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Australian Citizenship Legislation Amend

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Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 No. , 2017

5 Children born in Australia

The bill makes significant changes to the rules regarding automatic acquisition of citizenship by people born in Australia on their 10th birthday.

The bill limits automatic acquisition of citizenship at ten years of age to :

  1. child born in Australia to a parent who had diplomatic privileges and immunities under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1967, the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972, the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1963 or the Overseas Missions (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1995 at any time during the 10 year period referred to in paragraph 12(1)(b) does not acquire Australian citizenship on their tenth birthday (assuming a parent of the person is not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of paragraph 12(1)(a)). 
  1. child born in Australia does not acquire Australian citizenship on their tenth birthday if at any time during the 10-year period referred to in paragraph 12(1)(b) the person was present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen. 
  1. child born in Australia does not acquire Australian citizenship on their tenth birthday if at any time during the 10-year period referred to in paragraph 12(1)(b) the person was outside Australia and, at that time, the person did not hold a visa permitting the person to travel to, enter and remain in Australia. 
  1. child born in Australia does not acquire Australian citizenship on their tenth birthday if a parent of the child did not hold a substantive visa at the time of the child’s birth, the parent entered Australia on one or more occasions before the person’s birth and, at any time during the period beginning on the day the parent last entered Australia and ending on the day of the person’s birth, that parent was present in Australia as an unlawful non-citizen. 

Collectively, the amendments made by this item seek to encourage the use of lawful pathways to migration and citizenship by making citizenship under the ‘10 year rule’ available only to those who had a right to lawfully enter, re-enter and reside in Australia throughout the 10 years. People who do not meet the proposed requirements will no longer have an incentive to delay their departure from Australia until a child born to them in Australia has turned 10 years of age, in the expectation that the child will obtain citizenship and provide an anchor for family migration or justification for a ministerial intervention request under the Migration Act. 

The proposed amendment:

  1. requires that non-citizens hold a visa to enter and remain in Australia;
  2. provides citizenship by birth in Australia to children of Australian citizens and permanent residents; and
  3. with the exception of stateless applicants, requires that an applicant for citizenship by conferral not be an unlawful non-citizen. 

See Bill 2017 No. ,2017


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