Australia unveils major changes to citizenship process

Turnbull now feels that these tests are not enough to assess whether an applicant has understanding of and commitment to "Australian values" and responsibilities.

"Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia", he said.

The number of times an applicant can fail the citizenship test has been restricted to three.

The controversial changes to Australia's 457 visa category have drawn criticism from numerous country's leading entrepreneurs and leaders in the startup industry.

The public will be able to make submissions until June on how Australian values might be tested. He also said, "we must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest".

Becoming an Australian citizen is about to get tougher as the country plans a major shake-up of its immigration process - including a new test of "values".

"Criminal activity, including family violence or involvement in organised crime, is thoroughly inconsistent with Australian values".

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Examples would include evidence of employment, membership of community organizations and school enrolment for all eligible children, a government statement said.

He unveiled the tighter requirements on Thursday (20 April) and as part of the new measure, the waiting period has been extended for applicants before they are handed out citizenships.

The proposed changes will also mean permanent residents will have to wait four years before applying for citizenship. Apart from this, an automatic fail for applicants who cheat during the citizenship test has been introduced. They seek someone who respects their community and is part of the development of their community. Then the proposals must be approved in Parliament.

Turnbull said the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa would instead be replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018 in a bid to "put Australia first".

The majority of the visa holders under this category were from India, accounting nearly a quarter of the intake, followed by the United Kingdom and China at 19.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

Turnbull added that "we are entitled to say if you want to be a citizen of Australia, there are a few things that we want you to demonstrate that you share".

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