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Update on Australian Citizenship

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection submitted a bill for an Act to amend the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to the Parliament in mid-June 2017.

This bill raises the requirements of applying for the Australian Citizenship, which might cause difficulties for some migrants to gain the citizenship if the bill is being approved by the government.

There are several major changes in the bill:

  • Increase the residency period requirement to four years living in Australia for a permanent resident to apply for the Australian Citizenship;
  • Applicant who is aged between 16-60 years old must have Competent English (IELTS 6.0);
  • Applicant must sign the Australian Values Statement and show the integration into the Australian community;
  • Applicant must make the pledge of allegiance before becoming a citizen and satisfied by the Minister;
  • Insert and amend several definitions (residency period, spouse, substantive visa and de facto partner) to match the terms in Migration ACT 1958;
  • Clarify that the automatic acquisition of Australian citizenship does not apply to specified persons;
  • Clarify that if a person obtains the Australian citizenship by adoption, the adoption process must be completed by the age of 18 years old;
  • The Minister has the power not to approve a person’s citizenship application if the person has serious offence.

This bill was opposed by several parties after the release, we still do not have any idea whether it will be approved or not.

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