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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 2173


Mr Stewart asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

What qualifications are required to apply for and be granted Australian citizenship by migrants from (a) British, (b) Asian, and (c) other countries?


Dr Forbes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Citizenship Act provides for acquisition of citizenship by migrants in the following ways:

(a)   British migrants

(i)   Notification - See Section 11a of the Act. The effect of this is that a British subject who was lawfully admitted to Australia as a migrant and has lived here for over 5 years, without becoming liable to deportation by misconduct, has the right to lodge with the Department a simple notice of desire to become a citizen; and he then becomes an Australian citizen without further action on his part.

(ii)   Registration - See Section 12. The effect of this is that after living in Australia for one year a British migrant may apply for a certificate of Australian citizenship; and if he satisfies the Minister that he can meet the requirements of Section 12, as to character, knowledge of English, etc, the Minister may grant a certificate of citizenship to him.

(b)   Other migrants

Naturalisation - See Section15 of the Citizenship Act. The effect of this is that generally a non-British migrant may, after 5 years residence, apply for a certificate of citizenship which the Minister may grant if the applicant meets the requirements of Section15 as to character, knowledge of English etc. The period of 5 years residence may be reduced to 3 if applicants are able to read and write English proficiently. The Minister may further reduce these residence requirements for persons who have lived in other Commonwealth countries, or who have served in the Forces. The Minister may waive the residence requirements for minors, the spouses of Australians, and former Australian citizens.

As a matter of Government policy, the residence requirement is5 years for non-European people (British subjects or others) admitted to Australia on the basis of their qualifications under the Government's decision announced in this House on 9th March 1966. On this matter I refer the honourable member to his question to me and my answer on 29th April 1971 (Hansard page 2218).







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