What's new for Australian citizenship
Strengthening the requirements for Australian citizenship
On 20 April 2017, the Australian Government announced it is strengthening the integrity of Australian citizenship. The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was introduced into Parliament on 15 June 2017. On 18 October 2017, the Government proposed amendments to the Bill.
What are the new requirements?
As a result of the proposed amendments and subject to the passage of legislation, the new requirements for citizenship will come into effect on 1 July 2018 and include:
increasing the general residence requirement, which means applicants for Australian citizenship will need to have a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship with no more than one year spent outside Australia during that period
completing a separate English language test, where applicants will need to demonstrate English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at the modest level before applying for citizenship by conferral
strengthening the Australian values statement to include reference to allegiance to Australia and requiring applicants to undertake to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community
strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions about Australian values and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship
a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community
strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia, and extending the requirement to make the pledge to applicants aged 16 years and over for all streams of citizenship by application, including citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.
What does this mean for people who have already applied for Australian citizenship?
If you applied before, on or after 20 April 2017
If you applied for Australian citizenship before, on or after 20 April 2017, your application will be assessed against the eligibility criteria in place when you applied. For application processing times and for current eligibility criteria, please contact us through the fee visa assessment page.
What will this mean for people who apply for Australian citizenship in the future?
If you apply before 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation)
If you apply before 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation), your application will be assessed against the current eligibility criteria.
If you apply on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation)
From 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation), the new requirements for Australian citizenship will take effect. If you apply for Australian citizenship on or after this date, your application will be assessed against the new requirements.
Check our website regularly for updates and more information.
Submitting complete Assurance of Support (AoS) claims
21 Feb 2018
Assurance of Support
To avoid delays in Parent or Contributory Parent visa decisions, the Department of Home Affairs recommends their assurer submit complete, decision-ready Assurance of Support (AoS) claims to the Department of Human Services (DHS). Submitting an incomplete application will delay the processing of the AoS claim and consequently result in delays in finalising the associated visa application.
The Department of Human Services website contains information on how to become an assurer.
The following documentation is required to be provided with the AoS application:
A completed ‘Application to provide an Assurance of Support’ form
Department of Home Affairs letter to the visa applicant advising that an Assurance of Support is required
Original documents to confirm identity of assurer. Read more about how you can confirm identity at: www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/confirm-your-identity
Evidence of income for the previous two financial years (i.e. Notice of Tax Assessment 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 or letter from the Australian Taxation Office)
Evidence of ongoing income (e.g. two most recent consecutive payslips, or a letter from accountant, or a letter from employer, or a profit and loss statement, etc.)
Proof of Australian citizenship or permanent residence (e.g. Australian Citizenship Certificate, Australian passport, foreign passport – with or without visa label)