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Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Test Review and Other Measures) Bill 2009

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2008-2009

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Test Review and Other Measures) Bill 2009

 

 

(1)     Clause 2, page 2 (at the end of the table), add:

3.  Schedule 2

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

[special residence requirement]

(2)     Schedule 1, heading, page 3 (line 1), at the end of the heading, add “ relating to citizenship test review etc. ”.

[consequential amendment]

(3)     Page 5 (after line 27), at the end of the Bill, add:

Schedule 2 Amendments relating to special residence requirement

   

Australian Citizenship Act 2007

1  Paragraph 21(2)(c)

Omit “residence requirement (see section 22)”, substitute “general residence requirement (see section 22) or the special residence requirement (see section 22A or 22B)”.

2  Paragraph 21(3)(c)

Omit “residence requirement (see section 22)”, substitute “general residence requirement (see section 22) or the special residence requirement (see section 22A or 22B)”.

3  Paragraph 21(4)(d)

Omit “residence requirement (see section 22)”, substitute “general residence requirement (see section 22) or the special residence requirement (see section 22A or 22B)”.

4  Subsection 22(1)

Omit “ residence requirement ”, substitute “ general residence requirement ”.

Note:       The heading to section 22 is replaced by the heading “ General residence requirement ”.

5  After section 22

Insert:

22A   Special residence requirement—persons engaging in activities that are of benefit to Australia

             (1)  Subject to this section, for the purposes of section 21 a person (the applicant ) satisfies the special residence requirement if:

                     (a)  the following apply:

                              (i)  the applicant is seeking to engage in an activity specified under subsection 22C(1);

                             (ii)  the applicant’s engagement in that activity would be of benefit to Australia;

                            (iii)  the applicant needs to be an Australian citizen in order to engage in that activity;

                            (iv)  in order for the applicant to engage in that activity, there is insufficient time for the applicant to satisfy the general residence requirement (see section 22); and

                     (b)  the head of an organisation specified under subsection 22C(2), or a person whom the Minister is satisfied holds a senior position in that organisation, has given the Minister a notice in writing stating that the applicant has a reasonable prospect of being engaged in that activity; and

                     (c)  the applicant was present in Australia for a total of at least 180 days during the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

                     (d)  the applicant was present in Australia for a total of at least 90 days during the period of 12 months immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

                     (e)  the applicant was ordinarily resident in Australia throughout the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

                      (f)  the applicant was a permanent resident for the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application; and

                     (g)  the applicant was not present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen at any time during the period of 2 years immediately before the day the applicant made the application.

Confinement in prison or psychiatric institution

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the applicant is taken not to satisfy paragraph (1)(c) if, at any time during the 2 year period mentioned in that paragraph, the applicant was:

                     (a)  confined in a prison; or

                     (b)  confined in a psychiatric institution by order of a court made in connection with proceedings for an offence against an Australian law in relation to the applicant.

             (3)  The Minister may decide that subsection (2) does not apply in relation to the applicant if, taking into account the circumstances that resulted in the applicant’s confinement, the Minister is satisfied that it would be unreasonable for that subsection to apply in relation to the applicant.

Ministerial discretion—administrative error

             (4)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(f), the Minister may treat a period as one in which the applicant was a permanent resident if the Minister considers that, because of an administrative error, the applicant was not a permanent resident during that period.

             (5)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(g), the Minister may treat a period as one in which the applicant was not present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen if the Minister considers the applicant was present in Australia during that period but, because of an administrative error, was an unlawful non-citizen during that period.

22B   Special residence requirement—persons engaged in particular kinds of work requiring regular travel outside Australia

             (1)  Subject to this section, for the purposes of section 21 a person satisfies the special residence requirement if:

                     (a)  at the time the person made the application, the person is engaged in work of a kind specified under subsection 22C(3) and the person is required to regularly travel outside Australia because of that work; and

                     (b)  the following apply:

                              (i)  the person was engaged in that kind of work for a total of at least 2 years during the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application;

                             (ii)  for the whole or part of that 4 year period when the person was engaged in that kind of work, the person regularly travelled outside Australia because of that work; and

                     (c)  the person was present in Australia for a total of at least 480 days during the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and

                     (d)  the person was present in Australia for a total of at least 120 days during the period of 12 months immediately before the day the person made the application; and

                     (e)  the person was ordinarily resident in Australia throughout the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application; and

                      (f)  the person was a permanent resident for the period of 12 months immediately before the day the person made the application; and

                     (g)  the person was not present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen at any time during the period of 4 years immediately before the day the person made the application.

Confinement in prison or psychiatric institution

             (2)  Subject to subsection (3), the person is taken not to satisfy paragraph (1)(c) if, at any time during the 4 year period mentioned in that paragraph, the person was:

                     (a)  confined in a prison; or

                     (b)  confined in a psychiatric institution by order of a court made in connection with proceedings for an offence against an Australian law in relation to the person.

             (3)  The Minister may decide that subsection (2) does not apply in relation to the person if, taking into account the circumstances that resulted in the person’s confinement, the Minister is satisfied that it would be unreasonable for that subsection to apply in relation to the person.

Ministerial discretion—administrative error

             (4)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(f), the Minister may treat a period as one in which the person was a permanent resident if the Minister considers that, because of an administrative error, the person was not a permanent resident during that period.

             (5)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(g), the Minister may treat a period as one in which the person was not present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen if the Minister considers the person was present in Australia during that period but, because of an administrative error, was an unlawful non-citizen during that period.

22C   Special residence requirement—legislative instruments

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, specify activities for the purposes of subparagraph 22A(1)(a)(i).

             (2)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, specify organisations for the purposes of paragraph 22A(1)(b).

             (3)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, specify kinds of work for the purposes of paragraph 22B(1)(a).

6  After paragraph 24(5)(a)

Insert:

                    (aa)  the Minister is satisfied that the person did not satisfy the special residence requirement referred to in section 22A or 22B; and

Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act 2007

7  Item 5B of Schedule 3

Omit “ residence requirement ”, substitute “ general residence requirement ”.

8  Application

The amendments made by this Schedule apply in relation to applications made on or after the commencement of this Schedule.

[special residence requirement]