Proposed citizenship changes

Proposed citizenship changes
The proposed citizenship changes follow Tuesday’s shakeup of the visa arrangements for skilled foreign workers. (Photo: Lukas Coch/AAP)

Update

18 October 2017

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (2017) was struck down by the Senate on 18 October 2017. However, a new Bill was tabled by Pauline Hanson in March 2018.

28 April 2017

Prime Minister Turnbull has clarified that the new pathway to citizenship will not be affected by the changes to citizenship eligibility announced on 20 April 2017. Those who apply under this pathway should still be eligible for citizenship after one year.


Oz Kiwi opinion

20 April 2017

Only a couple of months ago, Malcolm Turnbull and Bill English were together in Queenstown, patting themselves on the back for the progress made in making it easier for Kiwis to gain Australian citizenship.

If reports are to be believed, however, the Australian Government is about to make it a whole lot harder to gain Australian citizenship for everyone, including Kiwis.

Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce that the requirement to hold a permanent visa for one year before applying for citizenship is about to be increased to four years.

This means that any Kiwis who had been led to believe that they could apply for the ‘new pathway’ on 1 July 2017 and gain citizenship in just over a year could be left bitterly disappointed. They may instead face a wait of over four years. It seems the goalposts for Kiwis hoping to gain citizenship are about to be significantly shifted.

This completely undermines the agreement made between John Key and Malcolm Turnbull last year. Indeed, it looks increasingly like the New Zealand Government has been sold a pup.

For those who are protected SCV-holders or who have already been granted a permanent visa and who meet the current citizenship eligibility criteria, it may be worth lodging a citizenship application as soon as possible. If you leave it, you may find the road to citizenship much harder and longer.

We encourage all supporters to contact the offices of their local MPs and of prime ministers English and Turnbull to make it clear how they feel about these proposed changes.

[Read The Conversation article].

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