New Citizenship Residence Requirement upgraded to four years

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The other day I wrote about the posibility of the Australian government increasing the number of years you need to be a resident from 2 years to 4.

Well, it now looks like the bill has gone through. Click Here for more information.

Highlights are:

– FOUR years lawful residence in Australia immediately preceding the application
– absences of up to 12 months in total will be allowed, with no more than a total of 3 months in the final year
– at least ONE year of the four years must be as a permanent residence. (in other words up to THREE years temporary residence can count).

It seems that current permanent residents will be exempted:

“The new residence requirements will apply to people who become permanent residents on or after commencement of the legislation. Current permanent residents will not be affected by these changes.”

Commencement day for the new laws is still scheduled to be 26 January 2007.

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