By Marija Zivic
The Senate killed off proposed citizenship changes late last year but the government has not given up hope of getting revised measures through parliament in the first half of 2018.
The new roll-out date for the changes is 1 July.
"We've made a couple of changes based on the feedback we've received, and off the back of those changes, we hope that it will go through the parliament," Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge told SBS News this week.
"This bill is designed to ensure that new citizens have every chance to seize the great opportunities which Australia has to offer, but they'll only be able to seize those opportunities if they have a basic understanding of English and if they're integrated into the community."
The Turnbull government's plans were first announced in April 2017. They included making permanent residents wait four years instead of one to apply for citizenship and requiring them to pass a university-level English language test.
Tony Burke, Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Australia, told SBS News: "As long as the government is bringing back a proposal that is deliberately designed to prevent people who would make good Australians from ever becoming citizens, then Labor's going to stand opposed to it."
"People approach me about citizenship more than any other issue and they say the fact that legislation was defeated has given them hope," he said.
What about those already in the queue?
Without support in parliament, the government has admitted it will need to make concessions to pass the legislation. Until then, all applications will continue to be assessed under the current requirements.
The crucial Nick Xenophon Team voting block has told SBS News it will not budge unless the government promises to re-model its proposal so that it does not affect migrants who are 'already in the queue' and have obtained permanent residency.
FOR FULL STORY PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW: