The Australian government has announced that they will be introducing new reforms to strengthen and reinforce the Australian citizenship process by enforcing 6 new requirements to all new Australian citizenship applicants. These changes will be effective as of 20th April 2017.

Peter Dutton (Minister of Immigration and Border Protection) said “Our reforms will ensure applicants are competent in English, have been a permanent resident for at least four years and commit to embracing Australian values”
The main intention behind his statement was to emphasize that becoming an Australian Citizen is a privilege and will only be granted to those who support Australian values, respect Australian laws and want to work hard towards contributing to a better Australia overall.

He further stated that “Citizenship is at the heart of our national identity. It is the foundation of our democracy. We must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interested”

1.The new requirements to acquire an Australian Citizenship are as follows:

2.All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking.

3.Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present).

4.Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;

5.Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.

6.An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three times (at present, there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test).

7.An automatic fail will be issued to applicants who cheat during the citizenship test.

The government will introduce new citizenship related legislation into the parliament by the end of 2017. However, the new requirements that are stated above will apply to all new applications for Australian citizenship effective 20th April 2017.