Citizenship Laws in Australia are rumored to be changing, but it may not pass with full steam. The new law is the The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017, included are the following proposed changes:
- Increase the residence wait period from 1 year to 4 years
- Needing to pass an IELTS with a band score of 6 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Signing a values statement
- Harder citizenship test, which also includes questions about domestic violence
There are a few reasons why these proposed changes may not eventuate.
- Parliament need to pass a bill, and for this bill to become an Act. Only until this happens, will the changes take effect.
- For the bill to pass, enough politicians need to vote in favour of it.
- Labour is not voting in favour, especially concerning the extra waiting period, or the IELTS requirement.
- Lobbying has begun, with some parties having more than 12,000 signatures against the proposed changes.
- A lot of public backlash, and pressure on politicians to make the right decision
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have 81,000 applications since the changes were introduced on 20 April 2017; and they are not processing these changes until the Bill is finalised. While Immigration say that 90% of Citizenship Applications are processed within 13 months, we expect this to be extended (Immigration update the global processing times every 2 weeks).
We are advising everyone who is eligible under the current laws to apply now. The worst that can happen is the laws do change, and your application is rejected. The application fee is nominal at around $265. However, if the laws are not changed, or changed but not to the full extent, you will benefit by obtaining citizenship quicker.
You can contact us to discuss these proposed changes, and the viability of applying for citizenship now.