Australian Citizenship Checklist
Under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, there are three major pathways to obtaining Australian citizenship: birth, descent, and conferral. In order to be eligible for citizenship by conferral, applicants must meet the following five key criteria:
- Reside in Australia for four years (although certain exceptions apply), holding permanent residency for at least one of those years;
- Have basic knowledge of English;
- Have sufficient knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities, values, and rights of Australian citizens;
- Likely to reside in Australia, or to maintain a close and continuing connection with Australia; and
- Be of good character.
As part of the application process, you are also required to complete the Australian Citizenship Test. The Australian Government recently announced that from the 15th of November 2020, some changes to the Citizenship Test will enter into force. The new test has a clear focus on Australian values.
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, stated that “[t]he updated Citizenship Test will have new and more meaningful questions that require potential citizens to understand and commit to our values like freedom of speech, mutual respect, equality of opportunity, the importance of democracy and the rule of law.”
You can read the full media release from the Acting Minister here: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/alantudge/Pages/focus-on-values-in-updated-australian-citizenship-test.aspx
While the English language and residency requirements will remain the same, when the updated Citizenship Test enters into force, applicants will be required to answer twenty multi-choice questions, five of which will be specifically focused on Australian values.
Australian Citizenship Application
To pass the test, applicants must answer each of the five questions on Australian values correctly, and must attain a mark of at least 75 percent overall. This is a strict no competency requirement.
When the updates were announced, the Government published the Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond resource to assist applicants preparing for their citizenship test. The resource includes information specifically on Australian values, as well as an updated practice test to reflect the new changes. Prospective applicants and Australian citizens alike can jump online to find out if they would have a shot at passing the new test.
You can access the Our Common Bond booklet here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/citizenship/test-and-interview/our-common-bond
The important resource is available in English, and in 37 community languages. It identifies that the information on which applicants are tested will be divided into three core aspects: ‘Australia and its people’; ‘Australia’s democratic beliefs, rights and liberties’, and ‘Government and the law in Australia’.
For decades, the Citizenship Test has come under scrutiny for failing to holistically reflect what is means to be an Australia. These updates purport to identify core values that shape Australian culture and help applicants to understand what it means to be an Australian.
In addition to these updates, from the 30th of October 2020, most visa and citizenship applicants will also be required to affirm an updated Australian Values Statement. This updated Values Statement is also aimed at reflecting key Australian values, including equal opportunity, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the rule of law.
You can find out more information about the citizenship test and interview process here:
How to Become an Australian Citizen
We will help you in your Australian Citizenship. If you want more information or to know if you qualify for Australian Citizenship, please make an enquiry with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].
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