Sydney, April 20: In a move to tighten requirements for Australian citizenship, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that migrants wanting to become citizens will have to sit tougher English tests, face questions about Australian values and live here longer before they can apply.
A citizenship test must reflect "Australian values," also the would-be citizens will need to have been a permanent resident of Australia for four years, rather than 12 months. New applicants will 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.
"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're part of the community."
"There is no more important title in our democracy than Australian citizen and... that institution must reflect Australian values," said Turnbull. On Tuesday, Turnbull announced stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas.
What are the changes?
In explaining what constituted "Australian values", Mr. Turnbull said migrants must demonstrate support for religious freedom and gender equality. "Respect for women and children is a key Australian value," he said, adding domestic violence would not be tolerated.
Other changes to the citizenship process include: