individuals aged 16 years and over to make the Pledge to all streams of citizenship by application, including citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.
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.
The changes apply to citizenship applications lodged on and after 20 April 2017. The changes do not apply to applications made before 20 April 2017.
Applicants will receive communication on the implementation of these measures and any additional information and documentation that may be required to support their application.