Australia Immigration

Migration agents back citizenship test change in Australia

by Ray Clancy on January 16, 2017

in Australia Immigration

Registered migration agents in Australia have backed calls for changes to the country’s citizenship test to make sure applicants genuinely share Australian values.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has already indicated that he is in favour of a more stringent test that takes into account what people know about Australia, its history, values and culture.

AUSTRALIAcitizensDutton said that the current test is too focussed on trivia and should actually be about showing that applicants genuinely want to be part of Australia and share in the country’s economic and cultural success.

Now the Migration Alliance, which represents registered migration agents, says that the country should not be afraid of making the citizenship test tougher as it is only those who are not genuine who would object.

‘The Minister has made the point that in many cases, particularly when people are coming from the Middle East, country of origin records are unreliable and we must rely on the word of the individual,’ said Migration Alliance founder Liana Allan.

‘That means we must be more careful about our questioning, and we certainly should demand a higher level of evidence to support people’s assertions about their behaviour,’ she added.

She explained that to ensure that those being granted citizenship are not past, present or future lawbreakers and or a potential drain on the public purse, the Alliance believes the Australian Government should have the right to do whatever is in its power.

‘Changing our citizenship test, as Dutton suggests, would threaten only those who it seeks to identify: people who want to come here with a view to damaging or exploiting Australia’s way of life,’ Allan pointed out.

‘As Dutton rightly queries, is asking whether or not a person knows Don Bradman’s batting average a true test of whether he or she is likely to share the societal principles that make Australia so successful?’ she explained.

Dutton has suggested that citizenship test should be more pertinent and look at issues like education, work plans and also whether or not there should be an undertaking to take English lessons for those whose first language is different.

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