Backlog of 120,000 citizenship applications

23 October 2017

Mosiqi Acharya – SBS

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a huge backlog of citizenship applications amounting to almost 120,000 currently.

Melbourne-based Shweta Patel who’s citizenship application has been pending said, “I have received an email from the department that my application will now be processed as the freeze has been lifted.”

The Immigration Department has also updated their website stating, subject to the passage of legislation, the new requirements for citizenship will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

One of the changes proposed on April 20th this year by the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, was not being allowed to sit for a citizenship test for 2 years after three failed attempts.

The changes were struck down by the Senate last week after it missed the Wednesday evening deadline.

However, on Thursday, Mr Dutton said he was going to bring the bill back with revised changes.

“I am committed to strengthening the integrity of the citizenship program, which is in our national interest, and will continue to work with the crossbench,” he said.

Mr Dutton has now watered down changes to the bill where English requirement will be lowered to Band 5 and the new changes will be implemented on 1st July 2018.

More than 4000 migrants were refused Australian ­citizenship in 2016-17, according to figured released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Even as migrants heaved a sigh of relief last week when the proposed changes to the citizenship bill were struck down, the latest figures from Immigration reveal more than 4,000 migrants were refused citizenship last year.

Almost half from them failed the citizenship test.

Of the 1866 migrants who failed the test in 2016-17, 1759 failed it more than three times.

The rest of the migrants were denied citizenship based on being unable to prove identity, failing police checks and involvement in extremist organisations.

[Read the SBS article].

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