Lombard and Laurence Newsletter – September Migration Updates


Potential Changes to Citizenship Residence Requirement

The Minister for Immigration has recently announced a plan to relax residence requirements for Australian citizenship for Distinguished Talent visa holders. The current requirements state that an individual is eligible for citizenship when they have lived in Australia for the past 4 years and have been outside of Australia for no longer than 12 months in that period, and also have held permanent residency in the last 12 months without having left Australia for no more than 90 days in that period.

The new special requirement for Distinguished Talent visa holders requires for applicants to have held a valid visa for the last 4 years, living in Australia for 480 days minimum in that period. They must also have held permanent residency while in Australia for 120 days in the year before applying for citizenship.

The new requirement will now apply to past, present and future Distinguished Talent visa holders.

More information
Impact of COVID-19 on Citizenship Applications
The Department has advised that processing will continue on all applications for Australian citizenship. In areas affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, Citizenship appointments may be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date. The Department will contact affected applicants in advance to advise whether their appointment has been cancelled.English Test Availability
Access to English tests during the COVID-19 pandemic has been reduced recently due to ongoing lockdowns in certain states. However, some testing centres are still open, even in NSW and Victoria.The Pearson Academic Test has limited, yet available, appointment times at their Parramatta Testing Centre in Sydney, as well as in Lateral Plains, Kensington. In Victoria, appointment times are available at the Box Hill Testing Centre, and in South Australia, times are available in the Adelaide Centre.
View available appointment times
IELTS also has multiple appointment times available in New South Wales and Victoria. However, it should be noted that each time slot has limited availability in order to abide by COVID-19 Safety standards.
View available appointment times
ABC News reports on culture shock experienced by new migrants
ABC News has recently published an article describing aspects of Australian life which often cause a culture shock in new migrants when adjusting to life in Australia.Aside from the climate ranging from hot to cold and the interesting wildlife, some migrants have been surprised by the different food staples in Australia as opposed to those in their home countries. Others have also expressed a difference in the relationships with neighbours, noting that Australian life is much more individualistic.
Read the article

Please note that the above information is only general information and is not legal advice and should not be relied upon. Please contact our office for immigration advice specific to your situation.

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