Australia to tighten citizenship rules for new migrants

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday announced that Australia would make it harder for people to gain citizenship with applicants needing to demonstrate advanced English language skills.

The premier also added that the migrants would have to pass other tests in a major overhaul of the visa and migration process.

“A citizenship test must reflect Australian values.

“Aspiring citizens will need to have competent English,’’ Turnbull said as he unveiled the tougher requirements for new applicants, adding that it will strengthen citizenship, to make for a stronger Australia.



He said that new applicants would be required to pass a stringent stand-alone language test, involving reading, writing, listening and speaking.

​“Applicants will also be quizzed on issues like domestic violence and whether they think it is okay for somebody to beat their wife.

“The test will also touch on topics such as child marriage and female genital mutilation,’’ he noted.

Turnbull said those questions were important to reinforce their values.

Under the new rules, applicants must have lived in the country for four years as a permanent resident, three years longer than at present.

Turnbull said the changes would ensure that migrants were “integrated into and engaged with our Australian community, so that they are part of the community.”

“There is no more important title in our democracy than Australian citizen and that institution must reflect Australian values,” he told newsmen in the capital Canberra.

On Tuesday, Turnbull announced stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas. (dpa/NAN)

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