On 20 April 2017, the government announced changes to the citizenship criteria to be made effect immediately despite not getting the bill passed through Senate. This caused great controversy among politicians and community members and embarrassingly, the bill was struck down by the Senate on 18 October 2017.
But we have a persistent Immigration Minster in Peter Dutton (now Minster of Home Affairs) who is determined to get his way and it seems a revised bill is back on the agenda and subject to the passage of legislation, the following requirements would come into effect from 01 July 2018:
- General residence requirement lifted to four years permanent residency
- Modest level of English
- Strengthening the Australian values statement
- New test questions added about Australian values, privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship
- Demonstrate community integration
- Strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia