Senate’s Report on Citizenship changes

Senate’s Report on Citizenship changes

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee Carried out an inquiry into the Australia Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the commitments for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2018 and has tabled it’s report on the 15th of March 2019.

The recommendations made by the committee are as follows:

Recommendation 1

2.85 the committee recommends that the bill be amended to remove subsection 23(3A), that there will be no particular limitation placed on attempts to sit a citizenship test, and that – consistent with the committee’s 2017 inquiry – any attempts made following the first three attempts be conducted on a cost – recovery basis.

Recommendation 2

2.86 The committee recommends that the English – Language standards required under the bill be amended consistent with the committee’s 2017 recommendation of IELTS 5.

Recommendation 3

2.87 The committee recommends that the Senate not pass the bill in the current form

The above reference to s 23(3A) is meant to be a reference to the new s 23A(3A) proposed to be added by the bill to the citizenship act 2007.

Section 23A read as follows:

(1) The Minister must, by written determination, approve a test for the purposes of subsection 21(2A) (about general eligibility for citizenship).

Note: The test must be related to the eligibility criteria referred to in paragraphs 21(2)(d), (e) and (f).

Successful completion of the test

(2) A determination under subsection (1) must specify what amounts to successful completion of the test.

Eligibility criteria for sitting the test.

(3) A determination under subsection (1) may set out the eligibility criteria a person must satisfy to be able to sit the test.

The bill proposes to add s 23A(3A) after (3), as follows:

(3A) without limiting subsection (3), the eligibility criteria may relate to the fact that a person:

(a) has previously failed the test; or

(b) did not comply with one or more rules of conduct relating to the test; or

(c) was found to have cheated during the test.

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