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27 Jul 2018

The controversial Australian values test – How it could impact migrants

You may have heard in the news this week Australia’s Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Alan Tudge has discussed controversial plans to introduce an Australian values test as part of the permanent residence visa process.

 

Does Australia need a values test?

Much of the controversy exists around whether an Australian values test should be introduced and why it is being considered. Mr Tudge believes an Australian values test will discourage ‘ethnic segregation’, however this has been sharply criticised by state figureheads who believe Australia already has a strong multicultural community.

Labor Frontbencher Anthony Albanese says, “Australia, I think, is a bit of a microcosm for what the world should be. People from different religions, races and backgrounds living together overwhelmingly in harmony.” Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane also believes there is no compelling evidence of ethnic separatism in Australia.

Mr Tudge also believes there is currently a lack of mechanisms to assess migrants’ adoption of Australian values, however people are already required to sign a values statement before being granted an Australian visa and applications are also rigorously checked for integrity. It appears this may be the Government’s second attempt to introduce a values test after the Senate rejected plans to introduce a values test as part of the Citizenship process last year.

What the Australian values test could look like

Mr Tudge indicated that migrants who want to apply for permanent residence should first be required to stay in Australia on a temporary visa to allow the Government time to assess their adoption of Australian values. This however, would require a radical re-thinking in the way in which the current migration program is structured to allow migrants the option to apply for permanent residence from outside Australia. Read our post on the Government’s previous discussions to require migrants to stay in Australia temporarily before applying for permanent residence.

Is it likely to become Government policy?

The Government is currently reviewing Australia’s permanent residence streams, therefore it will be interesting to see whether an Australian values test becomes Government policy after a similar test was rejected by the Senate for Citizenship last year. Our team of registered migration agents at Immigracious will keep you updated on any legislative changes that could impact your Australian permanent residence options.

You can find out if you are eligible for permanent residence via our complimentary visa assessment – simply contact our migration agents on 08 6263 4406 or hello@immigracious.com.au

Source:

SBS News

The Guardian

The Australian Tribune


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).


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