Australia has always been one of the countries who have the highest rate of immigration. Excellent education, abundant business opportunities, safe and secure environment, work-life balance, every advantage you name it, all converge to bring the status of Australians to a higher level among the world’s population.
However, the landscape of migration has started to change as Australia is implementing tighter rules and regulations to curb excessive immigrants. According to the Department of Home Affairs, the average time from lodging an application to receiving citizenship has been stretched from 12 to 16 months. That’s quite a huge number to digest for eager applicants, it will be nearly a year and a half of anxious limbo.
As the number of applications continues to increase throughout the years, the types of applications have also undergone changes, notably seeing a spike from people who arrived in Australia years ago without any identity documentation. It is common sense that when the national security requirement is tightened while the number of applications keeps burgeoning, in some way or another, the processing time of citizenship will increase as well to cater for every application.This is not a healthy scenario where there has been negative reports surfacing in light of this matter as well as complaints coming from all fronts.
It is understandable that more applications will cause longer processing time. However what is the other important factor that hampers the overall application process? The answer lies in the changes to the Australian citizenship test which were unveiled by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Under the proposed changes, prospective migrants will need to demonstrate fluency in English, four years of residency, committed to uphold Australian values (the intention is to abolish inappropriate attitudes on issues such as violence against women, child and forced marriage and female genital mutilation), as well as a demonstrated capacity to integrate into Australian society.
Generally, the current system places no specific requirements on applicants’ English language skills. It only requires them to have lived as permanent residents for 12 months and includes questions on general Australian history and government structure. Many of the applicants would be baffled by the “Australian values” required to be upheld by potential migrants. Taking a look at the current test, it consists of 20 multiple choice questions, but the new test will include open-ended questions intended to reveal the values held by the applicant. Here are some of the sample “shared value” questions under discussion:
- Does Australia’s principle of freedom of religion mean that it is permissible to force children to marry?
- In Australia’s multicultural society, under which circumstances is it permissible to cut female genitals?
- While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you strike your spouse in the privacy of your own home?
- Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?
So it is quite obvious to see that the barrier towards becoming an Australian citizenship has been raised, yet again. The clock is ticking down for potential applicants who have harboured hopes of becoming the Aussies as there are more challenges getting in the way. If you have a slight thought of migration, it is better to start planning and have due diligence on the matter. The queue would not shorten, it gets longer and longer.
If searching the right way to become Australian citizenship has been too troublesome for you, do not hesitate to engage professional migration service from your local neighbourhood. This would save you time and energy in the application process and brightens your chances of landing the migration holy grail. Having professionals behind your back is a massive bonus that you should take note of.
Now or never, as the saying goes.