Major changes could be on the way for Australian citizenship test

Depending on where you sit on the political spectrum, you’ve probably been expecting something like this to happen soon. The

Depending on where you sit on the political spectrum, you’ve probably been expecting something like this to happen soon.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Turnbull government is considering making changes to the citizenship test put in place when John Howard was prime minister.

Currently, the citizenship test consists of a series of multiple choice questions on things such as Australian politics and history.

But there are reports a new citizenship test would change those questions to ask more about the person themselves and their everyday life.

Questions reportedly being considered by the government include whether the person has been working, whether their children go to school and whether their partner is taking English lessons.

It’s believed high-level meetings about the proposed changes were held this week in Canberra, headed by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

The Daily Telegraph reports the change would “control the type of migrants who become Australian citizens” and “stop the problem of radical migrants” who “subscribe to sharia law” and “speak their own language at home”.

The paper quotes a government source as saying there were people “becoming Australian citizens who should not be” and this was “a way to deal with the situation.”

But the government hasn’t said anything about the reported changes, with Dutton declining to comment to the Saturday Telegraph on the issue.

The news comes almost 10 years exactly since John Howard announced the citizenship test in December 2006.

At the time he was criticised, with some comparing the test to the board game Trivial Pursuit.

What do you think? Should there be changes to the citizenship test?




  1. Benedict  

    How’s about their being fluent in English, both written, & spoken, as THAT is the language of this Country. You want to live here, speak the language!

    No Driving Licence until you do, either, especially those from the sub-continent, who like to ‘pretend’, & literally ‘take one for a ride’, constantly!

    There’re still ‘migrants’ who came here from Europe post WWII, who can’t speak a word of English, getting their Australian Taxpayer funded-schooled kids’, & grandkids to interpret for them!

    Absolutely disgusting, & a slap in the face to this country, which gave them ‘asylum’, when they so desperately need it!

    As for those wanting to come here now, EVERTHING must be done that can stop these Islamic lunatics’ settling here, that is a step in the right direction to safeguard us all!

    • Ingrid nee Mainhardt  

      Well said! I was a migrant over 60 years ago and assimilated like we all did back then. I am proud of being called an Aussie even though I speak my own language at home.

    • Being able to write and speak GOOD English is something at which most Australians are quite poor.

      It also doesn’t help that Howard/Costello closed off most access to AMES (Adult Migrant English Service) in the 1990s and now it’s closed pretty much completely.

      If we expect migrants to know English, we could at least provide them support to learn it.

  2. John Harrison  

    if you have to be a perm residence for 10 years before you can become Australia citizen then you should at least be able to speak and read and write in english.

  3. Guy Flavell  

    THE most important question I believe should be asked is whether prospective immigrants from Middle Eastern countries are prepared to swear an oath denouncing ALL belief in the despicable Sharia Laws. Failure to respect this oath would result in their immediate
    deportation … including their families. This is NOT harsh as our existing citizens should not have to be subjected to the disgraceful and
    uncivilized Sharia Laws such as female genital mutilation, child marriages, hatred of gays, polygamy, death for adultery, forced conversion
    to the Islamic ‘faith’ … and compulsory denigration of the mainly Christian faith in this country.

    • Clara Zawawi  

      sorry but none of that is ‘Sharia’ law … none of it. If tests were going to be introduced, they should be two way. Everyone should be able to understand the truth ….

      • Guy Flavell  

        Clara, UTTER NONSENSE !!!! Sharia laws ARE an abomination and should be totally rejected
        by EVERYONE in this country.

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  5. Nellie  

    Surely there is nothing wrong with speaking your own language at home…..If that is part of the criteria I think it is unreasonable and unenforceable….

  6. Alan  

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with people maintaining their own language, using it at home or even in public, as long as they CAN in fact speak English. Having lived overseas, I have personally experienced the calming effect that your own language can give you from time to time when in a foreign country and having to battle on with that country’s language. In the first few months at least, it can be the only way to stop your head from threatening to explode. That said, despite speaking mainly English at home whilst overseas, I did also become totally fluent in Spanish over time and English became less and less important as a mental sanctuary. More important I think is to accept and integrate into the customs of the country you live in to become “one of them” as much as possible, and that is what newcomers to this country should be required to do. That of course means they have to accept the fact that they have chosen to live in a country based on Christian values and must accept their customs and traditions. And also means, NO SHARIA allowed, not now, not ever.

  7. It used to be that to just get into Australia you HAD to speak English, now it seems you can you can pretty much speak any language but. They seem top be able to collect welfare alright and to fill any forms required to get money from banks or credit companies. They come to live in Australia then they should respect the Australian laws, NOT the Sharia laws, they do not exist in this country, you want live under that law, then go back to where you came from, you are not welcome here.

    • Susan Bell  

      What ignorant comments. Speaking English was never a requirement for coming to Australia. The dictation test could be held in any European language, French, Italian, German even Gaelic not just English. No one is trying to change our legal system, Halal is not a requirement but the industry employs many, many Australians. We are not a Christian country, state religion was got rid of in the 1840s.
      Things we should teach migrants should include, how to see a rip at the beach, what to do when you meet wildlife, from snakes to kangaroos. Bushfire awareness, how to escape a bushfire, how they start, what do bushfire warnings mean.
      Sometimes the ignorance of comments on these pages breaks my heart, cruel, selfish, racist but mainly ignorant.

    • When I was a child in the 1950s my parents took In a family of Dutch migrants/refugees. Their English was poor, but they were allowed in so I think you’re wrong. I can remember my mom helping with English classes and I have done that too. If anyone writing on this website has some spare time it is a rewarding experience. Think about it.

  8. Mas  

    I came to Australia by boat as an asylum seeker in 2011, got protection visa. My English is good, in fact I like speaking English all the time. I love this country, after more than 5 years living here it’s home now, been happily working as a Web Developer.
    I applied for Australian citizenship more than a year ago (July 2015) and received no respond from Immigration whatsoever while the process usually takes only about 80 days!
    Give me any citizenship test I don’t care! The problem is citizenship applications of refugees who come by boat have been frozen. See this on Refugee Council of Australia’s website:
    It breaks my heart to see this happening against all Australian human rights values that we are proud of as a free country. I came to Australia because of this freedom and fairness, equal chance for everyone regardless of their race, nationality and language they speak at home, to be safe and have a peaceful life.
    It would be very appropriated if anyone could sign this petition to help this issue sorted out:

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