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Australia considering a tougher citizenship test, confirms Immigration Minister

Australian Flag Source: Getty Image

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says it's worth having a debate about whether to overhaul the citizenship test in order to weed out terrorists.

Instead of answering the basic questions about Australia’s political structure, parliament, election and perfunctory duties of a citizen, Australian citizenship aspirants may now have to deal with a more specific test that reportedly aims to examine whether they have integrated with the Australian way of life and the social values.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said revamping the Australian citizenship test was a “debate worth having” as the federal government looks at measures to prevent from exploiting migration pathways.

Mr Dutton flagged he wants to see greater focus on people's ability to integrate into Australian society - an individual's willingness to learn English, educate their children and employment prospects or potential welfare dependence.

"My view is people who don't embrace these tangible values shouldn't expect automatic citizenship," he told The Australian newspaper.

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The existing 20 multiple-choice-question citizenship test is likely to be replaced by a tougher new test to stop extremists from gaining Australian citizenship. The new test will be more specific and ask migrants whether they have been working, their children attending school and whether their spouse is attending English lessons, The Daily Telegraph reported earlier.

Currently, applicants are granted Australian citizenship if there’s no criminal conviction recorded against them. The government has already passed a law to strip ‘terrorists’ with dual nationality of Australian citizenship.

The existing citizenship test was put in place in 2007 by the Haward government to ensure the new citizens had “a working capacity” in English. 

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Source AAP