Thinking of applying for Australian citizenship? Now might be the time!
Back in April, the Australian government tabled a bill to amend the Australian Citizenship Act. If passed, the bill would have made it much tougher for immigrants to get citizenship.
Thankfully, for all hopeful applicants, the bill was effectively struck off the notice on 18 October after the government could not get enough numbers to support the reforms.
However, this isn’t the last we’ll see of this bill. The bill will be reviewed again in July 2018 and that’s why we’re telling you today to apply for citizenship as soon as possible.
What was proposed?
Government wanted to change the citizenship standards in two major ways:
- Immigrants must hold permanent residency for at least 4 years before being able to make an application for citizenship.
- Stricter English Language Test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking components. It was also proposed that an applicant can only take the IELTS three times.
What are the current requirements for Australian citizenship?
If you make your citizenship application today, you only need to have held 12 months of permanent residency immediately before making an application. The additional requirements are:
- You have lived in Australia on an Australian visa for four years before applying.
- You have not been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.
As for English language capabilities, you only need to demonstrate a basic understanding of English.
Any other requirements?
Yes and these are:
- You are of good character.
- You intend to reside or maintain a close and continuing association with Australia.
- Adequate knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship.
Do you really have to make an Australian citizenship application now?
You don’t have to, no, but we strongly advise that you do.
Why would you want to wait four years before you can make your application, if you can do it within 12 months? Remember, four years could become reality next year after the bill has been reviewed!
If you need help determining if you meet the citizenship requirements, please do give us a call on +27 (0) 202 8200. Our licensed agents will be able to assess your eligibility.
Should you qualify, and you decide to apply, our team can also ensure that you application is prepared and lodged correctly.