Thursday, 15 June 2017
Media release

Changes to citizenship laws introduced into Parliament

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 (the Bill) has been introduced into Parliament.

This Bill implements the commitment made by the Turnbull Government to strengthen the test for Australian citizenship by putting Australian values first. 

This Bill puts into effect requirements that applicants will pledge their allegiance to Australia and undertake to uphold Australian values and demonstrate their contribution to the Australian community.

Australian citizenship is an extraordinary privilege and is a common bond which unites us all, whether we were born here or choose to make Australia our home.

Australian citizenship involves a commitment to this country and its people. It is a privilege which should not be taken lightly.

Key changes to strengthen the requirements for citizenship include:

  • Increasing the general residence requirement as a permanent resident from one year at present to at least four years,
  • Introducing a stand-alone English test involving competent reading, writing, listening and speaking,
  • Strengthening the citizenship test itself with new questions that assess an applicant's understanding of – and commitment to – our shared values and responsibilities. 
  • Applicants will be required to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community.

In addition, the Bill has a range of amendments to strengthen the integrity of the citizenship programme.

It's time for Bill Shorten to put Australians first and stand up to the Left of the Labor Party and support this important Bill.