The changes to the Australian Citizenship laws that were announced last April have just been rejected. Yesterday, the Senate failed to pass legislation which would have created greater challenges for those seeking to become an Australian Citizen.
The proposed legislation would have required migrants to have lived in Australia as permanent residents for four years (up from the previous 12 months), and to meet stricter English language requirements. Applicants would have also been required to sign an Australian Values Statement, faced increased background checks, and to demonstrate how they had integrated into Australian Society. The changes were documented here.
Whilst the changes struck down had not been passed into legislation, the DIBP had been processing citizenship applications on the requirements that had been proposed.
The failure of the Bill means that people that applied for Australian citizenship after the 20th of April 2017 will now be processed under the existing rules.
Despite the rejection of the Bill, Minister Dutton suggested that the government won’t back down over the changes and will continue to negotiate with the cross-bench for these laws to be strengthened.
See here for the current eligibility requirements for Australian Citizenship.