28 August 2007

Australian immigration citizenship test released

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A draft of the new Australian citizenship test was released by the citizenship and immigration minister yesterday. Those who want to apply for an Australian visa and would like to subsequently take Australian citizenship will be interested in the sample test questions and resource book.

Minister Kevin Andrews emphasised the expectation that new citizens will have English language skills, which is good for British people interested in Australian immigration. It is also necessary to learn something of Australia's history and heritage. New citizens will have to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to Australia and its way of life.

"Before becoming a citizen it is reasonable to expect that a person will understand the core values that have helped to create a society that is stable yet dynamic, cohesive yet diverse. Respect for the free-thinking individual and the rule of law are the foundations of the Australian liberal democratic tradition," he said.

Australian citizens can travel overseas and cannot be denied return entry to Australia provided they have proof of their citizenship, usually an Australian passport. Citizenship carries the right to vote and seek election to parliament, as well as applying for a passport and registering children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent.

The test includes questions about Australia’s history, geography, people, values, system of government and the right to vote and stand for public office in Australia.
The requirement to take the new test should start later this year once the legislation has passed through Parliament. The 40-page draft resource book sample test questions are now available.

The new test doesn't apply to people applying for an Australian visa to work in Australia on permanent or provisional visas but people who wish to make a new life in Australia and possibly become a citizen should take note.

Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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