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Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP LEGISLATION AMENDMENT

(STRENGTHENING THE REQUIREMENTS FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2017

 

 

 

 

ADDENDUM TO THE EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Immigration

and Border Protection, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP)



Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017

 

The purpose of this addendum is to provide additional material to the Explanatory Memorandum to the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017.  This addendum responds to a request by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills in its Scrutiny Digest 8 of 2017 (9 August 2017).

 

Item 41, paragraph 21(2)(e)

 

After paragraph 120 on page 23, insert the following paragraphs:

 

The Australian Government has announced that applicants must provide results of an approved English language test at competent level assessed through listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.  This is comparable to an International English Language Testing System score of 6 or the equivalent score from a test accepted by the Department.  This requirement is consistent with the current 'competent English' test score requirement in the Migration Regulations.

 

The Government considers it appropriate to set out the technical details of the level of English language required in a legislative instrument (see item 53).  This gives the Minister the opportunity to determine particular circumstances such as the approved test providers and test scores.  It also provides the Minister flexibility to update the instrument in instances where, for example, there is a change in the approved test providers, without going through the legislative amendment process.

 

This instrument that will be made to set out the detail of the English language requirement will be subject to scrutiny and disallowance when it is tabled in the Parliament.

 

The Bill provides certain applicants exemptions from the English language requirement for example, due to their age, impairment, or incapacity.  Further, the instrument will determine other circumstances in which a person has competent English, such as where the person is a holder of a valid passport of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, the United States of America or New Zealand.  This is consistent with the 'competent English' requirement for skilled migrants under the Migration Regulations.  The instrument will also determine that applicants have competent English where they have undertaken specified English language studies at a recognised Australian education provider. All of these matters will be detailed in the instrument.