Australian citizenship test to include queries about Australian values

The Australian government has decided to revamp the citizenship test for the first time in over a decade and the new test will include questions related to Australian values. As per the information available, the Australian citizenship test will now be having five multiple-choice questions related to mutual respect, equality and democracy. The applicants need to answer each of these questions correctly and score at least 75% in the overall test to obtain citizenship. In the test, there will be a total of 20 multiple-choice questions. However, no change will be there for the English language or residency requirement for Australian citizenship.

Some examples of the possible questions are:

  • Why is it important that all Australian citizens vote to elect the state and federal parliament?
  • In Australia, are people free to choose who they marry or not marry?
  • Which of these is an example of freedom of speech?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has further informed that added focus would be on English-language proficiency. “One of the things I learned when I was immigration minister and a social services minister is that people’s employment outcomes as a migrant to Australia rapidly increase if they have got a good strong command of English,” the Guardian newspaper quoted Morrison as saying.

The test is usually taken by those candidates who have fulfilled all other requirements for Australian citizenship. Most of them would have completed the set period of time as a permanent resident, besides providing character references and proof of residence.

Besides attending the test, the applicants also need to attend an interview.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has informed that a total of 159846 citizenship applications are currently being processed. According to the Department, the processing of 75% of the applications would take around 15 months, while for 90%, the processing time would be 28 months.

Australia awarded citizenship to a record 204000 people in 2019-20. The total number of persons who received Australian citizenship over the past five years is 686000. Over 85000 persons have received Australian citizenship in the online ceremonies held since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

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