Changes to Australian citizenship

The Australian Government may not be pursuing changes to the Australian citizenship law - that would make permanent residents wait longer and require evidence of their English proficiency before they can apply.

Reports that the Federal Government will backflip on its plans to harden Australian citizenship tests, which it had initially said would promote Australian values, have been applauded by community leaders.

Under the initial changes, the government wanted migrants to prove competent English proficiency by securing at least six bands on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam in order to be eligible for Australian citizenship. The government then scaled down the English requirement to ‘moderate’, or five bands on IELTS.

The changes would have seen the government ban people taking the test for two years if they failed three times. Migrants would have also been required to sit an English test and would be asked questions on “Australian values”.

The Courier-Mail said the government would not be going ahead with these changes. The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) said it applaud the decision by the government to not go through with the changes.

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