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Australian Citizenship Changes – Behind the News

Australian Citizenship Changes – Behind the News


AMELIA: What do these… Ahem. ..very famous and talented
Australians have in common – Julia Gillard, Keith Urban,
Sophie Monk, the founding members of AC/DC,
and me? Well, we were all born somewhere else
and became Australian citizens. Pretty much everyone who’s born here is automatically a member
of the Australia club. But if, like me,
you became a citizen, you’ll have a citizenship
certificate, like this. It makes you an official Aussie, with the same rights
and responsibilities as any Australian –
including voting, paying taxes and being able to live
here permanently. Every year, more than 100,000 people
from more than 200 nations are given this important
piece of paper. They attend a special ceremony and swear an oath to be loyal
to Australia, and for most new citizens,
it’s something to be proud of. The federal government says
it should be an honour that’s only given to people who plan to uphold
our country’s laws and values, so last week it announced
that it wants to make some changes to the way people go about
getting citizenship. There is no more important title
in our democracy than Australian citizen,
and Australian citizenship, that institution must reflect
Australian values. Back in 2007,
then prime minister John Howard said something similar
about potential new citizens. An understanding of basic aspects
of Australian society, our culture and our values. So Mr Howard introduced
a citizenship test. It’s written in English
and it’s multiple-choice, including questions
on Australia’s history, culture and values, like,
“What do we remember on Anzac Day?” And, “Who maintains peace and order?” MAN: I pledge my loyalty
to Australia and its people. Every 18 to 60-year-old
applying for citizenship has to take that test, and they have to be
permanent residents here for at least a year to be eligible. Now the government’s decided
it wants to make the process tougher. Under its new plan, people will have to be
permanent residents for four years before applying. They’ll have to undergo more thorough
criminal background checks. Questions will be added
to the citizenship test to prove people can speak
English fluently. And potential citizens will be asked if they agree with things like
respecting women’s and kids’ rights, and the number of times someone can fail the test
and try again soon after will be limited. On top of all that, new citizens
will also have to prove they’re trying to fit in
with society by doing stuff like working,
sending their kids to school and joining community clubs. The government reckons these changes will make sure every new Aussie
fits in, but some say there’s no reason
to change the test or make people wait longer
to become citizens. They say a test can’t
really tell you that much about a person’s values anyway. And some reckon a harder language
test could exclude people who are still learning English but could still be valued citizens. (APPLAUSE) The Government still has to get
the changes through Parliament, so we’ll have to wait and see whether becoming an Australian
becomes a little more complicated.

16 comments on “Australian Citizenship Changes – Behind the News

  1. I don't know about the Government's changes but I feel that there must be some kind of language aptitude test.
    There are far too many people on the streets who cannot even speak the language properly.

  2. The U.S. needs to do the same!… We must make the knowledge of the English language mandatory as well as the knowledge of American history, traditions and values!

  3. We need to fix the constitution because any citizenship including Australian Citizenship is currently unconstitutional in Australia!… (but that requires a referendum)

  4. Recently my friend reverted to her original citizenship from the Australian one. Her mother country doesn't recognize dual citizenship. She did so because she didn't want to retire in Australia. She managed to get Australian PR so that she can still stay in Australia and live in at her home country. She had to hire a lawyer with all the procedure. Think in a long term.

  5. Yeah I'm okay with the changes. In fact I think it should be harder again.
    We have a beautiful country, we need to ensure it stays that way. Those wishing to get in should meet our requirements. Simple.

  6. these new changed is great but wha5 about respecting mens fights too. This was omitted from what you reported

  7. What if a Chinese person wants to retain their Chinese identity and ensure that their children don’t lose their ability to read and write in Chinese fluently? Is there an option to write the test in Chinese?

  8. Pull out of the UN, they're dictating how the world is run and immigration then ban preferential voting and lobbying in the form of political donations (legalised bribery) and jail politicians who are found guilty of corruption. Then we may have a decent future, until then we are heading for third world status.

  9. Sounds like a great idea. One fact wrong in this video it used to be two years before you could become a citizen not one !

  10. I am an iranian bourn with australian sitizenship and to be honest ,i don't see any problem with this law…yes maybe it is useless to know some possibly wrong history,but other than that,all the rest is fine…aren't you sick of people that they are in australia,but they don't know the language..they don't like the culture and they stick to their own value? Why they want to be somewhere else,if they love their own whatever so much?
    i think if this law was there frome long ago we would have a much better socity even for imigrant themselves..don't you?

  11. Does this mean that Russell Crowe must go back to New Zealand before he can gain Australian citizenship??

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