New citizenship Bill to be introduced

New Citizenship Bill changes
Citizenship certificate (AAP).

Oz Kiwi opinion

Please note, Dutton’s proposed citizenship changes have not yet been introduced to Parliament. The Bill must be passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives before it is enacted into law.

There was strong opposition in 2017 to the four years residency as a PR and high level of English language proficiency. Dutton’s 2018 Bill is expected to be very similar and will also face a lot of opposition.

Kiwis granted the NZ 189 Visa should remain exempt from a four wait to apply for citizenship, as will Protected Special Category Visa-holders.

Oz Kiwi strongly recommends anyone eligible to apply for citizenship to do so before 1 July 2018.


Australian citizenship: new changes to citizenship Bill to be introduced this month

7 June 2018

Mosiqi Acharya – SBS

The Bill has been assigned ‘a priority status’ by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s department and will be introduced to Parliament this month.

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 is set to make a comeback.

The Bill has been assigned ‘a priority status’ by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s department and will be introduced to the Parliament this month.

Greens Senator Nick McKim raised the subject at the recent Senate Estimates hearing of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on May 22nd, where Department of Home Affairs Deputy Secretary of Policy, Ms Linda Geddes said the Bill had been assigned ‘a priority status’ and will be introduced ‘in the winter parliamentary sitting period’.

The winter parliament session for June 2018 is scheduled for 18 to 21 June and 25 to 28 June but the Bill has not yet been listed on the notice paper for Senate Business.

When contacted by SBS, a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs did not confirm the date but said, “The timing for the introduction of legislation is a matter for Government.”

SBS has written to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and is awaiting his response.

Nick McKim citizenship changes
Greens Senator Nick McKim

Senator McKim, who has been vocal in his opposition to the Bill, told SBS that he has not seen a copy of the new legislation but said he will continue to oppose the proposed changes to the Bill which make it harder for migrants to become Australian citizens.

“We will be opposing the new Bill and will work with other Senators to block it in the Parliament,” he said.

Last year, the Turnbull government’s first attempt to pass the Bill failed after staunch opposition from Labor, the Greens, and the Nick Xenophon Team.

The legislation makes several changes to citizenship requirements.

They include changing the period of permanent residency from one year to four, a modest English language requirement, a new values test, and stronger character checks.

Potential citizens will also need to demonstrate their integration into the community, including by “behaving in a manner consistent with Australian values”.

The amended Bill, which makes the wait longer and eligibility tougher for migrants, was struck down after the government missed the deadline in the Senate, thus striking off the Bill by default on 18 October 2017.

The new requirements which were published on the Home Affairs website have recently been taken down.

The spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs did not explain why they have been taken down but said, “Information regarding any changes to Australian citizenship requirements will be available on the Department’s website.”

[Read the SBS article].

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