Citizenship changes back on Agenda

The package of reforms for citizenship changes are back on the agenda for September 2018.

Australian government previously announced changes on 20 April 2017 and attempted to put them into effect. The bill passed through parliament but subsequently failed on 18 October 2017.

It is now again on discussion and will  be decided on in September 2018.

6 new requirements proposed for Australian citizenship:

  1. All applicants are required to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking at the Competent level;
  2. Applicants are required to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);
  3. Citizenship test will be strengthened with new and more meaningful questions that assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – shared values and responsibilities;
  4. Applicants will be required to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community. Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.
  5. An applicant can fail the citizenship test only three (at present there is no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test);
  6. An automatic fail for applicants will be introduced who cheat during the citizenship test.

Current Citizenship Requirements 

To satisfy the residence requirements you must:

  • have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident,


  • not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.

Lawful residence means living in Australia on a valid Australian temporary or permanent visa.

  • have no English language test requirements
  • can sit the citizenship test as many times as required
  • need to demonstrate they are of good character

Will I be impacted?

The most applicants who will be impacted if the changes take effect are:


If you apply for Australian citizenship on or after the changes, your application will be assessed against the new requirements. If you apply before , your application will be assessed against the current eligibility criteria. Please book an appointment to check your eligibility.