On 20th April 2017 Immigration Minister introduced the legislation to the parliament with three broad changes to the criteria for Australian citizenship in which the applicant must:
- Have been a permanent resident for at least four years.
- Pass a stand-alone English test
- Have the evidence of contribution to the Australian community including employment or membership of community organisations
This made a lot of migrants with the hopes of being Australian citizen nervous. The new requirements for the Australian citizenship would have made it much more harder for them to attain one. After already going through the tough process and waiting time to be granted the Permanent Residency it would be simply unfair for the migrants who are contributing hugely towards the Australian economy to be subjected to the new changes.
However on 18th October 2017 this controversial citizenship bill failed to pass the Senate. Despite this, Peter Dutton still intends overhaul citizenship laws.
The current requirements for the Australian citizenship require the applicant to:
- Be a permanent resident at time of application and time of decision
- Be of a good character
- meet the residence requirements
The general residence requirements are as follows;
- The applicant must have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years before applying &
- been a permanent resident for at least 12 months and immediately lodge an application.
If you applied for Australian citizenship before, on or after 20 April 2017, but before 1 July 2018, your application will be processed under the current rules and you are required to meet the above mentioned criteria.
If you apply for the citizenship on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the legislation passing) you will need to have resided as a permanent resident for four years.
To avoid being affected by any future changes in the citizenship requirements we encourage all the eligible candidates to act now and apply for the citizenship.
The immigration stopped processing all the citizenship applications submitted after 20th April. Now as immigration has opened the applications for citizenship there are about 120,000 pending application. This backlog may affect the processing time of your application.
For further information, feel free to get in touch with our experts today.