New Citizenship Test – A Tough Challenge for Would-be Aussies
As the Federal Government reinforces its arbitrations for the stricter prerequisites for the entry into Australia, over 4000 migrants were denied Australian citizenship in the last year.
The major cause for rejection for more than half of the immigrants was the failure in the citizenship test. The legislation has made it difficult to become an Australian citizen through a tougher English test, an Australian cultures or values test and prolonging the waiting time for permanent citizens to apply to four years.
According to the statistics revealed by the immigration department, it can be seen that out of the 1866 immigration applications who failed the test in 2016-17, about 1759 failed it more than three times.
The several other reasons for rejection of citizenship include identity proof issues, failing police verifications and association with rebel groups. Until now it was possible for the applicants to undertake the test for citizenship whenever they wished. However, as per the recent legislative provisions, in case an applicant fails the test for three times, they would be barred from taking the test for the next two years.
In a recent report tabled to the government, the Senate committee has made several propositions to elucidate the standard for the competency of English-language essential for citizenship should not be too high. The changes to English language requirements for Australian citizenship should be reconsidered amongst concerns the test is too tough, a Senate committee had recommended in the report. According to this report, the standards should be brought down and made simpler to avoid the high number of disqualifications faced during the citizenship tests. Also, the several existing Australian citizens who have been able to clear the basic competency tests in the English language and are considered to the valuable members of the Australian community would look forward to some relaxations in the test structures.
The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton exclaimed “I am committed to strengthening the integrity of the citizenship program, which is in our national interest, and will continue to work with the crossbench” and made it explicit that it becomes highly imperative for all the immigrants who wish to become the citizens of Australia to establish their inclination to assimilate and abide by the Australian laws, culture and values.
During the last week, the Turnbull Government was not able to acquire its projected citizenship restructurings through the Senate. These restructurings included a test on English competency, examining the applicants about Australian culture and values which might mean asking at what time it was suitable to “strike your spouse” and last but not the least, tougher police verification processes.
The modifications also included prolonging waiting periods for permanent citizens who want to claim citizenship from the duration of one year to four years.
During the negotiations with the crossbench, Mr. Peter Dutton has demanded that the English pass marks be dropped down from “competent” to “moderate” and to be included in the list of the alterations.