Interest In Citizenship Increasing

Chris Bowen MP
Minister For Immigration And Citizenship

Media Release
27 September 2012

Interest In Citizenship Increasing

The Australia Citizenship Test Snapshot 2011-12 released today reveals increased participation and pass rates for people from vulnerable backgrounds, said the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP.

Minister Bowen said more people from vulnerable backgrounds were expressing interest in acquiring citizenship since the Government introduced education pathways for migrants.

“Becoming a citizen is an important step which shows commitment to our nation and its people,” Mr Bowen said.

“It is important that new Australians understand the pledge they make as new citizens: that Australia is a peaceful nation built on democratic beliefs, rights and liberties, and whose laws they will uphold.”

The latest citizenship snapshot supports that Australia has a high citizenship take-up rate compared with other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“The high citizenship take-up rate is a mark of the success of the citizenship focused model of Australian multiculturalism,” Mr Bowen said.

“This number continues to increase as more migrants choose to make their home here and seek to become fully-fledged members of the Australian family.”

A record 71,662 applicants from more than 196 countries took the citizenship test in 2011-12, up almost 20 per cent on last year’s figure of 59,787.

More than 90 per cent of people in the humanitarian program passed the test, a rise of five per cent since the introduction of courses and tuition for disadvantaged migrants.

The top five countries of birth for migrants who took the test are the United Kingdom (16.6 per cent), India (13.9 per cent), China (10.1 per cent), the Philippines (6.1 per cent) and South Africa (5.1 per cent).

The Citizenship Test is designed to assess whether new Australians have an adequate knowledge of Australia and understand the responsibilities and privileges of being an Australian citizen. It also assesses whether new citizens have a basic knowledge of the English language so they can play an active role in our community.

The Australia Citizenship Test Snapshot report can be found at: <>

Media Contacts: Bill Kyriakopoulos 0400 510 802 / Laura Stevens 0432 833 769

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