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The Liberal government seems to be overhauling everything and anything with the word “Immigration” attached. Just when we all thought it couldn’t get any more interesting, changes to the Australian Citizenship requirements as well as general eligibility were announced!
By way of background, initial discussions earlier this year seemed to indicate that the proposed changes to Australian citizenship eligibility would likely be implemented at some stage this year. These changes were originally scheduled to come into effect on or around December 2017. We now have access to new citizenship requirements which are published on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website with immediate effect.
As mentioned the effect is immediate which means that any applications made on or after 20 April 2017 are subject to the above rules. The Department assures that “the changes will not apply to applications made before 20 April 2017 (that is, the current rules will continue to apply to applications made before 20 April 2017)”.
If you have lodged an application for Australian Citizenship, the Department of Immigration may be in contact with you to request additional information as appropriate. If you are lodging an application on behalf of a client or yourself, you will need to be familiar with the new requirements to avoid any unnecessary delays with processing of your application.