25 Jul 2019

Will Australian Citizenship rules change in 2019?

Last month, the Courier-Mail reported the Government may not go ahead with legislative changes that will require permanent residents to wait longer and meet tougher tests to become eligible for Australian Citizenship. Changes to Citizenship laws were originally expected in 2017, however the changes were heavily contested in the media and opposed by the Senate in 2018.

At this stage, the parliament’s approval is still required before the new laws can apply. In latest news, the Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has denied reports that Australia will no longer proceed with previously announced changes to toughen the Citizenship test.

Australian Citizenship changes

The below changes to Citizenship eligibility requirements could come into effect if the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment Bill is passed into law:

-The need to wait four years as an Australian permanent resident instead of one year before applying for Citizenship;

-The introduction of an English language test, requiring migrants to score a ‘competent’ level of English;

-A tougher Citizenship test assessing ‘Australian values’ and a ban from re-trying the test within next two years if the applicant fails three times;

-And requirements for migrants to show evidence of their integration into the Australian community, which may include an assessment of the applicant’s character.

The need for migrant support programs

Mary Patetsos from The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia (FECCA) believes the Government’s focus should be on establishing migrant support services rather than imposing changes to Citizenship laws.

Ms Patetsos stated, “What is important is ensuring equitable access to affordable and quality English language learning and other support services for migrants, for example child care for parents as required. We should encourage and incentivise not punish or deter.”

In the Government’s immigration plans for the next three years, $71 million has been committed to support programs to assist migrants with settling into the Australian community.

Immigracious | Migration Connections Made Simple

If you have been on an Australian permanent residence visa for one year and would like to find out of you are eligible for Australian Citizenship, simply contact our team of Registered Migration Agents on 08 6263 4406 or


The Sydney Morning Herald

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: Uncategorized


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