With far-right political parties gaining ground, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has moved right on immigration standards, with an Australia First program, which he announced Thursday, April 20.
The new requirements are about values, not civics. Applicants have to be fluent in English, need to have a work history, need to prove that they have never committed domestic violence, and will need to stay in the country for four years, as opposed to the current one year, to be considered for citizenship.
Australia is toughening up its citizenship test.
Australia has seen a rise of far-right, anti-immigrant political parties that are taking Parliament seats from Turnbull’s more moderate government.
Turnbull also introduced a tougher work visa program.
Turnbull emphasized that respect for women and children were of high importance: “If we believe that respect for women and respect for women and children, and saying no to violence against women and children, If we believe that that is an Australian value, and it is, and everyone of you does believe that,” he asked, “then why should that not be made a key part, a fundamental part, a very prominent part, of our process to be an Australian citizen?”
The proposed changes should pass Parliament with support from right-wing senators.