01 July 2018
Senator Pauline Hanson tabled a Citizenship Amendment Bill in February 2018, but it is highly unlikely to be passed.
Apply for citizenship before 1 July 2018
26 October 2017
Despite this, Peter Dutton still intends overhaul citizenship laws. If you apply for citizenship on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the legislation passing) you will need to have resided as a permanent resident for four years.
The new Bill is yet to be drafted, but the new requirements should be listed on the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website once the legislation is tabled.
Already applied for citizenship?
If you applied for Australian citizenship before, on or after 20 April 2017, but before 1 July 2018, your application will be processed under the current rules. You’ll be required to have reside in Australia for four years with at least the last year as a permanent resident.
Backlog of applications
The Dept of Home Affairs currently has a backlog of almost 120,000 citizenship applications due to uncertainty caused by the changes proposed on 20 April 2017. Processing times are likely to increase from 14 to 16 months to over 18 months, including attending a ceremony.
Apply for citizenship
Anyone eligible should apply for citizenship before 1 July 2018 to avoid having to reside as permanent resident for four years.
Protected Special Category Visa-holders (PSCVs) will not be impacted by any change to the permanent residency requirement as they are considered permanent residents whilst in Australia. Oz Kiwi still strongly recommends that PSCVs apply for citizenship. This is the best way to ensure your rights are protected in Australia.