Migration – Citizenship test exemption granted to people affected by torture and trauma

October 14, 2009

People who have a “permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity” will, from November 9, be exempted from the Australian Citizenship Test, following the passage of the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Citizenship Test Review and Other Measures) Bill through the Australian Parliament.

Aimed primarily at providing a citizenship pathway for people who have suffered torture and trauma, particularly refugee and humanitarian entrants, this section of the Bill was amended following debate within the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The Minister’s explanation of the legislation is at http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/2009/ce09088.htm

Iraq and Burma lead source countries for refugees in 2008-09

The Australian Government achieved its target of issuing 13,500 Refugee and Humanitarian visas in 2008-09. In all, 13,507 visas were granted – 11,010 offshore Refugee and Humanitarian visas and 2,497 onshore Protection visas. For the offshore program, visa grants were divided evenly between Africa, Asia and the Middle East (including south-west Asia), with 33 per cent each. The 10 leading

source countries for offshore Refugee and Humanitarian visas were: Iraq 2,874; Burma 2,412; Afghanistan 847; Sudan 631; Bhutan 616; Ethiopia 478; Democratic Republic of Congo 463; Somalia 456; Liberia 387; and Sierra Leone 363. The Refugee and Humanitarian Program quota for 2010 is 13,750 places. To view the public statement from Immigration Minister Chris Evans, see http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/media-releases/2009/ce09079.htm

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