Becoming an Aussie is a privilege

BECOMING an Australian is “a privilege”.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud said the process – which migrants must undergo to become a citizen – will reflect “our” values as the Coalition Federal Government today outlined its strengthened Australian citizenship reforms.

David Littleproud MP.

David Littleproud MP.

“Our reforms will ensure applicants are competent in English, have been a permanent resident for at least four years and are committed to embracing Australian values,” Mr Littleproud said.

“English language proficiency is essential for economic participation.  It promotes integration into the Australian community and social cohesion.

“Also, a person’s conduct will be scrutinised and considered as part of the citizenship process because criminal activity – including violence against women and children – involvement in gangs or organised crime is not compatible with our Australian values.”

Mr Littleproud strongly supports the Coalition Government’s tough citizenship process and requirement stance that puts assimilation and our values at the heart of what it means to become Australian.

“I’ve been in constant contact with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton because I know how important this issue is to us,” he said.

“It’s not only crucial new citizens integrate and contribute to our nation but also that Australians have confidence in the process which determines whether someone is a suitable candidate for such an important privilege.

“Citizenship is at the heart of our national identity and it’s the foundation of our democracy. We must ensure our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest.”

The new requirements will apply to all new applications for Australian citizenship.

FAST FACTS

The reforms will include:

 Requiring all applicants to pass a stand-alone English test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking;

Requiring applicants to have lived in Australia as a permanent resident for at least four years (instead of one year at present);

Strengthening the citizenship test itself with new and more meaningful questions which assess an applicant’s understanding of – and commitment to – our shared values and responsibilities;

Requiring applicants to show the steps they have taken to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.  Examples include: Evidence of employment, membership of community organisations and school enrolment for all eligible children.

 Limiting the number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test to three (at present there’s no limit to the number of times an applicant can fail the test); and

 Introducing an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test.

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