15 November 2020 Australian Citizenship Test Changes
By Tom Foran
The Australian government has announced changes to the Australian Citizenship Test. The new testing regime will come into effect from 15 November 2020.
This article explains who needs to take the Australian Citizenship Test. If you have recently applied for Australian Citizenship, then depending upon whether you have applied under Citizenship by Conferral or Citizenship by Descent, you may be impacted. We will look at the exceptions. Some applicants that would normally be required to take the test are exempt.
There is going to be an overlap between the existing system and the new system. If you are going to need to take the Australian Citizenship Test, it is helpful to understand the current requirements so that you can more readily appreciate the changes.
In last section, we cover the updates. You will learn about the changes, and how to best prepare for them.
Who needs to take the Australian Citizenship Test?
Not all applicants for Australian Citizenship are subject to the Australian Citizenship Test. For example, an Australian citizen and her Australian citizen husband live in a foreign country. Their child is born in that other country. You may be surprised to know that the child is not automatically an Australian citizen. The parents will need to make an application for the child under the Citizenship by Descent provisions of the Australian Citizenship Act. The child would not be required to take the Australian Citizenship Test.
An Australian permanent resident and her Australian permanent resident partner have a child. That child is born in Australia after their permanent visa has been granted. Unlike the above situation, the parents do not need to lodge an application under Citizenship by Descent. No application is required at all. The child automatically is an Australian citizen at birth. The baby would meet the requirements of subsection 12(1) of the Australian Citizenship Act. The child would be an Australian citizen, and they would not need to take the Australian Citizenship Test.
An Australian permanent resident and her Australian permanent resident have a child, but the child was born outside Australia. The child is not an Australian citizen by birth. The child is not eligible for Australian Citizenship by Descent either! The parents would need to apply for a Child visa for the baby if they wish to return to Australia and live here permanently. The child and parents would eventually become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. They would apply under the Australian Citizenship by Conferral processes. The parents would need to take the Australian Citizenship Test. The child would not need to take the test if they have not yet had their 18th birthday.
Australian Citizenship applicants over the age of 60 do not need to take the Australian Citizenship Test, nor do those with a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity. Those that have a hearing, speech or sight impairment are also exempt, as are a few others in limited and uncommon circumstances..
The majority of current applicants for Australian Citizenship by Conferral, and those that will apply for Australian Citizenship in the future, will need to take the new Australian Citizenship Test. The purpose of this article is to explain the new test requirements.