Pauline Hanson wants migrants to wait 8 years to become citizens

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson wants migrants to prove they are “not criminals” and loyal to Australia.

A private member’s Bill has been brought before the Federal Parliament that seeks to increase the waiting period for permanent residents to eight years before they can apply to be Australian citizens.

The Bill introduced by One Nation senator Pauline Hanson on Wednesday seeks amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007  and the Migration Act 1958, by increasing the general residence requirement for citizenship by conferral to eight years, up from current one year. The Federal Government, in its proposed legislation, wishes to increase the waiting period for permanent residents to four years, which is staunchly opposed by migrant groups.

Ms Hanson also wants citizenship applicants to provide evidence of competent English language proficiency before they can become Australian citizens, a proposal already wound back by the Federal Government.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull poses with new Australian citizens at an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony in Canberra, Friday, January 26, 2018.

The proposed amendments brought before the Senate also want migrants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community, “by behaving in a manner consistent with the Australian values”.

The Queensland senator says migrants should prove their “worth to us”.

Ms Hanson said the only difference between a permanent resident and an Australian citizen was the voting right.

“If these people want to become Australian citizens, what’s the problem in being permanent residents for eight years.

But Ms Hanson’s proposed amendments may not pass the Senate since Labor and the Greens have already made it clear they would oppose any changes designed to make Australian citizenship difficult for migrants.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton

After the Senate debacle, the government scaled down the English requirement from proposed competent level to moderate. However, the government is still firm on increasing the waiting period for permanent residents to four years, causing concern among prospective citizens.

The Federal Government says it’s committed to “strengthening” the citizenship law.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the changes will apply to all citizenship applications made from 1st July this year, if the legislation is passed.