Since Q1 of 2017, the Australian government has proposed strict regulations for foreigners looking to gain Australian citizenship. This has now been made even more challenging because the applicant is expected to be fluent in English (or pass a university-level language exam), even if they are not a native English speaker.
Australia's government says the reason for such a strict protocol is that they are looking to increase high-skilled employees moving into Australia, critics argue this point. Corporations who have sent their employees on assignment with intentions to localize, may need to look into providing language training to ensure their level of English will meet the proposed English language requirement.
An Australian government plan to overhaul its citizenship process has stalled after opposition parties effectively blocked its Senate passage. The proposed bill would have made it harder to gain citizenship. It included requirements for applicants to have advanced English language skills and four years of permanent residency. Opponents argued the requirements were too tough on non-English speakers. PM Malcolm Turnbull's government says it will make amendments to the bill. Late on Wednesday, a Senate deadline expired after Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team signalled they would not support the bill in its current form. Labor said a demand on applicants to pass university-level language tests had the potential to create an underclass of non-citizens.