Senate Committee Recommends Certain Transitions in the Australian Citizenship Bill 2017
September 11, 2017

Senate Committee Recommends Certain Transitions in the Australian Citizenship Bill 2017

Are you a Permanent Resident of Australia? If yes, then are you contemplating to gain the Australian Citizenship? Well, to acquire citizenship of Australia, you need to meet certain conditions set by the Government.

Here are the criteria for applying for Australian Citizenship.

  • You need to be a PR of Australia.
  • You should not have been absent from Australia for more than one year throughout your PR period.
  • Passing the citizenship test is necessary.
  • You must meet the ‘good character’ requirement that includes the Police Checks.

On 20th April 2017, the Australian Government announced some new requirement to acquire the Australian Citizenship.

These requirements include:

  • All applicants need to pass the stand-alone English test which will examine their proficiency in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening English language.
  • The applicant is required to have lived in Australia as a Permanent Resident for at least 4 years.
  • The level of citizenship test will be strengthened to determine whether an applicant understands and commits to the shared values and responsibilities while residing in Australia.
  • All the applicants will need to show measures that they have taken to contribute to the Australian community. These measures include evidence of one’s employment, their membership in the community organizations of Australia, and school enrolment of their eligible children.
  • At present, there is no set limit to the number of times an applicant fails in the citizenship test. But the new requirement says that an applicant can fail the test only thrice.
  • For applicants who indulge in any sort of cheating during the Citizenship test, an automatic fail will be introduced to them.

However, this announcement raised many concerns and protests among the residents of Australia and even political personalities against the Government. 

As a consequence, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee came up with its reports on the Australian Citizenship Bill 2017. This report states that the Committee made four major recommendations regarding the Government’s citizenship changes. These recommendations were tabled in Parliament on 5th September 2017.

These recommendations include:

Recommendation 1:

The Committee has asked the Government to clarify the standard for English language but also stated that the standard must not be set too high that it would disqualify the eligible applicants from achieving citizenship.

Recommendation 2:

The Committee also asked the Government to revise the imposition of 2-year ban on applicants for citizenship who failed three times successively in the citizenship test. Instead, the Government should introduce some additional tests on a cost-recovery basis to reduce the fraudulent applications.

Recommendation 3:

The Committee even asked the Government to consider introducing some transitional provisions for citizens who hold permanent resident visas on or before 20th April 2017 so that the current residency requirement applies to this group of citizenship applicants.

Recommendation 4:

The Committee has asked the Senate to pass the bill.

Will the Government amend the bill by considering the recommendations and pass it or will it stick to its statement? We just have to wait and watch for the Government’s final declaration. Watch this space for all such updates and announcements. If you are seeking any further details on the information or updates regarding the Australian Citizenship, feel free to contact us or visit our nearby office.

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