More people now have the opportunity to become Australian citizens, with citizenship testing and appointments now available in all states and territories following COVID-19 shutdowns.
In-person citizenship tests and appointments resumed in Melbourne this week, after COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria eased.
Testing has progressively resumed in other states and territories as COVID-19 restrictions have allowed.
More than 30,000 tests have been administered since testing resumed in July 2020. There are currently 117,000 people waiting for an appointment nationally, of which almost 40 per cent are in Victoria – with Melbourne being the second largest testing centre, after the combined Sydney sites.
While citizenship processing continued during COVID-19, the pandemic has contributed to an increase in the number of people waiting for their citizenship applications to progress. The Government is providing additional resources and is increasing its opening hours at key locations to ensure that as many applications can be finalised as quickly as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of the citizenship program.
Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, since 31 March 2020, more than 90,000 people from every state and territory have become Australian citizens in online ceremonies.
As at 31 October 2020, a further 14,000 people had become citizens through in-person ceremonies since they resumed in June 2020.
In-person ceremonies have resumed in a number of states and territories as restrictions have eased, and local councils are encouraged to resume in-person ceremonies in a COVID-safe manner.
Everyone who sits the citizenship test from now on will sit the updated test, which has a greater focus on Australian values, including the rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and equality of opportunity for all people in Australia.