Australia’s Citizenship Requirements

On 20 April 2017, the Australian government announced reforms to Citizenship laws that will affect all new Australian Citizenship applicants.
The Government will introduce new citizenship related legislation into the Parliament by the end of 2017. They have indicated that the reforms will apply to citizenship applications received on or after their 20 April 2017 announcement.

Key Reforms

General Residence Requirements
Demonstrate minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship with maximum of 12 months outside of Australia in this time period.

Introducing an English Test
• Applicants to demonstrate competent English language (listening, speaking, reading and writing skills) before being able to sit the citizenship test.
• Exemptions: over 60 years of age or under 16 years of age at time of application; those with enduring or permanent mental or physical incapacity, and passport holders from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America..

Citizenship Application & Citizenship Test
• Addition of new test questions on Australian values and privileges and responsibilities of Australian Citizenship.
• Applicants who fail three attempts at the citizenship test to have a two-year bar on applying for citizenship (currently there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test).
• Applicants who attempt to cheat during the citizenship test receive an automatic fail.

Australian Values Statement & Community Integration
• Strengthening the Australian Values Statement in application forms to include reference to allegiance to Australia (democratic beliefs; Freedoms; Equality; Integration).
• Extending requirement for individuals aged 16 years and over to make the Pledge of commitment (including for citizenship by descent, adoption, resumption).
• Make an undertaking to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.
• Evidence integration into the Australian community, e.g. employment or actively seeking work; seeking to educate themselves; being an active member of community or voluntary organisations; ensuring school enrolment for eligible children; properly paying taxes.

Criminal Records & Adherence To Social Security Laws
• Criminal Records are relevant. As well as existing police checks an applicant will be assessed for any conduct that is inconsistent with Australian values, such as domestic or family violence, criminality including procuring or facilitation female genital mutilation and involvement in gangs and organised crime.


Call us to today to arrange a consultation to review your eligibility to apply for citizenship.

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