Today the Government has announced changes in Australia Migration System. The changes will streamline the pathway to Australian Citizenship for some of our most talented prospective Australians.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke MP, has introduced additional flexibility to recognize the unique difficulties faced by some of our most distinguished applicants for citizenship.
“Australian citizenship is a rare privilege and it should not come easy. Those who apply must meet a range of character, values, and language requirements. They must also have lived in Australia for a minimum period to be eligible,” Minister Hawke said.
“However, the unique work and travel demands on some of our most highly distinguished prospective Australians should not preclude them from making the cut. That’s why I have directed the Department of Home Affairs to apply greater flexibility in applying the residence requirement for eligible people,” he said.
“Exceptional people must not be prevented from becoming Australians because of the unique demands of the very work they do that makes them exceptional,” he said.
The Ministery will extend the special concession to distinguished talent visa holders and athletes in the Australian Commonwealth Games team.
Current Arrangements for Australian Citizenship
Applicants for Australian Citizenship must meet the general residence requirement which provides that:
- They have lived in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years,
- Were absent for no more than 12 months in that time.
- They must also have been a permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
- Absent from Australia for no more than 90 days during the 12 months before applying.
The special residence requirement may apply for a range of applicants who due to their work undertake significant international travel. It also including Australian representative sportspeople, ships’ crew, senior business people, research scientists, and distinguished artists under Australian National Interest.
The special residence requirement provides that an applicant has held:
- A valid visa for the last four years.
- Living in Australia for at least 480 days during that time.
- Must have been a permanent resident.
- In Australia for 120 days in the year immediately before applying.
The special residence requirement will now also apply to past, present and future distinguished talent stream visa holders.
Source – https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/AlexHawke/Pages/increased-flexibility-citizenship-applicants.aspx