Updated Australian Citizenship Test to focus on ‘Australian values’ of freedom of speech and religion, mutual respect, democracy and rule of law

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 17 September 2020: Australia will have a new updated citizenship test from 15 November 2020 with a focus on ‘Australian values’. The updated test will include a dedicated section on ‘Australian values’. Citizenship testing has already resumed across Australia, with the exception of Victoria. More than 2,500 people are expected to receive Australian citizenship in more than 100 ceremonies across the country today. They will join the record of more than 204,000 people who became Australian citizens last year.

The top 10 nationalities (1 July to 30 June 2020) who acquired Australian citizenship via conferral are as follows:

India 38,209, Uk 25,011, China 14,764, Philippines 12,838, Pakistan 8,821, Vietnam 6,804, Sri Lanka 6,195, South Africa 5,438, New Zealand 5,367, Afghanistan 5,102, Other 76,268 and the total was 204,817.(Source- Dept. of homeaffairs.gov.au)

In a media statement emailed to the South Asia Times (SAT) today morning, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge says “Our Australian values are important. They have helped shape our country and they are the reason why so many people want to become Australian citizens.

The updated Citizenship Test will have new and more meaningful questions that require potential citizens to understand and commit to our values like freedom of speech, mutual respect, equality of opportunity, the importance of democracy, and the rule of law.

We are asking those who apply for citizenship to understand our values more deeply before they make the ultimate commitment to our nation.”

The updated Citizenship Test will comprise 20 multiple-choice questions, including five questions on Australian values. A person will be required to correctly answer all five of the questions on Australian values, with a mark of at least 75 percent overall, to pass the test.

There will be no changes to the English language or residency requirements for citizenship.

An updated version of the Australian Citizenship: Our Common Bond resource is now available for download to assist people to prepare for the test. This includes information on the new Australian values component and an updated practice test.

The changes have been announced today to coincide with Australian Citizenship Day.

Citizenship Day is an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on the meaning of citizenship and the importance of the shared values that unite us.

More than 2500 people will receive Australian citizenship at more than 100 ceremonies across the country today.

Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, since 31 March 2020, more than 85,000 people from every state and territory have become Australian citizens in online ceremonies.

From 30 October 2020, most new visa and citizenship applicants will be required to affirm the updated Australian Values Statement (AVS). The updated AVS will better reflect the shared values of Australian society, including the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and equality of opportunity for all people in Australia, says the Minister’s media release.

Detailed information on the updated CITIZENSHIP TEST can be accessed on the DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS WEBSITE.

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