History of the Australian citizenship test

On 17 September 2006 the Australian Government released a discussion paper seeking community views on the merits of introducing a formal citizenship test. More than 1644 responses were received with 60 per cent of respondents supporting the introduction of a citizenship test. A further 25 per cent of respondents were opposed to the introduction of a formal citizenship test and the remaining 15 per cent did not state a clear view either way.

On 11 December 2006 the Government announced its intention to introduce a citizenship test and values statements for permanent and selected temporary visa applicants.

The Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Testing) Bill 2007 was introduced into Parliament on 30 May 2007 and was passed by the Parliament on 12 September 2007. The citizenship test was implemented on 1 October 2007.

Changes to the test and application process in 2009

An independent review of the Australian citizenship test was undertaken in 2008 to review the test operation and effectiveness. Following the review a number of changes to the citizenship test and application process were implemented, including a new citizenship test which began on 19 October 2009.

On 9 November 2009, the application process was changed so that a client’s application must be lodged prior to them sitting the citizenship test.

More information about citizenship legislation and policy is available.
See:Law and policy