After much toing and froing and name calling and yelling, the Federal Governments planned tightening of the Australian citizenship criteria did not pass the Senate so it is not going to be implemented.
What does this mean ?
This defeat of the proposed Bill mean that processing of Australian citizenship applications are now moving along and being assessed under the criteria that was in place before 20 April 2017.
What is the current criteria ?
The general residence requirement is based on the amount of time applicants have lived in Australia.
Each applicant must meet all of the following:
- have lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa (such as a 457 visa) for four years immediately before applying for citizenship
- must have been a permanent resident for the 12 months immediately before making an application and not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.
What are the processing times ?
Immigration have approximately 100,000 applications to process as the applications lodged since 20 April were put on hold as directed by the Immigration Minister. The processing time advised by Immigration is approximately 12 months from lodgement of the application.
Is the citizenship debate now going away ?
No it is not and the Government has announced that they will bring further amendments to Parliament with a proposed implementation from 1 July 2018.
What should your staff be doing regards this change ?
If they meet the citizenship criteria we recommend that they lodge their applications as soon as they can as should the proposed changes pass Parliament next July, the criteria will be tightened.
Please feel free to send this notice to your staff as Visa Executive can assist with Australian citizenship applications so please contact us should you wish our assistance.