11 May 2017

4 things you need to know about the Australian citizenship changes

If you are currently a permanent resident, or if you would like to become an Australian citizen in the future, here’s what you need to know about the recent citizenship changes.

The 4 main changes:

1. You will need to have been a permanent resident for 4 years instead of 1 year

2. You will need to meet more proficient English language requirements

3. The citizenship test will be changed to assess Australian values by assessing views on democracy, social freedoms, equality and integration into Australian society

4. You will need to demonstrate your integration into Australian society – for example, by making tax payments, by showing a commitment to work or education, by contributing to community or voluntary organisations, and by abiding by social security laws. You will also be assessed for “character” to ensure your conduct is “consistent with Australian values”.

For greater detail about these changes, read our post here. We’ve noticed a lot of news in the media about these changes and it can be confusing to know whether you are currently eligible for citizenship.

It’s important to know that the above changes are subject to approval by the Parliament which the Government hopes will occur in late 2017. The Government has said that the changes will be retrospective, and that they intend for applications received from 19 April 2017 to be affected by the changes, however this will be subject to approval by the Parliament.

As we understand it, citizenship applications submitted after the government announcement will be retained by the Department but not processed until the new legislation is considered by the Parliament. It appears that some New Zealanders living in Australia will not be affected by these changes.

If you’d like to understand more about the citizenship changes and how they may impact you, we are happy to help. Simply contact us on 08 6263 4406 or

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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