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  • Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (L) and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton speak on Australia's citizenship test during a press conference in Canberra, Australia, April 20, 2017.

    Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (L) and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton speak on Australia's citizenship test during a press conference in Canberra, Australia, April 20, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 April 2017

The move comes in a week when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his party would put "Australia First,” rhetoric that echoes that of Donald Trump.

Australia plans to raise the bar for handing out citizenships by lengthening the waiting period, adding a new "Australian values" test and raising the standard for English language as part of a shake-up of what many already consider a draconian immigration policy.

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The move comes in a week when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced axing a temporary work visa popular with foreigners and replacing it with a tougher program in a bid to put "Australia First,” rhetoric that echoes that of Donald Trump in the U.S. and far-right, xenophobic parties across Europe.

Like the U.S. and Europe, Australia has also seen the rise of nationalist, anti-immigration politics with far-right wing parties such as One Nation garnering strong public support, while the popularity of Turnbull's ruling center-right government has been languishing.

The new citizenship requirements are expected to be passed by parliament with the backing of right-wing Senators.

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