Citizenship - New Requirements and Eligibility

The government will be announcing new changes to citizenship eligibility.

I'm all in for the new test and community integration. At least we are all part of OzB as a community :D

The toughest part that may affect some of us will be the 4 years probation period up from 1 year. Also, limited access to social security benefits during the 4 years wait.

What do OzBargain think ? How will the new changes affect you ?

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.afr.com/news/politics/ci...

Comments

  • +43 votes

    Is it going to be asking a bunch of questions that almost no citizen's that were born here know the answers to again?

    • +8 votes

      It's getting changed out to a demonstration of Australian integration. Just get a Ned Kelly or a Eureka Flag tattoo and you'll be sweet.

    • +7 votes

      I took the test 8 years ago and it was pretty easy. Yes, there were questions that the average person wouldn't know (about political party membership if I remember) but then it also had questions like "What are Australia's national colours? A) Red, White and Blue, B) Red and White, or C) Green and Gold?" - I remember coming out and thinking that it would be pretty hard to fail. Miss a couple questions? Sure. Have lived in Australia for any significant portion of time and fail? Much harder.

      In actuality the hardest part of getting citizenship is getting your Permanent Residency first.

      • +11 votes

        I took mine 2 years ago and agree it was very easy, I did a few practice tests the night before. I had to laugh today as I saw an article that said they were going to limit the amount of times you can fail the test to 3. If you fail it once you probably don't deserve to be here.

      • +1 vote

        I just had a sample test and got 10/10. Some I had to guess it out but as long as you have common sense then it seems to be fine for the existing tests.

        Asking about ANZAC day, colours of Aborigine's flag and constitution seems to be quite good enough.

        I wonder if they could reveal some sample tests to see the taste of it.

    • +6 votes

      You're absolutely correct. We did our test about 4 years ago and had a bunch of practice exams lying around. We got some of our Aussie friends (all of whom are uni educated) to do the test just out of interest. None of them were able to get more than about 50% correct! The funny thing is, I didn't think the test was that hard.

      Having said that, I don't believe harder tests are going to make for better citizens. I think rather than making the test harder, they should tighten up the screening process to make sure the right people are allowed in. At the end of the day anyone can pass the test if they study hard enough. Unfortunately passing a harder test doesn't mean they will believe in Aussie values any extra.

      • +2 votes

        Yeah, it's quite an easy test if you have prepared for it - Anyone sitting the test seriously would have probably studied the topic more recent to taking the test.

        Most Aussies born here learned this stuff at a very young age (in some blurry subject called social studies or something) and don't remember much/any of it and have never needed to call on this knowledge. We know it, we just don't know we've forgotten we know it.

        A friend sat the test earlier this year after studying and thought it was a breeze.
        They got me to take a practice test for funsies because of this and I only managed about 60%
        Another friend who passed the test a loooong time ago did nearly just as badly as me.

        You may obtain citizenship, but only once you've forgotten most of the answers is when you truly become an Australian.

      • +2 votes

        Not sure if they changed it but the test isn't at all difficult. I didn't study politics or history and managed to get 18/20 on the practice sets. There are some I can see people not knowing like one about historical dates and the role of the governor general, but most of it is stuff you just come to learn living in Australia.

    • -5 votes

      I get a perfect 100% score whenever I take the trial tests in the immigration website.

      But that's just me. I used to get perfect scores in calculus back in my uni days too.

    •  

      i did the test at the beginning of March 2017 along with my parents and it was pretty easy, I got 20/20 while my parents got 18/20 each. it took me just 2 minutes to complete the test but now will have to wait atleast 5 months for the ceremony I reckon. I hope I get it before second semester of second year starts.

  • +26 votes

    The toughest part that may affect some of us will be the 4 years

    How is that tough?
    After the 4 years you can get full centrelink, healthcare, and many other benefits, for most that is worth the wait, because its free money.
    I was born a citizen and in the last nearly 3 decades, ive never used centrelink, i use private heathcare and dont require any other benefits that the govt provides me.

    1 year was too easy to obtain such good benefits.

    • +32 votes

      Not everyone is doing well and earning 310k like you ;)

      Some of us are trying to survive and need medicare and basic healthcare :( I'm talking about people who scrape to earn basic living and pay taxes.

      • +11 votes

        Why would you move to a country and try and become a citizen if you will be scraping to earn a basic living?

        • +45 votes

          Because some come from war torn countries and they are looking for a better life for their children. I would do anything for my kids, wouldn't you?

        • +23 votes

          @Ryanek: Yeah but a lot of the people that this decision will affect aren't actually legitimate refugees, and are choosing to move, not being forced to.

        •  

          @Ryanek:

          Because some come from war torn countries and they are looking for a better life for their children. I would do anything for my kids, wouldn't you?

          Well they shouldn't have any additional children until they can finance the ones they already have through their own labour.

          And that goes for everyone else too!

        •  

          @jjjaar:

          And you know this how?

      • +3 votes

        don't need to earn 310 to not get handouts.

      •  

        Some members of Ozbargain also sit on $95K in cash and get Centrelink too. They really need that social security support.

    • +6 votes

      You use private healthcare only? Never get PBS medication or any medicare subsidised services?

    • +4 votes

      You can get all those benefits straight away as a permanent resident. You had to be in the country for 4 years prior to get citizenship already they just changed it to 4 years on a permanent residency visa.

    • +7 votes

      Medicare is available to permanent residents.

    • +11 votes

      Let's be clear here. It was never 1 year and you were eligible for citizenship. It was 4 years as a legal resident in Australia. Regardless of the visa with a minimum of 1 year as PR leading up to the citizenship application.

      4 years as a legal resident was perfectly fine. This change for some people is now going to be 7+ years before eligibility + another 6 months for the citizenship process. Almost double what you believe to be a fair amount of time to pass in the country.

    • +7 votes

      Ahh yes the ol' "I dont use any government services"

      Private healthcare delivery is about 75% funded by the state and federal government.

      You also use the education system, drive on roads, use public transit and don't have vagrants begging on the streets and committing crimes for money like many other developed countries.

    •  

      It's not only 1 year, it's 1 year as permanent resident.. under the new laws I will only be eligible for citizenship in 2020 after living here for 7 years…

    •  

      You still use medicare, you do not realise it. If you are deemed too costly for PHI or the Private Hospital that is requires a ED, ICU, onocology, etc. you'll get shipped to a public hospital immediately - that is what medicare is, a safety healthcare net for all citizens. Furthermore the government subsidies your PHI with our taxes. How is it fair that we are subsidizing middle and upper class health insurance and PHI companies profit margins, when they are not paying their fair share? It's simple. PHI is pure idealogue driven faulty free market logic. I want vomit when a smug prick in a business suit and a economic degree talk about "shopping" for PHI and to encourage "competition" in favour of medicare.

      You directly benefit from the government, otherwise we would be paying 300 dollars a month for basic cover, high out of pocket expenses PHI.

    • +2 votes

      There's a huge misunderstanding here. The earlier requirement was minimum stay of 4 years of which one should be on PR. The new requirement of minimum years is still the same, i.e. 4 years, but all 4 years should be on PR. It means that years spent on student or any other visa (such as 457 visa) won't count for the 4 years. For most of the direct skilled migrants, this doesn't change anything as they don't come on 457 or student visa anyway.

    • +3 votes

      Agreed. I don't think people should come to Australia to obtain benefits. They should come here to contribute their skills.
      If you come here and can't find work, then you don't deserve to be here. That's the purpose of Australian immigration policy after all - to fill the gaps Australians cannot fulfill.

    • -3 votes

      "3 decades, ive never used centrelink".. thats so unAustralian.

    • +4 votes

      You can get those with permanent residency (PR) anyway, and no I have never got a cent from the Centrelink. The main thing is that when someone wanna join the ADF or work for the government, the road block goes up if you don't have citizenship. In addition to that, PR doesn't come with voting right nor jury duty. I guess, for some people, that's a big deal (not me personally).

      The 1-year-wait statement by the government was likely designed that way to mislead people to get more support. Under the current legistration, one has to be in Australia for more than 4 years as a legal resident and within that 4 years, at least 12 months as a permanent resident. Their arguement about longer time for integration doesn't sound quite right. It's not like people just sit at home and pay no tax before they become permanent resident. One has to be here for 4 years regardless to become a citizen. Under the new law, many people will still arrive as PR and only have to be here for 4 years before their application. It doesn't sound very fair to people that have already been here for 4 years or even longer as a law-abiding temporary resident, are much better integrated into the society, and showed more commitment to the country.

      I just withdrew my application for a medical officer position in the Air Force via undergrad sponsorship from ADF because of that. At the beginning, I was pretty annoyed about the fact that I was only 8 days away from submitting citizenship my application and suddenly it became 3 more years (after being here for 8 years), but life goes and the Australians have to decide what they want to do with their citizenship application process. As a non-citizen, I don't have much say on that obviously. However, to everyone that's affected by this, please have a look at the proposed changes on DIBP website. There's an email address provided on the last page of that PDF about new citizenship changes. I suppose you can send through your concerns and hope for the best.

      •  

        It doesn't sound very fair to people that have already been here for 4 years or even longer as a law-abiding temporary resident, are much better integrated into the society, and showed more commitment to the country.

        Ya, I have been here since 2011 on temporary visas and still not eligible for a permanent visa (need to work for 1 year in my "field" after graduation").

        The main thing is that when someone wanna join the ADF or work for the government, the road block goes up if you don't have citizenship.

        Discovered this as well. My preferred "field" is IT/Network Security. However it's virtually impossible to get a job without Citizenship in that field. So it looks like while I probably could have toughed it out for a year doing something different in IT, and then applied for citizenship, i will now be looking at atleast 4 years doing something i'm not particularly fond of. Which sucks.

  • +19 votes

    Probably a good thing! But I don't see how it makes a difference. I came here as a student only wanting to study, loved the country and decided to stay here! I have held 4 jobs during 9 years and have never claimed anything from the govt in terms of centrelink payments and yeah, I do use medicare for the PBS. That's pretty much it. As far as I know, my friends who have all got their Permanent Residency or Citizenship have never received any payments from Centrelink! And I would never want to go down that path myself personally.

  • +5 votes

    This is very frustrating. I am literally a couple of months away from 12 months as a PR thus can apply for Citizenship. I think I am due in August but now may have to wait another 3 years - on top of the 4 years that I have already been here.

    • +5 votes

      In life sometimes timing is important…. People who came before me didnt have to sit for any test at all, and I was in the first batch. The good news is I passed with 100% mark! It is frustrating that you are so near and yet so far, but just know that the people after you will find it even harder, for some might become impossible. Just persevere and work towards your target.
      All the best!

    • +7 votes

      As a PR you have almost the same entitlements as a Citizen, you only miss out on the passport and the right to vote. I know plenty of people here for years as a PR not willing or not bothered to apply for Citizenship. If you really want to be a citizen it will be worth the wait.

      •  

        All we wanted was that precious "AUSTRALIAN Passport" =)

        • +1 vote

          It certainly makes it easier to travel for some migrates holding less favourable passports. I have a mate from Britain and applied for Citizenship the day he was eligible. Easy decision for him as the UK allows dual-citizenship. Some other countries however force people to choose between Australia and their homeland as they don't recognise dual citizenship, eg , Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia.

        • +7 votes

          I cant travel anywhere with a Tasmanian passport.

        • +3 votes

          @CLoSeR:

          Applying for Citizenship to make it easier to travel outside the country, the irony!

        • +1 vote

          @Scrooge McDuck: May not be this way forever, the way some of us behave overseas. :(

        •  

          @Scrooge McDuck:

          You could be right: if you are a PR and intend to leave Aus for say 10years with possible to come back as a Plan B, then you would want to get the citizenship as you might not be able to keep you PR being abroad that long

        • +1 vote

          @Devon: You need to apply for an RRV every 5 years if you intend to leave the country. Part of this is satisfying residency requirement of 2 of 5 years. So you pretty much need to be living here to keep your PR.

        •  

          @BuyoTheCat:

          Does your nationality say "Devil"?

        •  

          @unloadmymind:

          I am cat. Sometimes it says angel, sometimes devil, sometimes just meh.

        •  

          @BuyoTheCat:

          I cant travel anywhere with a Tasmanian passport.

          You sure can… To the mainland

      • +9 votes

        I am from the UK, the passport is not my concern. However, as a PR who is studying at uni I am responsible for paying fees upfront (admittedly, CSP). Citizens can apply for HECS.

        My wife and child are citizens yet I remain in a state of limbo for 4x as long as stated when I first applied (2013) with PR only granted in 2016. At this rate it will be 2020/21 before I am considered a citizen and on equal footing with the rest of society. If the initial processing of the application didn't take 3 years I may already be a citizen. This is the frustrating thing - i cannot vote or have a say in how my community is run, I cannot access HECS, I cannot call myself Australian.

        You are right, though, eventually, it will be worth the wait. It's just frustrating.

      •  

        Can't buy a house unless it is new….

      •  

        Some countries do not allow dual citizenship, so PR holders who has business or property in those countries do not want to get Aus citizenship as it will nullify the citizenship from the other country.

    •  

      My Mrs is less than 2 months away from being here for 4 years, (1 as a PR) so she's got another 3 years to go like you! Her kids are Aussies and is basically an Aussie, except not. 3 more years to decide whether to do it or not!

    • +1 vote

      I am due on 20 May. One month man, one month….. Now I need to wait another 3 years.

    •  

      If you want the citizenship, go straight apply after you get PR. This will not get applied soon anyway.

  • -2 votes

    If you bring Eneloops to the Q&A Session, how many are enough to ensure your application is a success?

    …and underarm bowling in Cricket (for Kiwi's)

    Yes, No (or Bikies?)

  •  

    My dad has been living in Aus for 50 Years and still hasn't taken up citizenship.

    • +2 votes

      I'm not your dad am I ??

    • +2 votes

      older folks tend to be sentimental about giving up their citizenship from their home country that's why they are quite happy with just a PR.

    •  

      A bit risky.

      If your dad got into trouble, he could get deported on permanent residency. But if he has citizenship, he can't get deported.

      • +4 votes

        Incorrect, citizen are not immune to deportation, especially those with prior citizenship of another country.

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-03/bradley-how-can-you-lo...

        • +1 vote

          Those are very extreme circumstances.

          I should clarify myself, it is MUCH EASIER to get deported if you don't have citizenship because you are technically in Australia on a visa. All you need to do is commit an offence and serve 1 year or more in jail and you could get your visa cancelled. There was a recent case on this where a lady who's lived in Australia for over 50 years is facing deportation because she committed an offence and didn't bother getting her citizenship.

        • +6 votes

          @Hunga: I will tell my dad not to commit any crimes

        •  

          @altomic: Of course it goes without saying that you shouldn't commit any crimes. My point is that it is easier to lose your residency here than you think, so it's good to exercise some level of caution. Not everyone who commits a crime walks outside of their house thinking that they will do something nefarious today

        •  

          @altomic: Or tell him to stop committing crimes.

        •  

          @freakatronic: I think I'll tell him to be extra careful and not get caught….

        •  

          @altomic: That's the better way for sure. Win:win.

      •  

        Does he have to renew his PR every 5 years?

        •  

          Not my dad. But from my understanding with PR is that unless you intend to travel outside of Australia, you don't need to renew anything.

    •  

      That's how they stopped the leader of the rebels Alex Vella getting back into Australia. Pretty much lived in Australia for the majority of his life since moving from Malta as a kid. Then when he went to Japan with his son, they didn't allow him entry back into Australia.

  •  

    When these changes start?

  • +12 votes

    At least we are all part of OzB as a community

    I think the new questions should go something like this:

    1. Is orange your favourite colour?

    2. Where can you get the cheapest Eneloops, Nespresso Pods and KFC nuggets?

    3. Is your name Broden?

  • +1 vote

    One of the rules that may impact my in-laws is the age exemption. Currently if you are 60 or over you are not required to sit the test but it appears that under the new rules, the only age group exempt are 16 and under.

  • +9 votes

    What a load of crap in terms of bringing English test and i bet will have to pay for the test as well.

    If it is part of the fee then it is no issue but otherwise just making money.

    •  

      I was wondering about this too.. What will the test be and what is wrong with the current tests they use for sponsorship/university admission (IELTS and PTE)?

  1. Ryanek on 20/04/2017 - 08:38
  2. Diji1 on 20/04/2017 - 01:46
  3. peteru on 21/04/2017 - 00:11
  4. Sleepy24seven on 20/04/2017 - 02:21
  5. tuzii on 20/04/2017 - 01:52