According to a story over at News.com.au, migrants to Australia will now have to wait at least four years before becoming Australian citizens.
This is under a Federal Government proposal expected to be announced today.
They will also have to take an English language test – failure to past the test would also stop them becoming Australian citizens.
The measures will be listed in a discussion paper to be released by Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Andrew Robb.
Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday the English language requirements feature “prominently” in the package.
“I am keen on everybody learning the English language as soon as possible,” he said. “It is absolutely essential.”
It is understood the proposals also include an increase in the waiting period for people to become citizens from three years to four years.
The requirement was last year raised from two to three years in an attempt to contain the home-grown terror threat. At that time, then citizenship minister John Cobb said the longer migrants spent in Australian society before gaining citizenship, the less vulnerable they were to “falling in with extreme groups”.
He said the extra time would allow migrants to “get a job, make mates and go to the pub”.
Personally, this doesn’t bother me. I’ve always struggled to get my head around those people who migrate to Australia with the sole intention of getting their Australian Citizenship and then coming back to the UK.
I’ve never quite followed the logic with this but can only assume that folks come back to the UK, work the rest of their working life here and then bugger on back to Australia to retire.
For us, were in it for the long haul.
Although having an Australian Passport will be great, 3 4 or 5 years doesn’t really make that great a difference.
We’ve already spent three years getting to the place where we are now, another few years won’t make to much difference!
They will have also have to take an English language test – and failure would stop them becoming Australian citizens